Jeans Days Go Digital

American National Bank streamlined their employee philanthropic giving using the Omaha Gives! online platform

Last year Omaha Gives! introduced a feature designed to allow individuals to support their favorite nonprofits in a whole new way. Personal cheer pages encourage anyone in the community to choose an organization and rally their own social networks to support a cause.

Seeing utility in the cheer page beyond Omaha Gives, American National Bank (ANB) and the Omaha Community Foundation’s Donor Services team joined forces to map out a process last July that would fulfill the bank’s needs for their monthly jeans day philanthropy. Now, a year later, ANB has raised $14,500 for more than 100 local charities through employee giving efforts on the Omaha Gives! website.

For the last two decades,  American National Bank has been incentivizing staff to support its employee-driven philanthropic efforts by offering an option to wear jeans one Friday a month in exchange for a voluntary donation.  However, the procedures ANB was using to execute the jeans days and manage logistics was cumbersome and outdated.

“We were struggling with how we handled jeans days for our employees; it was a very manual process,” noted Patti Kahre, Vice President of Community Relations at the Bank. “We would send out an email and tell them to fill out a form. Then they would either give cash to a coordinator or we would set up a separate general ledger.”

American National Bank has now been utilizing the cheer page function on OmahaGives.org since last summer, and their staff are enthusiastic fans of the switch to the online platform. Kahre said that everyone loves it because it’s a super simple, streamlined process.

From an employee perspective, they can store their payment information directly on the platform. They can also give at any time that’s convenient for them, and as a donor on the platform they automatically receive a tax receipt when they give.

It’s both an upgrade and update that Kahre said was much needed and long overdue.

Using OmahaGives.org reduces the strain on multiple departments who were managing cash or payroll deductions. Now, all the donation information is compiled in real time, which Kahre can export for record-keeping and tracking.

Maybe most importantly, the online cheer page has also allowed for expanded opportunities to engage employees about the nonprofit chosen for the particular month.  By putting the process online, they now get an email each month that takes them directly to the webpage with more details about the nonprofit beneficiary; they can also easily navigate to the organization’s website from the cheer page. As a result, Kahre says they are learning more about each nonprofit and have an opportunity to respond and connect in new ways.

Since making the switch to the Omaha Gives! platform, the bank says they have engaged between 55 to 100 employees who participate in the monthly jeans day, raising up to $2,000 in any one month. Kahre believes the ease of the online platform has increased monthly jeans day giving; she says there are many employees who consistently give beyond the minimum $10 commitment.

This May—Omaha Gives! month—ANB celebrated Omaha’s charitable holiday by offering employees the option to wear jeans every Friday throughout the month; they also allowed the employee to designate a nonprofit of their choosing, and to sweeten the deal the bank provided a $15 matching gift.

Kahre adds that she’s personally a huge fan, and loves the spirit that cheer pages—even the name itself—conveys.

“There are so many ways to fundraise these days and you have to be creative, but this is one great way.”

 

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