Downtown BMO staff Marcia Beckett

Downtown BMO staff Marcia Beckett

Victoria financial institutions bank on United Way

Banks, credit union challenge for employee participation and engagement opportunities with United Way

Banks and credit unions are taking up a financial challenge for the United Way of Greater Victoria.

BMO, RBC, CIBC, TD Canada Trust and Island Savings are coming together for a friendly competition based on employee participation and engagement opportunities with United Way.

The bank with the top score will be recognized as the first to win the financial cup at United Way’s Spirit Awards in the new year.

Each bank runs a strong workplace campaign, but this year United Way was looking to inspire and bring new awareness to the sector about the needs facing Greater Victoria and the impact United Way is making in neighbourhoods throughout the region, said Heather Skydt, director of marketing and communications for United Way.

How the financial challenge works: the banks are given points off the top based on largest percentage increase in overall campaign dollars and percentage increase in employee participation. Then there is a list of criteria for best practices when it comes to employee engagement in a workplace campaign.

Points are rewarded for activities such as attending employee campaign training, hosting a community partner presentation, organizing an impact tour or Day of Caring event for employees, attending United Way’s campaign kick off event, or sponsoring a loaned representative.

The challenge idea came from Shelly Jensen, who is a volunteer with the United Way and vice-president of Bank of Montreal.

“Our financial institutions are known to be friendly rivals – and all of our employees want to do good – so why not compete on employee engagement numbers and dollars raised? And of course bragging rights,” Jensen said.

Skydt said the challenge has created even more of a rivalry between the financial institutions.

“The employees have really got behind this wholeheartedly, and its been real fun. A little bit of smack talk happens here or there, too,” she said.

Donations to United Way’s fall fundraising campaign are accepted at workplaces, United Way’s office at 1144 Fort St., by phone at 250-385-6708 or online at uwgv.ca. The fundraising goal this year is $6 million.