Volunteering our time and talents
We donate our time and labor to make our communities stronger. Here's how.
Working for the greater good is deeply ingrained in our culture, part of what we call serving our "3 Cs": client, crew, community. Throughout the year, Vanguard's crew donate their time and efforts to a wide variety of activities. Here's a quick look at some of our most visible programs.
Through Volunteer Time Off (VTO), each crew member can take a paid day off every year to help their communities—in any way, at any time or place they'd like.
Some use the day for a cause that's close to their hearts, such as helping out at an animal shelter or clearing a riverbank. Others spend it volunteering with colleagues as a team-building exercise, such as packing food in an assembly line at a food bank. In 2015, crew volunteered 38,652 hours—the equivalent of more than 4,800 eight-hour days.
During our annual giving campaign, we supplement our financial donations with volunteer activities. In 2015, some 2,400 crew and their families and friends served more than 180 projects.
- Helping to register entrants and process donations at running and walking events.
- Participating in recreational activities for adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
- Painting and repairing offices and bedrooms at a center for victims of domestic violence.
- Constructing homes for the homeless.
- Sorting groceries, clothing, and household items at food shelters, crisis centers, and homeless facilities.
- Refurbishing a computer lab and classroom used for English language programs.
"It was an incredibly humbling experience to see how much need is out there and how only a few hours out of my day can help to make a big difference in the lives of so many less fortunate families."
Mike S., crew member since 1999
Every January, hundreds of crew, family, and friends tackle dozens of projects as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Days of Service. Projects in Arizona, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania have included:
- Sorting donations at a food bank.
- Cleaning and repairing youth centers, libraries, and seniors' homes.
- Serving meals at homeless shelters.
- Inspecting and sorting donated clothing, toys, and household goods.
- Interacting with disadvantaged youth.
- Picking grapefruit that will be distributed to the homeless.
The Vanguard Skills-Based Volunteering Program aligns our crew's talents, experiences, and interests with the needs of nonprofit organizations in our local communities. This philanthropic program allows Vanguard volunteers to find additional ways to make a meaningful local impact.
Our volunteers help local nonprofit organizations achieve their goals through their leadership and support by:
- Assisting specific projects, such as interview preparation or resumé reviews, drafting an annual report, or creating or upgrading a website.
- Contributing to strategic projects and initiatives, such as a marketing campaign or business plan.
- Joining a board, committee, or advisory team.
From January to April every year, trained crew spend nights and weekends working for the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which helps low- and middle-income families prepare their tax returns.
Our VITA at Vanguard volunteers often point the families to overlooked refunds and credits—extra dollars that can mean a great deal. We also help individuals enroll in food and energy assistance programs, set up bank accounts, and learn the basics of budgeting and saving.
Our annual fundraising campaign is one of the highlights of our year, with dozens of activities including a 5K run, block parties, raffles, and talent and game shows. More than a thousand crew serve as in-house campaigners, and dozens more—from writers and designers to IT professionals—develop and manage behind-the-scenes logistics such as messaging and tabulation.