West Monroe's culture supports the concept of work-life integration. We are encouraged to bring our full selves to work by incorporating what we love into our daily work routine. Our leaders also teach us the invaluable lesson that we are a better asset at work if we make time for the things that recharge us outside the office. West Monroe requires that we write a Three Year Letter to ourselves. In this letter, we write about our goals and wishes for the next three years both personally and professionally. These letters are shared with our advocates at the company, our Career Advisors, who are as invested in helping us achieve personal success as they are professional. My top goal in my Three Year Letter since starting at West Monroe was to find a way to somehow combine both my corporate and philanthropic life. Work and volunteering are two things I’m passionate about, and I wanted to find a way to bring them together.
I have been involved with Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington for a number of years: first as an intern in college, and now as a Wish Granting volunteer. Make-A-Wish’s mission is to "grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy." Wish Granters are trained to help children identify their most heartfelt wish and to bring that experience to life. As a volunteer, I am essentially the liaison between the organization and the family whose child is receiving a wish. I got involved in this organization because I believe so deeply in the mission. I believe everyone deserves to have the best day of their life, and no one deserves it more than these kids.
A couple months ago I was talking to my manager at work about the limitations on the number of wishes the organization can grant each year due to travel costs. My manager was so saddened by this that she asked if there was any way to help. A light bulb went off in my head, remembering that Make-A-Wish does Corporate Mileage Drives.
West Monroe Partners is a consulting firm whose employees travels for work all the time and these miles are essentially a free gift we receive in return for being on the road. Why not pay it forward by donating them to families that really need it? I brought the idea to my office leadership team, and they immediately were on board! Brian Paulen, who leads our office, even reached out to the executive team in our Chicago headquarters to encourage them to donate, and we were able to get an additional mileage match from our corporate Delta account. It turned out to be a company-wide effort!
As a member of our Customer Experience team, I decided to apply some CX techniques to get employees rallied around the Mileage Drive, and came up with some fun donor personas: No Travel Nicole, Frequent Flier Frank, and Around the World Andy. These personas gave a suggested mileage donation amount and a reason to donate. My goal was to show my colleagues that every employee at West Monroe Partners, from someone who rarely travels for work to those that are on the road four or more days a week, could make an impact. Every mile counts towards making a wish come true. Every morning of the drive we sent an email blast with directions on how to donate. On the last day, we did “Power Hour” where we rallied everyone to donate as much as they could in the last hour.
We ended up raising over 1.5 MILLION AIRLINE MILES! This buys approximately 30 roundtrip tickets for wish kids and their families. Thank you West Monroe Partners for giving wishes wings™, and for helping make my wish come true, allowing me to bring my passion for philanthropy to work.
Do you want to get your corporate organization involved in granting wishes through an airline mileage drive? Visit http://akwa.wish.org/.