By Jennifer Hartmann, VP of People & Culture

This summer MyVest embarked on an ambitious Summer Of Giving program. This began as an idea for driving COVID-19 relief volunteerism, then, following the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, we expanded the scope to combating racial injustice and inequality. 

We kicked off the program in June with donations to the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, non-profit organizations combating racial injustice in the criminal justice system.

The next step was to encourage MyVestors themselves to take action over the summer. We created #summerofgiving on Slack to share our volunteering, philanthropy, and inspirations with one another. We also launched a VTO (Volunteer Time Off) program to support this work, giving each team member an additional three days off over the summer for volunteer activities.

MyVestors took action by fundraising, donating, and volunteering their time in support of organizations that work for racial justice and equality, close the achievement gap for disadvantaged people, support those most impacted by COVID-19, and so much more.

A sample of the team’s activities:

  • Volunteering in food banks
  • Making remote-learning-friendly flash cards for school teachers in underserved schools
  • Organizing marches for justice
  • Taking at-risk kids horseback riding
  • Providing free veterinary care & supplies to pet owners in need
  • Sharing our stories of long associations with organizations working to address financial, social, and educational inequities 

All of this activity culminated with each MyVestor voting on which of the organizations would receive a donation from MyVest, as well as a personal donation from CEO Anton Honikman. The two organizations receiving the most votes: 

  1. ShelterTech, helping those experiencing homelessness gain critical access to technology. This organization is particularly close to home for MyVestors, as it was co-founded by our own Joe Freund
  2. Farmworkers’ Covid-19 Pandemic Relief Fund, protecting essential farm workers, particularly migrant women, as they work during the pandemic to keep food on our tables. We love that this non-profit was suggested by our CEO’s son.

Our goal for this summer was to make a positive impact on our communities and the world at large, and to spark a stronger sense of philanthropy and action-oriented outreach among MyVestors. It was certainly a challenging time — to say the least — to start a program like this, but we are so proud of what our team has accomplished and we look forward to continuing the momentum! 

We’re also excited to share that this initiative has been nominated for a 2020 MMI/Barron’s Industry Award in the “Doing Good” category.