Lending a hand Featured

10:43am EDT January 3, 2012
Lending a hand

As a person committed to community involvement himself, Stuart Aitken, CEO of dunnhumbyUSA, a consumer data analysis company, allows employees to choose what programs and organizations they get behind as a business.

The philosophy has lead to the formation of the company’s Helping Hands program in 2006. The mission is to organize and support activities for dunnhumby employees and their families, allowing them to make a difference to local communities through their gifts of time, talent and financial contributions. The program has been so successful in Cincinnati that dunnhumbyUSA’s offices in Chicago, Atlanta and New York actively participate in national and local activities.

The program has grown so much and garnered so much support from employees that it is a part of the company culture and is now being developed in the company’s global offices. One of the key differentiations of the Helping Hands program is that employees vote to select the charities that the company will support for the year. In the fall, charities are nominated by employees and put to vote. The charities must be recognized by the IRS, maximize the financial resources of the company and provide opportunities for everyone to volunteer.

Employee participation runs Helping Hands. A team is assigned to manage the relationship with each charitable organization to determine where the need is, establish goals and accomplish great things for all involved.

In 2011, dunnhumby focused on seven charities: American Cancer Society, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, SPCA Cincinnati, Freestore Foodbank, Ronald McDonald House, Drop Inn Center and Women Helping Women. Since October 2010 to the end of 2011 about half of dunnhumby’s 450 employees have participated in Helping Hands events, the group has organized 18 events in that time, approximately 1,340 volunteer hours were recorded, and $45,000 was awarded to charities the company supports through fundraising and corporate donations.

HOW TO REACH: dunnhumby USA, (513) 632-1020 or www.dunnhumby.com/us