Timberland knows what it means to give back and serve others. Just this April, the company clocked in their millionth hour in volunteering, and today they launched their annual Serv-a-palooza event that is 17 years running.
This year, the brand joined forces with CrowdRise, a digital fundraising platform founded by actor and philanthropist, Edward Norton, to give their loyal customers the opportunity to get involved and raise money for a cause that they believe in.
We spoke with Atlanta McIlwraith, Senior Manager Community Engagement of Timberland to find out how much volunteering means to the company, herself and what she hopes can be achieved through this challenge.
How did this idea come about and why partner with CrowdRise?
For 17 years, Timberland has held its annual Serv-a-palooza event, a global celebration of our company’s commitment to volunteerism. It’s a great event that supports employees worldwide in using their 40 paid volunteer hours on a larger scale. Providing employees with paid time to serve and leveraging events like Serv-a-palooza to engage employees has been so successful that we recently surpassed a milestone of serving one million hours. If one company can do this, imagine what volunteers outside of our company could do.
When we decided to bring this to consumers, partnering with CrowdRise made the most sense. It’s an innovative digital fundraising platform used by some of the most prestigious causes, including the Boston Marathon, American Red Cross, UNICEF and others. It allows people to raise money for the causes they support in a secure way. We’re doing something a little different that hasn’t been done before - we’re encouraging consumers to get out and volunteer for an organization of their choice, and give them the opportunity to also fundraise while recruiting additional volunteers and donors. We’re calling it “sponsored volunteerism."
Timberland employees are usually the ones volunteering, how important is it to get Timberland's loyal fans involved?
For us, it’s about serving the communities where we do business and scaling our impact. If our employees alone can serve one million hours, imagine what we can do if we get our fans involved!
What type of volunteering have you done with Timberland?
We had all types of projects from restoring garden beds for our local area food bank to building an outdoor classroom for a local elementary school near our headquarters in New Hampshire. Another big project for us is planting trees in areas of the world that need it the most. In China’s Horqin desert, Timberland is close to planting its two millionth tree.
What do you hope will be the long-term goal with the Timberland Serv-a-Palooza Challenge?
Our commitment to community is part of Timberland’s DNA. Ultimately, we want to scale our impact by inviting consumers to engage in their own communities and support causes that speak to their passions. The Timberland Serv-a-palooza Challenge with CrowdRise is one way to share our commitment and encourage others to make their own.
Head to Timberland's CrowdRise page to sign up for the challenge and see how many bonus challenges you can complete.