U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States, today announced the official launch of the Community Possible Relay, a nationwide initiative aimed to inspire 153,000+ volunteers across the country to take part in rebuilding and revitalizing their communities. The three-month, 12,000 mile relay will include volunteer activities centered around work, home and play, the three focus areas of the bank's new corporate giving and volunteer program, Community Possible. The relay will visit 38 communities across 25 states.
"We're challenging all Americans and businesses to join us in this massive collective effort to revitalize the spirit of community in our Race to 153k – representing 1,000 volunteers for every year U.S. Bank has been in business," said Richard Davis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Bank. "We invite everyone to help build and support vibrant communities by volunteering and giving back. This relay symbolizes our dedication to bringing back community volunteerism in America. By working together, we can and will make a difference."
The relay is an unprecedented community revitalization program. It represents U.S. Bank's dedication, in part, to addressing the reported 25 to 50 percent decline in volunteerism that has taken place over the last four decades1. The bank hopes to inspire a wave of volunteerism and community engagement with a "mobile baton" that will drive across the country making stops throughout the summer, issuing a call-to-action for people to join U.S. Bank volunteers and help give back to their communities.
Meet the relay team
The relay will be complete with a coach bus wrapped with Community Possible branding. Two U.S. Bank team captains and philanthropic enthusiasts, Dixcy Sulistyo and Jibreel Black, will join their dedicated driver, John Matthews, for this cross-country road trip. Dixcy, Jibreel and local U.S. Bank teams will issue volunteer challenges in each community, including participating in workplace education and skills training, teaching financial education, refurbishing homes and cleaning up parks and recreational spaces. People across the country are encouraged to join the movement by volunteering in their community, challenging others to do the same and sharing volunteer stories with the hashtag #CommunityPossible.
The relay started at the U.S. Bank OC Marathon, April 29-May 1 and the last stop will be at the end of July in Minneapolis. The mobile baton will make stops in Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland, St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, Cincinnati and many others throughout the tour. To track the relay and learn how to get involved, follow U.S. Bank's social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #CommunityPossible.
Data shows decline in volunteerism
As part of the relay development, U.S. Bank conducted a survey of American citizens to identify the immediate challenges and areas of need. The results revealed declining levels of community involvement. According to the data, a mere 31 percent of Americans have been involved in local volunteer efforts since the start of 2016. The data also showed that most people don’t volunteer because they don’t want to do it alone (42 percent) or they don’t know how to get involved (39 percent). As an alternative, 29 percent are simply donating money instead of time.
U.S. Bank conducted the Community Possible Survey to learn more about the types of efforts they should support by asking Americans what volunteer efforts would most benefit their local community. More than half (52 percent) chose "home" volunteer efforts, such as building or refurbishing homes; 50 percent chose "work" volunteer efforts, such as providing residents with skills for the modern workplace; and 41 percent chose "play" volunteer efforts, such as building or cleaning up playgrounds.
"Community is built through the hundreds of little and big actions we take every day, but civic and social involvement across the United States continues to decline1," said Reba Dominski, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. "That's why we're providing a platform for Americans to start reversing the trend by bringing people together and building relationships between local organizations and their volunteers. Through Community Possible, we are bringing our commitment to community and service to life, and paying it forward. We pledge to invest our time, resources and passion to building and supporting communities that allow every person to work toward their possible."
1 The U.S. Bancorp survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,005 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between April 14 and April 18, 2016, using an email invitation and online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population ages 18+. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
Susan Beatty, U.S. Bank