In this series, we're going to talk to Mid-Missouri community leaders about the causes they support and why it's so important that they involve their business in the community and give back. In the first post of the series, we'll talk to Jayne Dunkmann of Jefferson Bank of Missouri.
Featuring Jayne Dunkmann, Director of Marketing at Jefferson Bank of Missouri
How long have you been working in this industry and for your particular business?
Nine years in banking and nine years at Jefferson Bank. TEN YEAR anniversary coming up!
What causes do you support as a business?
While so many assume that marketing is about advertising and promoting our services, one of our focuses at Jefferson Bank continues to revolve around giving back to our community. Not just dollars, but volunteer hours.
Can you tell us a little bit more about them and your experience supporting them? (i.e. what you do, why, how you’ve partnered, how do you get your employees involved, etc.)
Currently Jefferson Bank employees hold board positions and serve as volunteers for over 60 organizations in the Jefferson City area. One of the obvious includes the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce. Our employees serve not only on the Chamber Board, but are also encouraged to offer time during bank hours as committee chairs and volunteers. This service to the Chamber often extends beyond banking hours, but is considered valuable to our business. Time served on committees and attending events organized by the Chamber provides an excellent platform for building relationships with local business owners, other chamber members, and local residents.
Hardly a week goes by that our employees are not presented the opportunity to attend an event or offer a lending hand to event planning committees.
How did you, as a business decision maker, decide which causes to support?
At Jefferson Bank our employees are always welcome to present requests asking to volunteer for charities or causes for which they have passion. One of my favorite stories involves a young mom who fosters dogs (on her own time) and is a proponent of our local animal shelter. She has been involved personally with fundraising efforts and as a representative of Jefferson Bank.
Tell us about a particular time where your business supported a cause or partnered with an organization and made a difference. What did you learn from this? How did it help your community? How did it help your business?
When it comes to monetary gifts, Jefferson Bank limits asking employees to give to multiple charities throughout the year. However, as a pacesetter for United Way, Jefferson Bank not only encourages employee giving, but also involvement. Our bank teams take to the streets for the Buddy Pack Program (food for kids during the summer), Days of Caring (committing time at United Way agencies) and participating in on site FUNraising and events for the purpose to raise as much as we can as a United Way Pacesetter organization.
In 2013, 2014, 2015, for example, Jefferson Bank along with the help of our employees have raised over $50,000 each year, through payroll deduction and fundraising. I have attached a few fun photos of United Way FUNraising. Former President, Dick Wilson kissed a pig for charity, bank execs Roger Dudenhoeffer (EVP), Ken Theroff (President, CEO) and Chris Wood (SVP) teamed up to raise money for a United Way Carwash (a Fechtel Beverage Truck was in need of a good cleaning), and most recently we hosted a rock, paper, and scissor tournament on Jefferson Bank’s main campus to help United Way reach it’s 2015 campaign goal.
Have you ever participated in cause marketing? (Where you align your marketing with your community causes.) If yes, can you tell us a little bit about that?
I think banks have been participants in cause marketing long before coining of the phrase! Once per year we ask our employees to donate either time or dollars to the United Way campaign. We share activities during the campaign on our Facebook page to help encourage other community members to consider giving. As with any marketing campaign, we hope the alignment of our brand with “giving” will bring customers to our bank.
What kind of positive impact has cause marketing or direct community involvement had on your business?
It is our belief that our community involvement is directly attributable to the success of our brand. We try not to show bias to one cause and ask all our employees to share their passions about organizations that are near and dear to them.
How have you involved your employees in these causes?
We recently lost a co-worker and friend to a heart attack and rallied as a team in the American Heart Association Heart Walk. In many cases, we tend to utilize social media to share employee involvement.
What impact has that had on your business?
That is tough to measure…“The results of philanthropy are always beyond calculation.” Quote from Mary Ritter Beard, advocate for women’s rights, 1876.
Do you think it’s important for local businesses to support a cause or charity? Why?
A recent article stated that 60% of consumers state that buying goods and services from “socially-responsible” businesses is important to them. According to the survey, most Americans care about buying products from companies that “do good” in the world. Here at Jefferson Bank, we contend that consumers recognize that we “do good” in the community. So, yes, I think it is important to support multiple causes.
How do you think being viewed as a community leader has impacted you professionally?
Although my job is very fulfilling at Jefferson Bank, the ability to volunteer as part of my job is a blessing. In the coming year, I will have the privilege to co-chair the upcoming United Way campaign. I am grateful that Jefferson Bank is willing to share my time (the bank’s time and my talent) with United Way to help in the success of the 2016 fundraising campaign.
How does that impact me? For me, volunteering is very fulfilling and helping others goes way beyond my job as Marketing Director at Jefferson Bank. (MY job at the bank is equally fulfilling…I get to do a lot of fun stuff.) United Way is a far-reaching organization; from the agencies they support to the businesses that give and then back to the people that benefit from the many services. My involvement with United Way will certainly present residual benefits for the Jefferson Bank brand.
What advice can you give other business leaders looking to become more involved in cause marketing or the local community? What have you learned or what would you advise them to do / remember / etc.?
President Calvin Coolidge said it best, “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” It is always rewarding to give to our beautiful community. I believe Jefferson Bank realizes great reward as a result of our continued support and involvement. Businesses that give will surely make a lasting impression to neighbors and friends.
What advice would you give to new and emerging business leaders who want to be seen or known as a leader in their community?
There are many ways to get involved without adding cost to your budget. Where there are large events, there are many volunteers. The relationships you foster when volunteering alongside others in the community not only help you make new friends, but valuable customers.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Another large event I have had the pleasure of chairing is the Salute to America Celebration on July 4th. Businesses can donate to the festival or volunteer time during the event. It is the largest event in Jefferson City with an estimated attendance of 40,000 people. Free entertainment and fireworks are available to all who attend thanks to the gratuitous business leaders and volunteers in our community.
Last, Jefferson Bank will celebrate our 50 YEAR Anniversary in 2017. Almost 50 years ago (early 70’s) one or our first causes was the Sheltered Workshop. Volunteers from our Jefferson Bank family helped to raise funds to build a new building after the flood of 1973 destroyed the Sheltered Workshop facility. Through the efforts and fundraising of many bank family members, Capitol Project’s (Sheltered Workshop) new building was established. Today, Jefferson Bank still hosts a Christmas party for the staff of Capitol Projects.