Super Service Challenge: A Wonderful Concept for Corporate Philanthropy!
I was recently invited to a reception called the Super Service Challenge through The Salvation Army's involvement with DEFENDER. This outstanding Indianapolis-based company provides a model example of philanthropy for others to follow. It believes in having its employees engage with a variety of charities, providing much needed services to the communities they serve. Employees are encouraged to be philanthropic and are given four days off each year with pay, as long as time off results in volunteerism.
I must admit I did not know what to expect at the reception. What I witnessed was a wonderful concept and tribute to those who believe in helping others.
In 2011, Dave Lindsey, founder of DEFENDER, created the Super Service Challenge. This challenge helped direct company donations to the projects and causes that mattered to his employees in a meaningful way. Lindsey noticed that employees serving together to help others changed the way employees viewed each other and had a positive impact on company morale. As he put it, "DEFENDER transformed from a giving company to a company of givers." In the first year, 80 teams participated to give $200,000 to charity.
In 2012, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees partnered with the Super Service Challenge through the Brees Dream Foundation and agreed to be its national spokesperson. He took the challenge to New Orleans. This growth resulted in 250 teams engaged to give $1 million to a variety of nonprofits. Through his leadership, a local effort became national in scope over time. This resulted in having over 700 companies from 42 states participating.
In 2013, more than 2,200 teams submitted service projects, and $1.6 million was given away to nonprofits. Partnerships were developed with 9/11 Day of Service, A Billion Plus Change, Brees Dream and Points of Light. A variety of national celebrities such as Justin Tuck, Michael Strahan, Clark Kellogg, Katie Couric, Hoda Kotb and Hunter Smith, as well as prominent media including CNN, ESPN, "Today Show," Fox News, The Huffington Post and USA Today promoted this effort.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.