When Enterprise recently worked with United Way to put together snack packs at Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, it wasn’t enough to set a goal on the overall number of packs to put together for the women and children there. The group was broken into teams, with a contest and prizes for the most productive volunteers.
“We’re super competitive,” said Kaniche Bennett, NC group generalist manager for Enterprise Holdings in Charlotte. “It’s just part of our culture, we strive to be the best at everything we do.”
They’re also highly decentralized, with each regional team given the freedom to structure their United Way partnership in the way that will best resonate with the branch staff. To balance this flexibility with the company’s larger philanthropic goals, Enterprise brings a United Way staff member and partner agency representative to each quarterly managers meeting to discuss a key issue that Enterprise is addressing through United Way.
“What I really appreciate about our United Way partnership is that the relationship managers provide us with great direction, yet at the same time great customization,” Bennett said. “They really get to know us personally.”
Enterprise also has a high percentage of employees fresh out of college who may not be as familiar with local community needs, so Bennett worked with United Way to fill knowledge gaps – educating staff on what United Way does, why Enterprise has partnered with local United Ways for more than 60 years and what impact that produces in each market.
“It’s one thing to help those in need, and that’s the first reason we get involved,” Bennett said. “But when there’s also a personal benefit in terms of leadership and educational opportunities, that really helps Enterprise develop our staff. I’m so proud to see them getting entrenched in the community.”