Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Kicks-off Third Year of Skills-Based Volunteer Program
35 Blue Cross associates with critical business skill sets paired with 11 nonprofits to strengthen organizational effectiveness

BOSTON — July 9, 2013 — Thirty-five Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) associates with highly sought after business skills have been selected to help 11 local nonprofits improve their organizational effectiveness. Known as BCBSMA's Skills-Based Volunteer Program, associates are paired with community organizations based on their expertise/skill sets, to help the organizations address critical business needs ranging from recruiting and retention, controlling costs while expanding programs and services, to refining key organizational processes.

"Nonprofit organizations are in need of professional resources with specialized skill sets, but often don't have the funding to staff these positions," said Jeff Bellows, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship at BCBSMA. "This program was designed to strategically match the expertise of BCBSMA's associates with the business needs of our community partners - providing them with the resources they need to thrive and benefit the Massachusetts community. Volunteering with these great organizations also gives our associates an opportunity to continue to grow professionally."

The program's 2013 nonprofit partners and projects include:

  • Codman Square Health Center— helping the community-based health care center optimize its phone systems to enhance reporting capabilities and deliver high-quality customer service to patients.
  • Crossroads for Kids— evaluating and refining the group's employee handbook, onboarding practices, benefit offerings, and organizational structure.
  • Domestic Violence Ended, Inc.— building a model to assess program revenues and developing key elements of a financial policies and procedures manual.
  • Families First Parenting Programs, Inc.— evaluating and streamlining the organization's processes for effectively scheduling parenting workshops.
  • Greater Boston Interfaith Organization— assisting in refining its human capital strategy and enhancing employee recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Interfaith Social Services — assessing financial systems and identifying opportunities to enhance cash handling, financial tracking, and security processes.
  • Old Colony YMCA, Stoughton (OCYMCA) — developing a comprehensive approach to recruiting, retaining and rewarding he organization's volunteers.
  • Playworks— analyzing the portfolio of Playworks services and making recommendations that will help control costs and foster program expansion.
  • Roxbury Youthworks, Inc.— refining the organization's approach to gathering, analyzing, and using outcomes data from its programs.
  • The Kenneth B. Schwartz Center— conducting value analysis of multiple data systems.
  • West End House Boys and Girls Club— evaluating the organization's human capital strategy and identifying opportunities to build career development paths and opportunities.

"We are so excited to be part of BCBSMA's Skills-Based Volunteer Program this year," said Ellen Greene, Associate Executive Director of the Old Colony YMCA, Stoughton. "As a non-profit, cause driven organization, the Stoughton Old Colony Y impacts many in our community through healthy living, youth development and social responsibility. BCBSMA is a great partner in our quest to strengthen our community. The Program has provided the Y with a team of high level BCBSMA associates with expertise and skills that will help us better engage our volunteers, from recruitment, to training, to tracking and more. Together we make a difference!"

"I've been a longtime supporter of the OCYMCA," said Michelle L. Bleakley, Senior Manager of IT and Operations at BCBSMA. "When I enrolled my kids in the summer camp program it was then that I first realized the positive impact the OCYMCA has on kids by promoting healthy minds and bodies for children from all walks of life. Since then I've been an advocate and volunteer. The Skills-Based Volunteer Program at BCBSMA was a wonderful opportunity and a natural fit. I've recruited and trained staff as well as championed ways to recognize and reward high performers in the past and I look forward to continuing to do so and share best practices to increase volunteerism."

Previous nonprofit organizations supported through BCBSMA's Skills-Based Volunteer Program include: Community ServingsCrittenton Women's UnionFranklin Park CoalitionGirls LEAPHorizons for Homeless ChildrenJeanne Geiger Crisis CenterMassachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), Peer Health ExchangeWomen's Lunch Place and YMCA Training, Inc.

As the largest community-focused, taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan in Massachusetts, BCBSMA has a strong commitment to the community. In 2012 alone, associates contributed more than 26,600 volunteer service hours to nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth. Additionally, the company contributed more than $1.6 billion to the Massachusetts economy and gave $5.1 million in philanthropic contributions to more than 500 nonprofit organizations. To learn more about BCBSMA's Corporate Citizenship efforts, visit BlueCrew @ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts on Facebook or our annual pdf Corporate Citizenship Report.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ( is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality.

For further information: CONTACT: Jenna McPhee (617) 246-7412