EN
Ask an expert
Purpose Hero Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels

Director, Global Mobility and Employee Community Engagement
Guidewire Software
Guidewire Software
United States

Share:

  • corporate social responsibility
  • volunteering
  • employee engagement

Purpose hero

Mark Daniels is the Director, Global Mobility and Employee Community Engagement of Guidewire Software, a company that provides software for property and casualty insurance markets. This includes renters insurance, housing insurance, car insurance — anything that protects against a catastrophe or crisis. Guidewire Software operates in 17 countries, with 3,300 employees and locations in the U.S., Ireland, Poland, Canada, India and Malaysia.

As part of the People team at Guidewire, Mark helps employees find their purpose and guides them in creating meaningful communities outside their work groups. He’s passionate about connecting people across different geographies and cultures with programming, laughter and food (ask him about his first attempt at rice noodles).

 

DS GGB Denver crop

Purpose program

Guidewire Gives Back is the company’s community impact program. Six years ago, it began as a volunteer-based program and employees were given three days off each year to volunteer. Mark’s role was to find engaging ways for their people to donate their time. 

As their program evolved, they decided to include a financial component. In October 2020, at the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Guidewire launched its employee-giving program with Benevity. They didn’t anticipate what would happen next. 

Adding the financial component as well as the tools within the Benevity Spark platform has been a game changer in bringing our Guidewire employees together, both for volunteering and the excitement around our giving programs.

— Mark Daniels, Director, Global Mobility and Employee Community Engagement, Guidewire Software

With Benevity, Guidewire started a traditional donation matching program. Guidewire also partnered with other parts of its organization to create community impact. Through their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and employee resource groups (ERGs), they’ve built on their volunteer events and donation opportunities.

Based on Benevity’s recommendation, Guidewire initiated new hire seeding, which allows new employees to engage with the program as soon as their onboarding orientation and make their first donation. They’ve seen incredible year-over-year results as their people become increasingly involved.

 

Allemany Farm Feb 2022 GGB crop

In times of uncertainty, corporate purpose programs create impact

The program budget for Guidewire Gives Back was created pre-pandemic before March 2020, with plans for large and in-person volunteering events. Fast forward to October 2020, and they were at a crossroads: defer the program launch or forge ahead? Mark strongly believed they should move forward. And while he couldn’t quite imagine virtual volunteering, he figured they could still build community through individual action and people coming together online.

So Guidewire was able to pivot. They depended heavily on Benevity’s resources and client community to get ideas and learn what other companies were doing. (See Benevity’s Virtual Volunteering Guide for resources to help you take your volunteer program virtual.) 

 

Coming into the Benevity community at that time was very fortuitous so we could have the insight of everyone else trying to reinvent how we volunteer during the pandemic.

— Mark Daniels, Director, Global Mobility and Employee Community Engagement, Guidewire Software

 

Many people and companies were in need during this time and there was a swell of employee interest in contributing financial donations. Guidewire launched their matching gift program and their employees saw the obvious appeal: give $100 to the food bank and it becomes $200. Their people appreciated increasing their impact by giving through their workplace program.

DS GGB Denver 2 crop

Set realistic goals when starting your program  

Mark admits he is a "glass-half-full" kind of guy and can be overly optimistic regarding goal setting. "If I'm just excited enough, I'll get people to do it," he says. He found that new programs take time to adopt and grow.

He advises understanding your people, locations and work culture to set meaningful stretch goals. Even if you only get 5% to 10% of your employees to volunteer the first year, it can be something to celebrate. He adds the key is to keep chipping away to drive those participation numbers and suggests getting your message to people in multiple ways so they know the program exists.

“Understand that this type of program is not going to appeal to everyone, but it appeals to many,” says Mark. “And at the end of the day, it’s about engaging your employees and building a meaningful community.” 

 

GGB event horses 1 crop

Program evolution and impact

While Guidewire’s overall giving budget remains unchanged, Mark will focus on bringing employee engagement and action into how they spend their budget. After the first year of their program, they analyzed the types of organizations that were important to their employees. They saw that, overwhelmingly, they aligned around education and “communities in crisis.”

As a company, they’ve made corporate donations aligned with their strategic pillars and continued to match employee donations. As they head into 2023, they’re also looking for ways to increase their people’s volunteer time through volunteer rewards.

 

For each hour they volunteer, employees receive a donation credit they can give to the charity of their choice. The program has been very popular because employees feel engaged to volunteer and then they can make a donation that doesn’t impact their personal finances.

— Mark Daniels, Director, Global Mobility and Employee Community Engagement, Guidewire Software

 

Guidewire has also tried to encourage and communicate a broad definition of volunteering. A volunteer action could be picking up groceries for a next-door neighbor or another small act of kindness like providing tech support for your child’s online classroom. People may not automatically see these as volunteer time, but their company is trying to capture and celebrate these actions going forward — every bit helps.

Share:

Have a question for our Heroes? 

Ask an expert

Or check out

feature_img

Benevity’s 2024 Corporate Goodness Awards Celebrate Groundbreakers in Social Imp...

Benevity’s 2024 Corporate Goodness Awards Celebrate Groundbreakers in Social Impact. Awards recognize purpose-driven brands for their extraordinary approac...

feature_img

Partnering for Crisis Relief to Amplify Impact

In this webinar, you'll learn best practices for partnering with nonprofits and other organizations in times of crisis, ways to take action and provide rel...

feature_img

Announcing the 2024 Goodie Awards Winners

See the 2024 winners of Benevity's Corporate Goodness Awards, aka The Goodies and learn how these outstanding companies are driving awe-inspiring impact.

Learn more about Benevity

Meet more heroes

Michael Duncan

Michael Duncan

NatWest

Royaume-Uni
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Ressources humaines
Natacha Reymond

Natacha Reymond

EHL

Suisse
  • Développement durable
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
Juliette Sarrail

Juliette Sarrail

SCOR

France
  • Ressources humaines
  • Engagement des employés
  • Programme international
Erin LaBarge

Erin LaBarge

SAP

États-Unis
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Engagement des employés
  • Volontariat
Daniel Gibbs

Daniel Gibbs

NatWest

Royaume-Uni
  • Développement durable
  • Engagement des employés
Justine Tabarin

Justine Tabarin

Criteo

France
  • Développement durable
  • Engagement des employés
  • Programme international
Celeste Leverton

Celeste Leverton

Coutts

Royaume-Uni
  • Volontariat
Sarah Robinet

Sarah Robinet

Université de Liège

Belgique
  • Développement durable
  • Méthodes de communication
Konstantinia Tsakalou

Konstantinia Tsakalou

Criteo

France
  • Inclusion
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Programme international
Danielle Bryner

Danielle Bryner

L'Oréal en Suisse

Suisse
  • Développement durable
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Engagement des employés
  • Volontariat
Flavie Deprez

Flavie Deprez

Carenews

France
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Méthodes de communication
Nina Zellweger

Nina Zellweger

Nexthink

Suisse
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Engagement des employés
  • Volontariat
  • Programme international
Sage Milton

Sage Milton

Duck Creek

États-Unis
  • Développement durable
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Programme international
Robin alexander

Robin alexander

GeoComply

Royaume-Uni
  • Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises
  • Programme international
  • Méthodes de communication
Meet more heroes