CPC Spotlight: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
April 14, 2020
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has a long history of philanthropy and giving back to the community. Elizabeth Nkuo Johnson, the company’s Director of Corporate Giving is in just the perfect position to bring her personal commitment to philanthropy and volunteering to her work. Johnson, who has been with the organization for more than 20 years, says, “The great thing about BlueCross is we have been working in the community for as long as I’ve been there, and long before I arrived. Corporate giving and volunteering is an ingrained part of our corporate culture.”
Making It Easy for Everyone to Give Back
When giving back is a valued part of company culture, employees are given the encouragement and the time they need to serve. All the current and past CEO’s have seen the needs in the world around them and felt compelled to try to make positive changes. When those values come from the top across eras, everyone wins. “Giving is a part of our culture at BlueCross,” says Johnson. “Walk around our offices and you see evidence of this every day – posters advertising fundraisers for jeans days, and bake sales. The company and its employees give back without hesitation.”
Johnson is inspired by one of our core beliefs here at CCCF, that everyone can be a philanthropist. “We try to support employees who want to give back, and give them the time and information to do that.” During an internal social enterprise campaign last year, Johnson and her team introduced four new nonprofits to everyone in the company. They let them know what those nonprofits do, who they serve, and what needs they had. After a lot of people stepped up to the plate during the campaign to get more involved, they’ve decided to continue the tradition this year, highlighting new nonprofits and opportunities.
BlueCross BlueShield: Familiar Faces in the Community
If you’ve ever served on a nonprofit board here in the Midlands, you’ve probably served with someone from BlueCross! The passion employees bring to this service also gives the company a leg up when they’re making decisions about corporate giving. “We have a long history of supporting various causes, and employees who are involved with different organizations are a great resource for us when it comes to giving and getting involved. They can identify specific needs and also tell us more about how our gift will be used.”
In addition to taking the time to serve on boards, employees at BlueCross are encouraged to volunteer when and where they see fit. During last April’s Day of Service, the company offered employees the chance to spend the day working for others. Volunteering is valuable in its own right, but the event also brought people together. Just over 300 employees, some of whom had never met in person, worked side by side at about 25 different sites for the greater good.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated several states, BlueCross stepped up to provide shelter and financial support to victims of one of the deadliest natural disasters in the history of this country. They also sent employees to volunteer, and Johnson went to work in a shelter in the Plaquemines Parish in New Orleans, where flooding was extensive and residents had been evacuated. She saw it as a turning point for the company, “When Katrina happened, so many people stepped up, at BlueCross and beyond. The desire to be compassionate was clear. We volunteered, we housed people, we sent employees to help.”
Strength in Numbers
A company culture of giving magnifies what individual volunteers are able to accomplish. And the kind of support and encouragement BlueCross offers makes a difference. We’re proud to count them as one of our Corporate Philanthropy Champions.