CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dozens of Wells Fargo employees in the Queen City gathered in Uptown on Sept. 13 for a unique “Flash Philanthropy” event, where old fashioned networking and technology combined to benefit more than a dozen local LGBT organizations.
Wells Fargo’s employee affinity groups, including the Pride Team Member Network for LGBT employees, each invited a non-profit organization of their choice to the event. The Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) and the Levine Museum of the New South, which is working to bring an LGBT-themed exhibit to town in the next couple years, were among the organizations represented.
Each group set up informational tables and, in the highlight of the event, competed to win a $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo. Employees were treated to 60-second mini-presentations from each group. At the end of the presentations, employees used their cell phones to cast votes for the group they thought should win the $10,000 grant. The Arts and Science Council wowed the crowd with song and dance. RAIN’s Jaysen Foreman, coordinator of the group’s Empowering Positive Youth program, shared his story and the reasons he now works in HIV/AIDS care. Though RAIN came in second, it was Kenneth, a child actor who portrayed the story of a young client of A Child’s Place, whose presentation won over the crowd. A Child’s Place, founded in 1989, works to support homeless children and their families.
No organization went away empty handed; each invited were given a $1,000 grant. The program was part of Wells Fargo’s nationwide month-long Community Support and United Way Campaign in September. The annual campaign raised $60.5 million for more than 25,000 non-profit groups and schools across the country last year. Charlotte-area Wells Fargo employees raised $9.7 million last year and hoped to reach a goal of $10 million this year. : :