Trend-breaking employee campaign raises nearly $2.5 million

Two-thirds of Regence workers participate in annual giving effort

PORTLAND – Regence employees smashed last year’s giving campaign record and bucked a national trend that threatens charitable giving in hard times. Despite the dismal economic outlook – or perhaps because of it – Regence employees reached deep to contribute more than $1.64 million. Combined with the company’s 50 percent match, local communities will receive a total of $2.47 million. That’s up from 2007’s record of $1.56 million.

“Regence has been serving our communities for more than 60 years,” said Mark Ganz, Regence president and CEO. “I’m proud of our employees who continue that commitment to community when the need is greater than ever.”

Participation was up also this year, as 67 percent of employees contributed. “That is well above the national trend,” said Nita Kirby, Director of Client Relations for JK Group, one of the world’s largest corporate philanthropic services. “The standard participation rate for a company of Regence’s size in a normal economy is 27 to 30 percent. In a down economy, that rate drops to 20 to 25 percent.”

Online donation and expanding to all 501(c) 3 organizations boosted employee giving two years in a row, bolstered by incentives and departmental rivalries with big stakes. Executives agreed to clean out refrigerators, wash cars and lip-synch to rock music – complete with wigs and costumes – to encourage participation.

Nearly 1,400 charities will benefit from employee pledges. Major recipients include local food banks, United Way chapters and Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, among others.

About Regence
Regence is a leading health insurer in the Northwest / Mountain State Region, offering health, life and dental insurance. We serve nearly three million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit regence.com.