Best CSR Leader/Company

Bank’s service to military community earns top honors

Pioneer Services offers financial services to military families, but its donations back to the community are what truly make this company shine.

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Leaders lead by example, and that is what Pioneer Services, a division of MidCountry Bank that provides financial services to the United States Armed Forces, does when it comes to corporate social responsibility.

For its ongoing dedication to its community and customers, Pioneer Services earned top honors in the Best CSR Leader/Company category of PR Daily’s 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.

What sets Pioneer Services apart is its year-round commitment to service. Throughout the year, Pioneer donates time, money, and expertise to military families, as well as the larger community. Pioneer’s dedication to its community isn’t just a task on a to-do list—it’s embedded in the company’s spirit.

The gift of time

Pioneer’s dedication to the community begins at its heart—its corporate culture. Pioneer gives each full-time employee two days per year of “volunteer time off”—two paid days off that employees can use to volunteer at any organization they like. Part-time employees get one day. 

To help employees determine where they’d like to spend their time, Pioneer has a Volunteer Committee that provides information about various organizations to employees based on their interests. Some of the organizations Pioneer employees have donated time to are Operation Breakthrough, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, among others.

Many Pioneer employees also hold leadership positions in civic and nonprofit organizations, such as the Truman Medical Center Foundation, the National World War I Museum, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Sharing expertise

As a financial services provider for military personnel, the Pioneer team understands the life and needs of a military family. Pioneer offers free financial education through a variety of means so military families can learn about finances in a way that is most convenient for them. Pioneer offers one-on-one consultations, various websites, videos, and podcasts.

For example, when the Pioneer team learned that the Department of Defense consistently lists service members’ money problems as the primary obstacle in preparing to serve, the company wanted to help. It created the Pioneer Education Podcast series, or Financial PEP Talk, and regularly adds the podcasts and videos to its YouTube channel.  

The PEP Talks are three- to seven-minute videos each focused on a different topic. Topics include how to repair your credit score, how to reduce debt, and the military lending market.

The gift of money

Pioneer also supports various causes through financial giving and fundraising. One example is the company’s Operation Building Freedom Facebook campaign. The campaign’s goal was to raise money for Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds homes for disabled veterans. Pioneer donated $0.50 for every Facebook user who “liked” the campaign, and matched all donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000.

Pioneer also helped found the Warrior Center and Park University, where veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan can earn college degrees. Pioneer’s CEO, Tom Holcrom, and UMB Bank together contributed $100,000 to build the center.

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