Monroe Bank & Trust

January 14, 2015
Points of Light Number: 
Monroe, Michigan
ENLIST volunteers participate in a range of
activities from helping out at fundraisers to
cooking, cleaning and serving at senior
Monroe Bank & Trust (MBT) may seem like just a community bank on the surface, but behind those doors lies a veritable army of altruists. In addition to MB&T’s more traditional role as community banker, with services ranging from providing consumer banking to operating one of the area’s largest wealth management groups, they are also the muscle behind ENLIST—Employees Now Linked in Service Together—a 30 year old corporate engagement volunteer program that is as well known within Monroe County, Michigan, as the bank itself.

The ENLIST program is partly a result of the nationwide reduction in funding to local nonprofits in the early 1980s. President and CEO Doug Chaffin explained that during that time, MBT was receiving a lot of requests for volunteer assistance from a number of local organizations. The then- bank president saw the opportunity to formalize the volunteer efforts that bank employees were already doing and establish an official corporate engagement program. ENLIST began in 1984 as a means to encourage employees to volunteer time and make a difference in their community. Says Chaffin, “The first year we had a little over 1,000 hours of service. And now we have over 9,000 hours of service every year.”

Today, the program averages 6,178 volunteer hours annually having donated more than 185,000 volunteer hours to various community-based causes since its inception.

ENLIST volunteers serve 365 days a year, supporting more than 300 local organizations. “It’s kind of a badge of honor for our employees to become ENLIST members,” says Senior Vice President of Marketing, John Betrus. “It’s certainly not required, but new employees come to the bank and hear stories about how rewarding the program has been to [the staff] personally. At this point, over 85 percent of our employees participate in ENLIST.” Also important to note is that employees do their volunteer work on their own time, after work and mostly on weekends.

And MBT makes it easy to join the program. ENLIST coordinator Diana Lingle says that while she always had an interest in volunteerism, she didn’t know quite how to start before joining the team at MBT. “I signed on within the first month of starting,” she explains. “Volunteering was always something I was interested in but never had a way to start. The bank made it easy to jump on board and get into the community to help out.”

Most employees start right away at time of employment. New employees have the option of joining on their start date or can opt in at any point down the line. Says Betrus, “Many of the employees already know about ENLIST before they start. They find that it’s a lot of fun and they really kind of become addicted to volunteerism.”