There is no such thing as a typical day for Dani DeBoice.
Running between fundraising events, meetings and her office, she tackles big social issues such as children’s literacy one moment, homelessness the next and everything in between from education and the environment to hunger and the arts. And she’s not even in politics. In fact, she works for a bank.
As manager of corporate citizenship for First Calgary Savings – a credit union with the philosophy of “leading, learning and living in our city” – DeBoice pushes the limits of the company’s corporate social responsibility by following that mantra wholeheartedly. It’s also part of the reason she has her hand in so many causes.
“I love the city and I love having the opportunity to help make it a better place everyday,” says the born-and-raised Calgarian.
Armed with a job that gives her the licence to “give away money,” DeBoice oversees the company’s various community partnerships, donations and sponsorships. In fact, last year, DeBoice got to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars. And beyond just committing dollars and cents, First Calgary Savings encourages volunteerism among its employees.
“We try to be actively involved in the programs so we’re aware of them and, when implementing change, we can make suggestions and help to be a part of their active social change in the city,” says DeBoice.
This means she is involved not only in giving donations but also at a hands-on, grassroots level with a wide array of non-profits and groups including Volunteer Calgary, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Timeraiser and WordFest, and in developing long-term strategic plans with them, too.
As a result of DeBoice’s work in community outreach, First Calgary Savings has received many accolades, including recognition from the Calgary branch of the United Nations Association in Canada, Imagine Canada and numerous Mayor’s Excellence Awards.
When it comes to her own individual contributions, DeBoice juggles her full-time job with at least 24 volunteer hours every month. She sits on the art selection committee for the volunteer coordinating agency, Timeraiser, and was an in-school mentor for four years with an elementary school child through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“Mentoring gives me the opportunity to give back to someone, to spend one-on-one time with that person and hopefully influence their life in a small way,” DeBoice says.
This past summer, DeBoice also stepped into the role of Volunteer Calgary’s board of directors chair. She now has her sights on inspiring the next generation of leaders and encouraging others to get involved. Even in Calgary – the volunteer capital of Canada – DeBoice acknowledges volunteerism can still be a hard sell.
“People are busy and trying to fit in volunteerism is hard,” she says. “But volunteering is as much about what you’re able to give back as what you get out of the opportunity. It’s a great way to make a difference.”