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June 29, 2023

Betsy Shelton
Volunteer Iowa

9th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge Winners Announced

Des Moines, IAVolunteer Iowa is pleased to announce the winners of the 9th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge, a campaign in which businesses encourage their employees to volunteer and log their hours as part of a statewide competition. This year, the challenge ran from April 1 – May 31 across the state of Iowa.

From a business perspective, employer supported volunteering impacts the bottom line. Studies show it leads to improved employee engagement, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and retention. From an engagement perspective, places of employment are perfect environments to encourage and support volunteering efforts that contribute toward meeting significant community challenges.

The benefits of volunteering in the workplace are undeniably far reaching, improving not only the lives of those who directly receive the community assistance, but of those who get involved in the impact. One study shows us that employees who volunteer at work report five times higher well-being, 89% increased job satisfaction, and overall higher levels of engagement and satisfaction in their respective workplaces.

“While volunteer rates have declined since the start of the pandemic, we continue to see an increased need for volunteers statewide. The Give Back Iowa Challenge is a tool employers use to engage their employees in volunteering,” Volunteer Iowa Executive Director Adam Lounsbury said. “We are encouraged to see that more businesses participated in the challenge this year, as they work to meet the needs of their communities.”

Participating employers were divided into three categories based on the number of employees. Winners were selected by the highest average number of volunteer hours per employee. The 2023 winners are:

  • Small: Community Youth Concepts (CYC), Des Moines 
    Honorable Mention: CENT Credit Union, Mason City

  • Mid-sized: Bankers Trust, Des Moines
    Honorable Mention: First Citizens Bank, Mason City

  • Large: Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Riverside
    Honorable Mention: ITA Group, West Des Moines

This year’s winning employers commented on the importance of work-based volunteering and participation in the Give Back Iowa Challenge:

“Volunteerism in our local communities is a core value at Riverside Casino & Golf Resort and giving our employees both the opportunity and encouragement to get involved, provides an overall sense of connection and fulfillment for our team,” says Damon John, General Manager of Riverside Casino & Golf Resort.

“Community Youth Concepts chose to be involved in the Give Back Iowa Challenge because volunteer service is a foundational component to our mission as we seek to connect students with their communities and CYC staff want to support our communities in a similar way,” said Alicia Vermeer, Executive Director of CYC.

“Helping our communities thrive is a core part of Bankers Trust’s goals as a community bank, and volunteerism plays a big role in that,” says Don Coffin, CEO and President at Bankers Trust. “This recognition is a testament to the commitment our employees have to serving hundreds of nonprofits and organizations across the communities we serve.”

The Give Back Iowa Challenge takes place annually from April 1 through May 31. Registration for the 2024 challenge will open in February. For resources on employer-supported volunteering or to find volunteer opportunities, visit


About Volunteer Iowa (or Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service)
Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure. More information is available at

About Alliant Energy
Alliant Energy Corporation’s Iowa utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), utilizes the trade name of Alliant Energy. The Iowa utility is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and provides electric service to 490,000 customers and natural gas service to 225,000 customers. The employees of Alliant Energy focus on delivering the energy solutions and exceptional service their customers and communities expect – safely, efficiently and responsibly. Alliant Energy Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT and is a component of the S&P 500. For more information, visit

About the Healthiest State Initiative
The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit