Community is Key

Neighbors Make the Difference Day

On Neighbors Make the Difference Day, Key’s annual day of volunteerism supported by paid time off, Key reaches a nearly 50 percent participation rate among 14,000 employees from Alaska to Maine, while the other 50 percent remain at the bank to support clients.

"On Neighbors Make the Difference Day, we come together to thank our neighbors."

Neighbors Make the Difference Day began in 1991, when a group of Alaska employees volunteered for service projects and gave the day its title. By 1993, the idea had swept across many of the communities Key serves and became an official day of employee volunteerism. It is now the hallmark of Key’s commitment to its communities and a leading corporate volunteerism effort in America.

“On Neighbors Make the Difference Day, we come together to thank our neighbors for the good work they do every day. We partner closely with nonprofits to transform our communities, and our employees add to the momentum through volunteerism and personal philanthropy, in countless meaningful ways. Neighbors Day is a powerful demonstration of our employees’ commitment and caring.” - KeyBank Foundation CEO, Margot Copeland.

Neighbors Make the Difference Day

Key’s Market President in Alaska, Brian Nerland, has been with Key 30 years and was part of the first Neighbors Day. Since then, his personal Neighbors Day tradition is to visit every volunteer project in Anchorage, and bring treats to the single branch that remains open to provide customer service.

“I was pleased to continue the Neighbors Day tradition when I became Market President in 2002 and am especially gratified by its evolution from a small effort in Alaska to one of best examples of corporate volunteerism in America.” - KeyBank Market President, Alaska, Brian Nerland.

KeyBank has been nationally recognized for improving the quality of life in its communities. Key was named to The Civic 50 in 2013 and 2014, as one of America’s fifty most community-minded companies, by the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light. The Civic 50 identifies the top 50 S&P 500 corporations in the U.S. in terms of time, talent and resources used to improve the quality of life in their communities.

Key's annual commitment represents more than half a million volunteer hours to our communities, and counting. 


In major cities and smaller towns across America, our employees are involved as volunteers, giving generously of their time and talent.

  • Key encourages employees to become financial education volunteers, available to teach its free Learn and Earn curriculum to the public. Key has more than 600 volunteer financial educators.
  • Super Refund Saturday is an important day of volunteerism, when Key provides free tax preparation for hardworking individuals and helps them discover the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Key provides employees resources so they can become more involved, such as schedule flexibility with supervisor approval and corporate matches to their personal contributions.
  • KeyBank Foundation encourages employees to volunteer on nonprofit boards and takes an active role in matching employees with interested nonprofits in partnership with Business Volunteers Unlimited: Center for Nonprofit Excellence. This board placement is supported at the market level by Key’s market executives.
  • In support of employees’ board service, Key provides an annual $500 Community Leadership Grant, when they serve as board members (for up to four organizations, or a total of $2,000).
  • Key is a strong supporter of United Way, nationally. In 2014, Key participated in 25 local campaigns throughout the country. Over the past five years, Key has raised approximately $20 million in support for the United Way.
  • Numerous employee-led volunteer campaigns and donation drives are developed throughout the year. Some of the most robust volunteer efforts are organized by Key’s CARES committees and nine Key Business Networking Groups (KBNGs). The nine KBNG segments, representing multiple dimensions of diversity, are open to all employees.