Impact Makers: Alliant Energy
Project ReConnect bridges the gap for vulnerable customers after Iowa’s “hurricane”.
Alliant Energy’s mission is serving customers and building strong communities in Iowa and Wisconsin.
Most days, that means staying focused on innovative solutions to bring clean renewable energy to homes, schools and businesses.
But this past August, when a derecho swept through Iowa, the company and its Foundation found themselves focused on something much more basic: getting the lights back on.
In 2019, Alliant Energy, it’s Foundation, employees and retirees gave back more than $7.25 million to their neighbors and communities.
The August 10 derecho – essentially a Category 2 hurricane in the Midwest – leveled homes and businesses. (Watch their video: you have to see it to understand.)
By the time the storm passed, more than 256,000 homes were without electricity. Most of them would stay dark for several days. Alliant Energy employees worked day and night to restore power, joined by crews from across the United States and even Canada.
But even as power became available, some homes were too damaged to connect back onto the grid. They needed electrician repairs first – a cost of up to $1,500. That’s a big expense, especially for customers with a limited income.
The Alliant Energy Foundation created Project ReConnect to help low-income customers afford these repairs. They invited Alliant Energy employees, board members and even retirees to donate.
Using the CyberGrants system, they raised $105,000 in just a few weeks. The Alliant Energy Foundation matched Project ReConnect gifts 2:1, bringing the total impact to $315,000 … enough to make repairs for everyone who sought assistance, as well as help with other critical recovery efforts.
Alliant Energy partnered with four nonprofit organizations to distribute the funds: United Way of East Central Iowa, Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Mid-Iowa Community Action and Community Action of Eastern Iowa.
“Alliant Energy employees have a reputation of stepping in and helping out,” said Julie Bauer, Executive Director at Alliant Energy Foundation. “We knew they’d want to help their neighbors.”
This went for Wisconsin employees, too. For them, Project ReConnect was a way to show support for their Iowa coworkers.
Drew Kasel, a Wisconsin employee and manager of employee and strategic communication, was the very first to donate to the campaign.
“Each day brought new stories of the derecho’s destruction,” he said. “I was so moved by what was happening in Iowa, but felt helpless to do anything. Project ReConnect made it easy for me to make a meaningful donation that I know will reach those who need it most.”
We congratulate the Alliant Energy Foundation team, Julie Bauer, Executive Director, Leah Rodenberg, Senior Program Manager, and Adam Erdmann, Senior Program Manager, for their creative problem solving and commitment to supporting their communities. Your teamwork, ingenuity and resourcefulness are inspiring. It is our privilege to help facilitate Project ReConnect as well as your other social impact initiatives throughout the year.
Contact us to learn more about disaster readiness for effective response, relief & recovery. When urgent, heart-wrenching needs emerge overnight, CyberGrants can help you accelerate your best charitable disaster relief efforts. No other software solution lets you achieve the same level of responsiveness.