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Thrivent helping communities thrive nationwide

More than $1 billion nationally has been raised since 2014 through company’s action teams program

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May 5, 2023

APPLETON – Backed by a desire to volunteer and help raise funds for organizations, Thrivent – a Fortune 500 financial services company headquartered in Appleton – recently announced it surpassed $1 billion raised for communities nationwide.

Of that total, Ben Borchardt, a financial planner with Thrivent, said more than $57 million has been raised in the Appleton/Green Bay area.

Borchardt said the monies raised have all come since 2014.

“That’s when our action teams program began,” he said. “That number – one billion – is mind-boggling. If you think of all the clients Thrivent works with throughout the country, it means a lot has been done to help organizations and communities raise money.”

In addition to monetary giving, the company is also celebrating a milestone in volunteer hours of its employees.

“As we recently celebrated ‘National Volunteer Week’ in the United States, Thrivent celebrated its 1-millionth client-led volunteer team,” he said.

To help accomplish this, Thrivent, along with its clients and others in Appleton/Green Bay volunteered hours and hours, Borchardt said.

“That ($57 million raised) has come through 3.2 million service hours through more than 470,000 local volunteers,” he said. “During that time, Thrivent held almost 40,000 action teams across the community. The action programs are super important to my practice in Green Bay. It’s fun to see some of the byproducts they bring.”

Borchardt said he sees one of those byproducts in particular “quite frequently.”

“I see a lot of the ‘Live Generously’ T-shirts we give out (as part of the action team kit),” he said. “That means, every person who is wearing one of those T-shirts has some sort of connection to a Thrivent action team – whether they led it or participated in one. It’s a visual representation – at least in our area – of how big this has gotten.”

Though Borchardt said he can’t say with certainty, he guesses the impact action teams have made in the Appleton/Green Bay area and Minneapolis – another Thrivent location headquarters – “probably exceed all others nationwide.”

“It makes sense to assume that,” he said. “Because we are based here, (Appleton/Green Bay/Minneapolis) and rank high in the company of areas impacted the most. Of all the Thrivent clients, we have the most per capita in these areas.”

Borchardt, who has been with Thrivent for 19 years, said there’s a specific reason why he’s still with the company – and has no plans of leaving.

// Borchardt

“My first love is helping people plan their financial jig-saw-puzzle of a future, but the reason I’m with Thrivent is because of the generosity piece,” he said. “At our core DNA, Thrivent has programs designed to help give back – to churches, schools, veterans organizations and the communities people care about. At Thrivent, we can be generous with passion.”
Action team details
Borchardt said Thrivent clients start by getting a team together to support a cause or place they care about – all to raise money.

“They can do this through a fundraising campaign, an educational event or a service project,” he said. “They would get (up to $250 in) support through Thrivent to do that. They can then turn that support into more dollars, impact or whatever that is. It’s been a nice program.”

On the Thrivent website (, four steps are listed to begin and complete an action team:
Apply to lead a projectReceive your Thrivent action kitTake actionShare your success story
“Ninety-nine percent of the action teams are member-led,” Borchardt said. “It’s our members’ imaginations that run wild – ‘Whom can I support with these resources Thrivent has given me?’ Every once in a while, we get an organization that finds out about it through a Thrivent client, and they want to know how to promote it within their organizations.”

Once the action plan is approved, Borchardt said a package of customized resources and digital tools is sent to the leader, including:
A pennant bannerThank you cards, name tags and stickersThrivent Action Team “Live Generously” T-shirtsA Community Impact Card with up to $250 in seed money
Digital tools include:
A personalized project webpage to share with your communityAn RSVP feature to invite friends and family to collect RSVPs onlinePhoto upload tool to collect and share photosThank you notes to email after your project
All Thrivent clients with membership are eligible to lead an action team, as are Thrivent employees.

//, Thrivent has helped raise more than $57 million in the Appleton/Green Bay area since 2014 through its action teams. Photo Courtesy of Thrivent

However, Borchardt said the number of teams each client can lead per year depends on membership type.

Clients with benefit membership are eligible to lead two Thrivent Action Teams per calendar year, and clients with associate membership are eligible to lead one per calendar year.
The future
Borchardt said he sees no reason why the action teams will stop – thus there will be plenty of more dollars pumped into the local community.

“Throughout the years, Thrivent has kept the program stable,” he said. “We’ve continued to see an uptick in the number of action teams – people are knowing of them more and more. Also, the number of clients keeps growing, so that means there are more people to organize an action team.”

More information can be found on Thrivent’s website, including specific steps to beginning and executing an action team.

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