Blue Alliance IT Service Program – Service Grant

Service Grant Hours – A Tremendous Blue Alliance Benefit

Did you know that Blue Alliance IT employees are given an incredible paid benefit called Blue Alliance’s Service Grant? Each year you’re given 40 Service Grant Hours (SGH) for you to use to give back to the community!  Blue Alliance IT Founders are committed to helping each of us grow into becoming the best versions of ourselves, and there is no better way to do that than by serving others.

Step 1 – Complete a Service Project Proposal

  • You will first have to have your service project approved by the Director of Community.
  • Visit Paycom and click on the question mark in the upper right-hand corner.  This will launch you into the Service Project Proposal Request.
  • The Director of Community will receive and review your request and quickly get back with you.
  • Note: If a group service activity was created and promoted through Blue Alliance by Todd Forman, you can SKIP this step.

Step 2 – Request Service Grant Hours (SGH)

Once your project is approved, you can submit the SGH request through Paycom.

  • There is an option under the accrual type dropdown for Service Grant Hours.
  • Check with your manager to receive permission to serve during the hours you will be requesting.
  • ** If you are serving outside of your normal work hours, you must request to use the comp time during the same week as your service activity. **
  • Your Service Grant Hours bank will show 0 hours and then go into the negative as you use them. If you have already used 8 hours, your balance would show -8. Your manager should be able to approve until you get to -40 hours.  This benefit is different from regular PTO and aren’t “paid out” at the end of the year or upon termination.
  • Need help? Watch THIS VIDEO that goes into more detail about the mechanics of the Service Grant program or click the FAQ button.
  • ConnectWise:  If you are a PFIT employee and enter your time into ConnectWise, there is a Service Grant option under the charge codes for PFIT.  You can put your time serving under this code for your timesheet.


Step 3 – Perform your Community Service

  • Participate in your service activity and have a great experience serving others.
  • If possible, take a few photos that you can send to Todd Forman (todd.forman@pathforward.us) for us to share with the community.

Step 4 – Record your Service Hours & Send Photos

  • CLICK HERE to record your service hours.
  • If you had not already done so, please send any photos to Todd Forman (todd.forman@pathforward.us).

What are Service Grant Hours (SGH)?
Service Grant Hours, or SGH as they are listed in Paycom, are up to 40 hours per year any employee can submit and be paid to serve.  

Do all companies in the Blue Alliance IT family support the Service Grant Hours Program?
Although Blue Alliance companies spread across the country and may have different structure as far as sponsored or organizations they choose to partner and assist, the Service Grant Hours Program is a Blue Alliance team effort to make an impact. All teams should use the SGH request workflow in Paycom so we can stay up to date and even report out on the great impact our team is making. This workflow allows for volunteer scheduling to be communicated and tracked accurately. 

Is there a difference in Service Grant Hours between Blue Alliance IT companies?
Yes.  Some Blue Alliance companies may have unlimited PTO, so the Service Grant doesn’t apply.  However, all Blue Alliance companies strongly encourage their employees to take PTO to serve in their community.  The Director of Community is there to help you utilize your Service Grant. 

Is the Service Grant Hours Recording different for Salaried vs. Hourly Employees?
Yes. If you are a salaried employee who participates in service, you are not required to take time off for service if you don’t want to.   For hourly employees, you are required to take SGH for service unless there is an operational need or similar and your manager has approved the resulting OT

What types of service activities qualify for Service Grant Hours?
A wide variety of service activities qualify for the Service Grant.  Qualifying activities include serving food at a soup kitchen, volunteering at your child’s school, helping an elderly neighbor, or even taking a service trip!    Simply request the time and get approval from your supervisor.  If this is a project you developed on your own, you will complete the Service Grant Application form found in Paycom.  Once submitted, the HR Director or Director of Community will review your request and provide timely feedback.  Note: If you would prefer to run an idea by someone before completing the Paycom request, feel free to contact Todd Forman (todd.forman@pathforward.us).

What are the parameters for scheduling or signing up for a service event during work hours?
Submit the time you would be scheduled for the service activity the same way and following the same procedure as with PTO only select “SGH” for Service Grant Hours. Your manager will review and approve the same as they would PTO. Additionally, if this is not a preplanned/preapproved company activity, you must submit in advance via the Service Grant application.   

Do I need to fill out a Service Grant Application for opportunities that the Director of Community shares with us?
No.  Any service opportunity that is offered by the Director of Community will be a pre-approved service event, so you will not need to fill out the Service Grant Application request form.  You must, however, request Service Grant Hours through Paycom, and you also need to notify Todd Forman that you want to participate. If you are bringing children to the event, please include their names and ages in the email. 

What are the parameters for using SGH when done during my workday? 
If it is approved by your supervisor, the time serving is considered SGH. 

What are the parameters for using SGH when done outside of my workday? 
If you have submitted and been approved for a service activity outside of your normal working hours, you can take off the same number of hours during the same week. 

Is there is minimum number of SGH one can do at a time? 
Yes. Service Grant Hours can be broken into smaller chunks, with a minimum of 1 hour of service during any one event. 

Can a person volunteer on a weekend and take SGH earlier that week, prior to the service?
Yes, if the service activity is in the same week.   

What happens if my SGH are taken prior to a service activity and that activity is cancelled?
If the rescheduled date is known, the time can remain Service Grant Hours.  However, if it is cancelled, the Service Grant Hours should be replaced with PTO hours, or you can sign up for another service activity within a reasonable time.  Work with your manager and HR to determine the best plan of action. 

What is the policy for requesting/using SGH for non-exempt employees?
Watch THIS VIDEO for instructions.  If the service is outside of your work hours, work with your manager and HR to determine the best way to handle the schedule accommodation.  

When I request SGH, it shows I have 0 hours (or negative numbers of hours) available.  Is this a mistake?
No.  This is accurate.  The hour set up was configured to be approved when requested rather than showing 40 hours balance to avoid confusion around a “perceived benefit” and needing to pay it out upon termination or end of year payout as an “earned” benefit. Each time you request hours, it subtracts from 0 hours, and you go into the negative.  Your manager will be able to approve up to “-40” hours of SGH.   

If the Director of Community offers a service opportunity that is outside of my work hours, and I don’t want to use SGH, am I still able to volunteer?
Yes!  All employees are encouraged to participate in any of the many service offerings that will be presented each month by the Director of Community.  Most service events are open to spouses, children, and friends, so we encourage their participation as well.   

Am I able to volunteer on a weekday evening and use my SGH the following morning?
Yes.  First, speak with your manager to get approval.  Then complete the Paycom Service Grant Application request (you can skip this step if this is an activity offered by the Director of Community.)  Finally, request Service Grant Hours through Paycom for that morning.  

  • Personal growth and development
  • Enhanced empathy and compassion
  • Improved social skills and communication abilities
  • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Opportunities for networking and building relationships
  • Exposure to new perspectives and diverse cultures
  • Development of leadership and teamwork skills
  • Improved time management and organization skills
  • Opportunities to learn new skills and gain experience
  • Enhanced understanding of community needs and issues
  • Increased civic engagement and sense of responsibility
  • Improved mental health and wellbeing
  • Greater sense of purpose and fulfillment
  • Opportunities for career exploration and development
  • Enhanced community involvement and citizenship
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • Increased sense of social responsibility and civic duty
  • Positive impact on the community and individuals served
  • Opportunities to make a difference and contribute to the greater good

It can be difficult to know where to invest your time – there are thousands of non-profit organizations out there!  To help you connect with an organization,  we have a database of non-profit organizations in the Cincinnati and Dayton Region (other regions coming soon) who know about our company and the unique skill sets of our outstanding employees.  Click the links below to see a list of the non-profits who are eager to partner with you.

Click the second link to see how other Blue Alliance Team Members from across the country have been using their Service Grant Hours benefit.