Here at HeartPress, we’re always ready with suggestions for great ways your business can give back to the community. While there are countless options perfectly suited to the local company, we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight some of the amazing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs found at the largest corporations in the world. Here are just a few great examples of generosity from the big guys.
Examples of CSR from the Big Guys
Even though Telus customers can place phone calls all over the world, the company pays homage to their locations around the country; dedication to civic giving is exemplified by the more than $300 million dollars and 4.8 million hours Telus employees have donated to their local communities. In fact, in 2010, Telus became the first Canadian company to be recognized as the “most outstanding philanthropic corporation” in the world, by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Now that’s something to aspire to!
Rogers is another Canadian telecommunications company dedicated to giving back through CSR. Their 2015 CSR report highlights the $65 million in community investments made that year, as well as their Connected for Success subsidized internet program, which ensured more than 10,000 low-income families could afford internet. This latter program is a great example of utilizing the unique services your businesses offers to contribute to the community.
In addition to manning the trains that run through hundreds of municipalities around the country, CP Rail strives to maintain a sense of community with the people living around their tracks. According to the CP Rail 2014 CSR Report, in that year the company raised more than $40,000 for charities in Calgary alone (the location of their head office).
The company has run the CP Holiday Train for nearly two decades, bringing bright lights and musical acts, more than one million dollars, and 250,000 pounds of food to the communities it entertains.
If you’ve seen WestJet’s viral Christmas videos, you already know they have unique ways of giving back to Canadian communities, through their own projects, CSR goals, and through organizations like Free the Children, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House. One example of their work with RMH: they donated the flight that enabled a father to visit his sick child.
In 2014, the airline donated more than 16,000 single flights to community organizations and charities, and their employees volunteered more than 60,500 hours.
A national insurance company with heart, Great-West Life has donated more than $174 million to Canadian communities since becoming an Imagine Caring Company twenty years ago. They have designed a great employee volunteering program, and in celebration of their 125th anniversary last year, Great-West gave $1,000 donations to 125 registered charities with which their staff participate.
The Great-West Life Stronger Communities Together program supported more than 900 initiatives in 2016, which resulted in more than $12 million in donations.
If you’re living on the west coast, you might not recognize the name Loblaw, but you will recognize some of their brands; President’s Choice, no name, Life Brand, Shoppers Drug Market and Joe Fresh. Loblaw’s has nearly 2,500 stores across the country, and in each of the municipalities they call home, they find ways to give back to the community. In 2016, the company donated more than $15 million to nutrition programs and families of children with disabilities. They also donated more than $6 million to programs that teach kids about healthy eating, and to improving the kitchens in youth centers. In partnership with Food Banks Canada, Loblaw strives to improve local and provincial food drives.
The most successful coffee shop chain in the world, Starbucks often advertises their environmental efforts right in-store, but they have community endeavours worth noting, as well. Ten percent of new Starbucks hires are made through the Opportunity Youth program, which ensures young people facing various roadblocks find gainful employment. Over three years, this and other programs promise more than 4,000 new job placements.
The company also gets involved in the Global Month of Service, during which time business partners participate in community service projects that directly impact and improve the very neighbourhoods and people who patronize their shops. Statistics for 2011 indicate more than 150,000 hours of community service were donated across Canada, in just one month.
The larger the company, the more widespread their social focus can be. But while Walmart has global programs like Women’s Economic Empowerment, which seeks to provide training and career opportunity to women around the world, they also turn their gaze on the communities where their staff live and work.
Walmart’s associate philanthropy initiatives have had great success inspiring employees to give their time and money to causes important to them. The company does this by encouraging volunteering, matching payroll contributions from employees to numerous non-profit organizations, and supplying grants to charities, based on volunteer hours completed.
In 2015, Walmart increased their employees’ donations from $12 million to more than $20 million, and offered financial support to more than 4,000 associates affected by the loss of a loved one or natural disasters.
Because Microsoft products are used worldwide, this leading tech corporation seeks to improve the global community. YouthSpark is an initiative that delivers education and employment opportunities to kids all over the world, and the 4Afrika Initiative develops programs that offer young people in Africa the same opportunities available to their western counterparts.
Microsoft employees are also encouraged to give back in their own communities. In 2016 alone, more than $140 million (including employee and matched donations), and 650,000 volunteer hours were donated in support of almost 19,000 institutions.
Google hasn’t let their incredible business growth over the past years go to waste. The company presents grants to organizations where their employees volunteer: $50 for every five hours of service. They also pay their staff to give back to their communities by allowing employees to volunteer up to 20 working hours a year. Google also offers a 1:1 matching gift program that includes any donation from $50 to $12,000. For donations to disaster relief organizations, Google matches 2:1.
Not to be outdone by their chief competitor, Apple is another tech company who has shown its heart in a number of ways. The new Apple CEO recently instated a matching gift program, through which Apple matches charitable donations made by their employees, up to $10,000. Since the inception of this program, the company has donated $78 million.
In addition, grants are presented to organizations where Apple employees volunteer. Each hour of volunteering donated by an employee earns the organization $25, and the company has set no maximum limit on their donations.
A household name for more than 100 years, GE extends their brand security to an outstanding volunteer program that encourages employees to spend more than one million hours annually, undertaking community service projects. The gift-matching program offered by the company will match any donation from $25 to $25,000, 1:1. The GE Volunteers Foundation works with local charities dedicated to improving literacy and underdeveloped urban areas.
Inspired by these tales of giving? HeartPress can help you set up a CSR strategy that will warm your heart and fill your karmic suitcase. Reach out to us, and start giving back today!