- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
In today's global environment, it is great to see that corporations are also taking a global approach to their CSR programs. One of the companies on HandsOn's list of socially responsible companies to watch that works to make an impact both domestically and internationally is Cisco.
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <![endif]-->Through leveraging its technology and employee volunteers, Cisco helps to transform education, assist with economic development, address basic human needs such as food and shelter, and support non-profit organizations to improve efficiency and reach. For example, during Cisco's 2008 Hunger Relief Campaign, employees helped feed 20,000 mid-day meals to poor children in India, processed 22,000 cans of food in Austin, distributed quilts to earthquake victims in China, and made donations to more than 100 food service agencies worldwide, totaling USD$1.3 million. Last year alone, Cisco employees donated approximately 100,000 hours of their time to make a difference in their local communities.
Check out the brief interview below with Meg Taylor, Cisco's Community Relations Manager, to learn more about the many ways they encourage their employees to give back to their communities.
Sokunthea: As corporate giving levels are likely to be down this year, what are the opportunities you see to use the time and talent of Cisco's employees to make a difference?
Meg: In keeping with Cisco's culture of giving back, we continue to identify and publicize opportunities for our employees around the globe to give their time and talent. This can be as simple as on-site fundraisers such as car washes and canned good drives, to skill-based volunteering, such as installing donated technology equipment in a school or nonprofit facility. In addition, we collaborate on community endeavors with partners and suppliers when possible, thus maximizing our community impact while strengthening business relationships.
Sokunthea: Choosing the right cause is critical for companies that want to leverage their resources and employees. How do you identify causes Cisco as a company and your employees care about?
Meg: Cisco's key community focus areas include basic human needs such as shelter or food, K-12 education, economic development, health care and the environment. To that end, we encourage employees to become involved with organizations that specialize in those causes. However, our comprehensive matching gifts program enables employees to volunteer for the organizations that they are passionate about, generating $10 per hour of volunteer time in Cisco matching gifts to approved nonprofits, for instance, for organizations supporting the arts or animals. Further, employees are encouraged to use work time volunteering for other causes they feel strongly about, as well, including those that are not in Cisco's database for matching gifts, such as sports and religious endeavors. Employees may use work time, subject to their managers' approval, to volunteer. The total time that employees worldwide volunteer and log into a Cisco volunteer reporting tool is reported each year in the company's annual Citizenship Report.