How Big Companies Can Help the Disadvantaged

How Big Companies Can Help the Disadvantaged

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How Big Companies Can Help the Disadvantaged

It doesn’t take a not-for-profit or governmental agency to benefit the disadvantaged — businesses and corporations can also strive to produce a positive impact in the world

Corporate Social Investment
Corporate citizenship is the social role of businesses
– Legal, ethical and economic responsibility to the community
– Goal to increase standard of living and quality of life for surrounding communities

85% of business executives believe community involvement strengthens the reputation of the company

Financial Contributions
Fostering a culture of charitability
– Businesses contribute to charitable organizations directly and create a work culture that encourages donation through policies and programs

United States 2016 corporate donations: $18.55 billion

Charitable donations are carried out by businesses in a variety of ways
– Matching gift programs
– Match employee charitable donations to nonprofits

Corporate sponsorships
– Issue payments to nonprofits in exchange for an acknowledgement of support

Dollars for doers
– Contribute funds to nonprofits based on employee volunteer time

Company highlight
General Electric (GE): Matching Gifts
– Created in 1954, provides 1:1 donation match
– Over $36 million matched in 2017

Encouraging higher education to prevent an entire generation from slipping into poverty
– College costs have been rising over time and students are racking up debt to pay for it
– Average public 4-year degree tuition has increased 212% from 1987 to 2017
– In 2017, U.S. students racked up $1.49 trillion in student loan debt

Businesses can support higher education by offering tuition reimbursement and assistance programs

Company benefits
– Increase employee skills
– Attract new and motivated employees
– Education return on investment (ROI)

Cigna Corporation found its Education Reimbursement Program saved money by avoiding talent management costs = 129% ROI

Company highlight
– College Achievement Program (CAP)
– Eligible Starbucks employees receive Free bachelor’s degree education through Arizona State University (ASU) online programs

Companies can make a conscious and concerted effort to hire employees of all circumstances and situations

Inclusive Business Environments

Opportunities for disabled workers
– 72.5 million disabled adults in the U.S.
– Disabled individuals are more than 2X as likely to be unemployed
— 10.5% of disabled people are unemployed
— 4.6% of nondisabled people are unemployed

Discriminating against disabled individuals in hiring is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Employers with more than 15 employees are legally required to make accommodations for employees with disabilities.
– Only 28% of companies have disability hiring goals
– Unfortunately thanks to the sub-minimum wage, some workers with disabilities can earn as little as $0.25 an hour

Businesses are required by law to support disabled individuals through accommodations
– Accessible workplaces for physical disabilities
– Special training optional for mentally disabled
– Company highlight
– Microsoft
– Autism Hiring Program
– Nontraditional interview process
– Training and mentorship available

Serving those who served
Can be a stigma against hiring veterans
– 39% of employers found hiring veterans with PTSD as ‘less favorable’
– Veterans with PTSD are protected from discrimination through the EEOC
– Businesses can create a welcoming environment for returning veterans
– Recognize military skills that can translate to the workforce
– Set a veteran hiring initiative
– Offer training for veterans transitioning back to civilian life

Company highlight
– 30% hiring goal for veterans and military spouses
– Veteran training programs for positions such as:
— Mortgage specialists
— Claims managers

Improving community health is an important endeavor that companies can engage in by increasing access to nutritional food

Community Nutrition Support
Bringing healthy food to people with low-income and low-accessibility
– 42 million people on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Food deserts
– Areas without easy access to fruits, vegetables, and whole foods typically in impoverished locations
– 2.3 million U.S. households live more than a mile from a supermarket without access to a car
– 23.5 million people live in low income neighborhoods more than a mile from a supermarket

There are many different ways businesses help fight malnutrition
– Opening up markets in food deserts
— ShopRite – Brown’s Super Stores, Inc.
Philadelphia based supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods
— EveryTable
California based healthy fast-food alternative that charges lower rates for underserved areas

Grocery delivery
Amazon Fresh
– Same day grocery delivery in select cities
– Plan available to amazon Prime members
– Prime membership at a discounted $6.99/month for Medicaid recipients

Contributing to food bank initiatives
Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief program, major partners
– Kroger
– Walmart
– Kraft Heinz

Many corporations work against the “cold and disconnected” stereotype by placing an emphasis on corporate citizenshipーthere are many ways that businesses can and do step up to help

How Big Companies Can Help the Disadvantaged