To celebrate the firm’s 60th anniversary, from July 16 through September 13, Edelman’s 60+ global offices participated in 60 days of professional and general volunteerism and fundraising to benefit the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, and more than 70 hunger and poverty nonprofit organizations worldwide. Today, I’m happy to announce that we contributed more than $1 million in monetary and in-kind donations. Overall, we contributed 10,946 hours of volunteerism, valued at $938,412, according to citizenship industry standards. Additionally, Edelman raised $108,940 to support WFP and local nonprofit organizations, including a $50,000 gift to the WFP from the Daniel J. Edelman Family Foundation. There is no better way to honor our 60th anniversary and my father, Dan Edelman’s, legacy of giving back to the community than through a focused global citizenship initiative. I am proud of the commitment and creativity demonstrated by our global employees to achieve these outstanding results. We’re truly “walking the talk” and making a meaningful impact towards eradicating hunger and poverty, which, as a member of the UN Global Compact, is our company signature focus based on one of the UN Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG).
For the past four months, we’ve been posting updates from all over the world on what offices have been doing on behalf of the 603 celebration—from helping Habitat for Humanity with a media roundtable in Guangzhou to serving meals for the hungry through The Passage in London. Edelman’s 4,500 employees each received four hours paid time off to participate in local volunteerism efforts. Professional volunteerism efforts ranged from hosting training sessions to developing and launching communications campaigns. General volunteerism efforts included cooking food in soup kitchens and aiding in food distribution, among other activities. Our global highlights include:
- Edelman Tokyo supported Second Harvest Japan by serving 819 meals to the hungry
- Edelman Canada helped 13 NGOs focused on hunger and poverty in a span of 48 hours through building gardens, moving furniture, cleaning playgrounds and serving breakfasts
- Edelman Milan offered the WFP staff a training session on digital communication, blogger relations and social media and employees donated rice to WFP through an inter-office competition playing online trivia on freerice.com.
- Edelman Miami provided pro bono support to Camillus House and helped serve meals to the homeless
- Edelman New York and Edelman Washington D.C. led a training seminar on private sector engagement for WFP communications and partnership leads
- Edelman Chicago worked with Chicago Cares to help make 3,200 snack kits for children in Chicago Public Schools
More of our global 603 stories can be found here.
Additionally, below, please find a video highlighting Edelman Europe’s 603 efforts.
In support of 603, I used my volunteer paid time off to participate in a brainstorm session to develop a marketing plan for Habitat for Humanity in Chicago, helping create greater awareness for the organization and increasing fundraising. In this brainstorm session, I proposed the opportunity to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity further during the inaugural #GivingTuesday initiative, a campaign aimed to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season.
As a result of this, today, Edelman is taking part in #GivingTuesday, with volunteers in Chicago providing support for Habitat for Humanity. Some of the volunteer activities happening today are the following:
- Home Building and Community Cleanup: I, along with approximately 45 Edelman employees, will be volunteering at home building and Chicago community clean-up sites in Pullman and Waukegan communities.
- Social Media “War Room”: A War Room will be set up as a designated social media collaboration area where Edelman employees can engage with their personal networks to raise awareness/funding and help gather all social media content being shared on #GivingTuesday.
- Proactive Social Media Engagement: In addition to the War Room, Edelman employees will be provided social media tools to engage with their personal networks for fundraising and to raise awareness using the #EdelChiGives and #GivingTuesday hashtags.
We are very excited to be part of this new initiative and are honored to be continuing our local partnership here in Chicago with Habitat for Humanity. We are proud of all of our global 603 results and we look forward to implementing more global citizenship initiatives throughout this year.
John Edelman is managing director of global engagement and corporate responsibility.