FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

A Day in the Life of a Corporate Grant Maker (Yep. I love my job.)

December 22, 2009

So, my wife just called me and asked “Whatcha doin’?” I told her that I was emailing someone in Brussels about a grant recommendation to a charity in India being worked on by someone in D.C.  When I hung up the phone after our brief chat I found myself ridiculously happy about my work. I love my job.

In addition to serving as a program advisor for our disaster preparedness and relief initiatives worldwide, I also assist our non-U.S. regions with their local market strategic grant-making initiatives. It’s over-the-top encouraging to receive reports and stories from our grantees about the good work they are doing around the world and to know that FedEx has played a small part in helping them do what they do.

Just the other day I received some photos from the Salvation Army in Mexico City. Not too long ago we donated a Disaster Response Unit (canteen truck) to them. In addition to using it for feeding survivors of disasters and first responders, they also use the vehicle to feed the homeless. One of the photos that they sent to me showed a group of youngsters that had been served food from the truck. One of the boys in the photo is holding up a handwritten sign that says “Gracias FedEx” (Thank You FedEx). I’ve got a copy of that photo tacked up to my cube wall! It’s inspiring.

In our work with Red Cross we created a small business preparedness checklist. We just finished updating it and we make it available in English and Spanish on our and websites for businesses to download for free. It’s heartening to know that this checklist may be downloaded by small business owners and may be the very thing that keeps them in business should a disaster occur.

During the course of a typical day I’ll receive reports about FedEx colleagues volunteering at a food bank in NYC, disaster relief work we are supporting in China, how we are helping young entrepreneurs in Argentina, FedEx volunteers planting trees in Canada, our disaster preparedness initiatives in Africa, and our child pedestrian safety programs in India.

Our philanthropic initiatives help make FedEx a great place to work, providing us with opportunities to engage our communities in varied and meaningful ways. They strengthen the communities where we do business creating environments where businesses may thrive and where the quality of life may be enhanced for all.

A day in the life of a corporate grant maker.

Yep. Love my job.


    This is so exciting! It is always wonderful to hear what you are doing and the impact that it has to so many….

    Laurie Cigal says:

    That’s my little brother – yep! I do miss doing missionary work in Haiti and am so grateful to know FED EX is helping in other countries to provide quality of life to so many. Way to go!

    Angie Raimondo says:


    Amazing stories!!!My family and friends are continually impressed by how involved our FedEx people and corporation are in disaster relief and support of global and local communities. Shane, is there a way to contact you by email?, I have questions on this topic. Many thanks,

    Angie Raimondo says:

    Amazing stories continue to populate this blog. My family and friends are always so impressed by the caring of FedEx associates and corporate personel. Enjoy your blog…is there a way to contact you by email with specific questions?

    Shane O'Connor says:

    Hi Angie. Thanks for your kind comment. Feel free to contact me at Shane

    Rachel Davis says:

    To: Shane O’Connor It is wonderful how Fedex is doing so much on on support of local and global disasters. You work getting grants and we wanted to ask if you would tell us how to get a grant to go into business. We would appreciateany any information you could give us. Work in our area is off badly and we have found a need and would like to open a business on it. This will give us a job and we will be able to employ others in it. Thanks for any help. Our email address is: Rachel

    Shane O'Connor says:

    Hi Rachel. Thanks for your comment. The grants we make are limited to registered non-profit charities, but there are a lot of great resources available to small business owners and entrepreneurs like you.

    One of these resources is the American Express OPEN Forum website: You’ll find it full of ideas from other business owners on a wide variety of topics. FedEx is a sponsor of the “The World” section of the site ( FedEx also makes tools available to small businesses in English at and in Spanish at

    Other resources that provide information on starting up a business include your local Chamber of Commerce (, the Small Business Administration ( and SCORE (

    Additionally, your local community college and/or university may offer free or low-cost opportunities to learn about how to get a small business up and running.

    In some communities, the local United Way ( sponsors a Venture Fund in support of new non-profit organizations.

    I wish you the very best in getting your business up and running!


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