A Growing Spirit of Generosity
In challenging and uncertain economic times like the nation is currently facing, charitable giving is typically one of the first things to decline. In fact, when the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University surveyed fundraisers for its Summer 2008 Philanthropic Giving Index (PGI), 83 percent of respondents said the economy is having a negative effect on giving. Human service charities are likely to be especially hard hit, because demand increases while the funding tends to decline.
However, the generosity of FedEx Ground employees has not faltered. Despite the economic situation, the company and its employees exceeded this year’s target by raising more than $1.2 million for United Way, a national non-profit consisting of nearly 1,300 local organizations that improve people’s lives and local communities in a variety of ways.
Personally, I find the success of this year’s campaign impressive for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the sheer size increase of the campaign is significant. Since 2007, the company has more than tripled the total funds raised and increased total employee participation by 6.5 percent.
It’s when you break down the numbers that it gets especially interesting. This year, the most significant increases in dollars and participation came from the field — not from the headquarters location as one might initially expect. In fact, it was the package handlers and employees at our 500+ U.S. facilities that really stepped up and made this a stellar year. Over 60 percent of total pledges came from the field, with package handler contributions alone totaling more than $100,000.
In my opinion, this says a number of things about our organization and our people. Most importantly, it demonstrates that our employees are not only committed to their jobs and the company’s success, but also to making a difference in somebody’s life, especially when it is needed most.
United Way is a national charity that distributes funding to individuals and communities in need across the United States. It consists of nearly 1,300 local organizations that work to create lasting positive changes in communities and people’s lives. Common focus areas include helping children succeed, promoting self-sufficiency, strengthening families and empowering adults with disabilities.
FedEx is proud of its long-standing relationship with United Way. In 2003, the company received the organization’s Spirit of America Award, which honors a company that exemplifies corporate responsibility.