Nov. 19 /CSRwire/ - ARMONK, NY - November 19, 2007 - In only four years after the initiation of IBM's (NYSE: IBM) On Demand Community, the company's community service program, a global army of IBM volunteers are making a world of difference.
From working with the visually impaired and physically handicapped, to the homeless and students in need of mentoring, IBM's corporate volunteer program stretches around the world with IBM volunteers serving in nearly 100 countries. This week the company surpassed its 100,000th employee participant, logging in aggregate more than 6 million hours of service, including:
"IBM employees, whether in London or Beijing, New York or New Delhi, Paris or Peru, are making an enormous difference by sharing the same expertise and world class talent they provide to business clients to their local schools, organizations and not-for-profits," said Stanley Litow, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation.
IBM has also expanded the tools available on the site for employees to use, including tools that help initiate technology plans, improve project management skills and improve overall productivity in schools and non-profits. In addition, IBM has added new collaborative tools to enable employees and retirees to connect with each other to solve problems together and share solutions around the world. The company will also enable its employees to apply volunteer-related experiences to their professional development.
Alexandre Matte, a sales engineer in IBM Brazil, was the 100,000th employee to register. Alexandre has served as a mentor for children at risk for the last seven years. Alexandre plans to expand his volunteer experience and make a greater impact by using tools from the On Demand Community to help become a board member on a non-profit.
While the company has strongly supported employee volunteer efforts beginning with the founder Thomas Watson, under current CEO Sam Palmisano, IBM's best technology and business tools have been added to increase the support volunteers receive and the impact they can make. The focus of the program is to apply the skills and expertise of IBM employees or its retirees to significant issues in their communities, especially in education and workforce development. For example,
The program uses the web to give employees more tools and resources to make a greater impact and, after volunteering for 50 hours or more in any year, offers cash and equipment grants that match employee volunteer time. In a recent evaluation, the Points of Light Foundation called the On Demand Community "a program without peer." Since the program's inception, non-profits and schools have received nearly $10.5M from the company in technology grants to programs related to employee or retiree volunteer efforts.
IBM has approximately 350,000 employees worldwide and country by country participation figures were released showing that on a totally voluntary basis IBM employees serve at unprecedented rates. Countries with the highest level of participating employees include:
Recently, IBM has added collaborative tools that enable IBM employees to share their best practices, for example an engaging presentation, materials and demonstrations to interest children in science by showing the magnetic properties of electricity.
Recognizing the impact that its volunteers make in their communities, IBM has also recently enabled its employees to apply volunteer activities to their professional development. For example, if an employee is interested in gaining project management skills then they can use the tools and presentations provided, work with a non-profit and report back the accomplishments with their managers for consideration for other client-related projects.
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