AT&T Inc. is the recipient of the 2009 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
The award honors a corporation that demonstrates outstanding commitment through financial support and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement. A&T will receive the honor on March 31, 2009, in New Orleans at the Awards for Philanthropy Banquet during AFP’s International Conference on Fundraising.
Since 2000, AT&T has given more than $800 million to organizations that work to enhance education, support community vitality and meet the critical needs of underserved and diverse communities. Just a few of the causes it supports include The Mayo Clinic; the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation; the Martin Luther King Collection of Historic Papers; American Veterans Life Memorial Fund; the Detroit Youth Foundation and the Pentagon Memorial Fund.
“The work of the Association of Fundraising Professionals enhances the achievements and establishes the standards of the philanthropic community throughout our country,” said Laura Sanford, president of the AT&T Foundation, in the press release. “We are truly honored to be recognized by an organization whose membership sustains the all-important nonprofit sector, especially during this economic climate. Working with our local communities, we are committed to continuing to invest in the communities where we live and work to support underserved populations and promote programs that create economic opportunity.”
One of AT&T’s most significant initiatives is AT&T Aspire, launched in 2008 with $100 million to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness. The program, one of the largest corporate commitments ever to address these issues, provides grants to: help students stay in school and prepare for the workforce; a companywide job shadowing program in conjunction with Junior Achievement; funding for 100 community dropout prevention summits through America’s Promise and support of major research examining school dropout rates and solutions.
AT&T is also helping senior citizens who wish to reenter the workforce. Its partnership with OASIS, a national nonprofit that works to help mature adults develop new work skills, supports hundreds of classes in 70 locations across the U.S. In addition, OASIS is providing mobile phone training with AT&T volunteers serving as one-on-one mentors.
“The sheer volume of AT&T’s giving is inspiring enough, but the company’s strategic approach to philanthropy is what truly makes it stand out above others,” said Gail Freeman, president and CEO of Freeman Philanthropic Services. in the press release. “Its willingness to invest significant amounts of resources to not just alleviate, but solve critical problems sets the model for other companies. We’re proud to join AFP in honoring AT&T as the outstanding philanthropic corporation for 2009.”
Employee engagement is also a critical goal for AT&T. Nearly 325,000 employees and retirees serve as AT&T Pioneers, donating more 10 million volunteer hours in 2007. Employees contributed over $32 million to charitable organizations nationwide in 2007 alone, and the company has supported United Way organizations through more than $83 million in contributions since 2000.
“Despite the economy, corporate philanthropy is alive and well, and AT&T is one of the great leaders that is dedicated to giving back to individuals and communities everywhere,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “AT&T’s work is having a real and measurable impact on countless communities, and it is setting the philanthropic standard for businesses in the United States and worldwide.”
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents over 30,000 members in 200 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information, go to http://www.afpnet.org.
Freeman Philanthropic Services, LLC (FPS) with offices in New York City and Boston, is a full-service retained executive recruitment firm specializing in recruitment for not-for-profit institutions and organizations. FPS has a distinguished history of successful partnerships with a variety of clients including hospitals, academic medical centers, universities, cultural organizations, advocacy and social service agencies, and relief aid organizations. For more information about FPS, please visit its website at http://www.glfreeman.com.
Source: The Association of Fundraising Professionals