Engaging Our People in Civic Leadership
Whether it’s supporting a local community or one in a country thousands of miles away, our volunteer efforts are making a difference in the lives of others.
Summer of Community Service
In 2005, we launched a national, community service program that encouraged our people to participate in a firm-sponsored volunteer activity that would make an indelible impact in our communities. What began as a month of volunteering in our communities has expanded to a three-month program that supports youth education year after year.
In 2010, we again showed that, by leveraging the power of 30,000 people, we can collectively make a difference for our communities by helping motivate, educate and develop our next generation of leaders. During our FY10 Summer of Community Service, PwC partners and staff:
- Organized more than 165 projects
- Donated nearly 53,000 hours
- Impacted approximately 70,000 children
- Raised over $145,000
In the New York office, one of their recent summer volunteer projects involved spending a day with children in the Staten Island public school district and teaching a lesson plan about entrepreneurship.
“We usually have to read big boring textbooks, but today we got to learn things that we’ll get to use as real lessons in life.”
- Ana Lynch-Comer, fourth-grader
“The job interview lesson was really important because a good interview is important to get a job. I’ll share it with my older sister who’s looking for a job right now.”
- Pyachea Heredia, fifth-grader
Project and Virtual Belize
Where does responsible leadership start? At PwC we think it begins the moment you become a part of our organization. For some, that means honing this skill when they are interns through our Project Belize and Virtual Belize international internship program.
In 2008, a selective group of 100 interns, 17 high-performing staff and 4 partners taught lessons to nearly 2,000 students at four schools in Belize. They experienced the impact that one person can have in the life of a child—and the dramatic impact that a team of people can have on the lives of others. The project also involved refurbishing the four schools and building a Leadership Development Center that included a new library and computer lab.
In 2009, the program became Virtual Belize, where 550 interns exchanged personal letters with students in Belize and managed a supply drive, collecting more than 300 boxes—or nearly 10,000 pounds—of school supplies. PwC also set up scholarships for the nearly 2,000 students to help them continue their education, which would otherwise be cut short due to financial constraints.
Our 2010 interns continued the effort by sponsoring a firm-wide Project Belize school supply drive. Later in the year, three former interns who volunteered as part of the 2008 Project Belize trip will return to Belize to distribute collected supplies as well as $25,000 in student scholarships. As part of the trip, these employees will spend two days in Belize City, working at the same elementary schools where they previously volunteered.
The children of Belize have become an important extension of the PwC family. It is our goal to continue to support them with learning opportunities that can develop their minds, stretch their imaginations and bring a sense of hope to their dreams. To view photos and videos of how we are educating the children of Belize, and follow our July 2011 experience in Belize, visit pwc.com/projectbelize.
In August 2010, PwC sponsored two marine expeditions in which six PwC student fellows participated in either the Queen Conch project in Belize or the Whales project in British Columbia. These expeditions, which are operated both globally and locally, are hands-on, engaging and meaningful and provide unrivalled opportunities to undertake vital, peer reviewed scientific field research under the supervision of skilled research teams in a professional setting.
"I wanted to take a moment to thank you personally for supporting my Earthwatch Expedition this summer. Your generous sponsorship enabled me to join the Queen Conchs of Belize Teen Team, and to make a meaningful contribution to a research project that will provide the Belizean government with important data regarding the state of that country’s fisheries."
--a student participant
Project Make [it] count
Through our Project Make [it] count program, we allowed individual employees to act as a responsible leader and develop their own service project, which ranged from teaching financial lessons to youth to providing meals to those in need. Many of the participants enlisted the support of colleagues, friends, family, and others. This project was also highlighted in Fast Company magazine as a model for scalable, low-cost volunteer programs.
"My participation in the Make it Count project has introduced me to a group of teachers, and students who are thinking about the same things I am. It was refreshing to find and work with students that volunteer their time to learn more about their environment, and who have such ambitious goals.… I can tell that I have made a connection with a group that I will continue to be involved in for some time to come, because we developed a mutual respect, and appreciation for what each of us is doing."
- Austin Watroba, Assurance Manager
In our inaugural 2009 effort, 23 individuals were randomly selected to receive $450 in seed money to implement a community service project that supported our Corporate Responsibility goals. This low cost, employee-driven volunteer activity was successful in inspiring and delivering innovative projects that underscored the impact that one person can make. It also signaled to our people that by making alternative personal choices, they can potentially waste less and contribute more.
In 2010, we again selected 22 participants who represented our offices across the country.
In Spring 2010, PwC also extended Project Make [it] Count outside the firm by offering business students from colleges across the country the chance to submit service project proposals and receive up to $5,000 in funding to implement their ideas. Nineteen student projects were selected and the hundreds of students involved started making their plans a reality with the support of their peers and PwC partners and staff.
Community Investment Website
At the start of FY09, we launched our firm's first firmwide community website that allows our people to enter their volunteer time, network with colleagues, look up local volunteer events, search for open board positions and celebrate the great community work that our people do every day. One year following its launch, the site has over 2,000 photos that local offices have posted and nearly 3,000 of our partners and staff have completed their volunteer profiles.