PwC partners and staff are purpose-led and values driven. Both in and out of the office, PwCers go all out to make a difference. In an elevator, on the way to a client meeting, or at a team luncheon, PwC people raise awareness for important causes, which are often intensely personal to them. Colleagues learn and support each other, and the Foundation helps amplify their impact with programs such as Flash Fund Fridays.
Since 2015, Flash Fund Fridays has given the people of PwC an opportunity to raise additional funds and awareness for their selected charitable organizations. Using their own unique crowdfunding page on PwC’s employee giving platform, Impact Space, PwCers encourage colleagues, friends, and family to donate and support their cause. In FY18, 20 eligible crowdfunders were randomly selected to receive $10,000 each for their organizations.
Since its first crowdfunding promotion in 2015, the Foundation has granted $520,000 to 62 charities fundraised for by PwC people for issues they care about. In FY18, the winning charities primarily focused on improving access to the arts, health and human services, and youth mentoring and education.
While reminiscing with high school friends about an inspirational business teacher, Karl Grabbi realized he too could make a difference in the lives of the next generation of students. He and his friends started Teamesteem, a mentorship network of D.C.-area professionals that helps students embrace new ways of thinking and empowers them to find personal and professional fulfillment. Teamesteem has held a series of collaborative workshops for groups of students to learn new skills, such as personal finance and data science, practice entrepreneurial activities like pitching to investors, develop professional networks, and discover how to live purposefully and authentically in a fast-paced world. With the funds from the Flash Fund Friday grant, Teamesteem launched a job shadow program and hosted a social entrepreneurship workshop for 30 students. “We help young people build a robust support network of role models and encourage them to think critically about their futures. The volunteers get a lot out of it too,” Karl explained. “We are all working hard to make our community and world a better place.”
“Seeing the scholars — some of who end up becoming doctors, counselors, teachers and scientists — and knowing how dedicated they are to improving themselves and their lives made me want to be part of it.”
When a colleague asked for help pulling together an event for HFS Chicago Scholars several years ago, Wendy Campnell signed right up. Impressed by the students and their stories, Wendy quickly became involved and was invited to serve on the organization’s Young Professionals Board almost two years ago. HFS Chicago Scholars provides one-on-one mentoring and financial assistance to economically disadvantaged Chicago high school students who show academic and leadership promise. The number of PwCers supporting this program continues to grow, via donations, mentoring, teaching financial literacy classes and reviewing potential scholars’ applications. The number of scholars has increased yearly, with nearly 200 scholars grades 9-12 supported in the program in 2018.
After learning about Arts & Scraps three years ago, Sarah Remski enjoyed volunteering with them so much that she eventually joined the Board. Detroit-based Arts & Scraps annually recycles 28 tons of material and serves 275,000 children, while assisting 3,300 community organizations and classrooms. “The organization spoke to me, because while on the surface, it looks like an eco-friendly recycling program, it is actually educating kids from the low-income areas of Southeast Michigan, with a particular focus on STEM. It is amazing to see the architecture and engineering projects from different ages. I love seeing six-year-olds figuring out how to make a sound structure,” Sarah explained. While the “reduce, reuse, recycle” aspect of the program is appealing and beneficial, the attempt to close the vast education gap in the Detroit area is the driving force behind Sarah’s commitment. Being able to reach a broader group to inspire kids to think, create, and learn from these hands-on experiences has been a goal, and as a result of the Flash Fund Friday grant, Arts & Scraps was able to increase the number of summer programs offered and expand participation in the area.
Though she hadn’t played soccer since grade school, Jen Fries rolled out of bed on a rainy morning back in 2010 to attend a DC SCORES charity soccer tournament. Using the world’s most popular sport, DC SCORES combines a love of soccer with developing teamwork and leadership skills for more than 2,800 low-income children in the Washington, D.C. area. Improving children’s physical fitness and confidence while building literacy, increasing school engagement, and deepening connections to the community has allowed the participants of DC SCORES to grow and flourish. “Seeing the confidence and eloquence these kids possess is truly amazing. We joke about wanting to get their numbers so we can hire them in 10 years,” says Jen. The enthusiasm and energy of all involved is contagious, as Jen has been the team captain the past nine years and has seen so much interest that they have now expanded to two PwC teams. And the organization’s impact has gone even further for Jen. “PwC’s Be well, work well really came into my life as a result of my involvement with DC SCORES. I joined multiple local adult soccer leagues and am benefiting from it both socially and physically,” she explained.
Charlotte Coker Gibson
Executive Director, Charitable Foundation, PwC US