AT&T Foundation

Part
01
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Part
01

AT&T Foundation Programs

The AT&T Foundation has been the main philanthropic arm of AT&T since 1984. Throughout its journey, it seeks to develop a link with the regions where it has its headquarters, aiming to improve the living conditions in the communities. The support focus is on education and technological development, civic and community service, art and culture and employee involvement. Among the programs created and supported by the Foundation, AT&T Believes, AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, AT&T Society and AT&T Together stand out.

AT&T Believes

  • AT&T Believes is one of the AT&T Foundation's largest philatelic social programs. Its objective is to raise the quality of life in the communities in which it has headquarters.
  • The company connects to small local entities, collaborating with financing actions and attracting volunteers. The actions are diverse, resulting from local needs, such as the revitalization of historic neighborhoods and assistance to the homeless and unemployed.
  • In September 2018, a team of AT&T employees interested in working in the Chicago area invited the Foundation, and the project started. Today they are acting in Los Angeles, Bay Area, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Phoenix, Seattle, together with Chicago
  • The first step in the project's actions is to involve residents with AT&T volunteers. One of the local actions is the implementation of professional training posts, aiming at the reduction of the unemployment rate.
  • In Chicago, where the project started, the goal of AT&T Believes is to improve the situation of 19 neighborhoods, due to the high rate of violence and unemployment, are marginalized. To this end, it invests in cultural promotion and professional training of the residents of the communities. They Invested in the Chicago Tribune's “Chicago Forward: Young Lives in the Balance”, and began a partnership with the Chicago Bulls, in the creation of a West Side's youth sports project, "Court of Dreams".

AT&T Presents: Untold Stories

  • AT&T Presents: Untold Stories is one of the philanthropic art incentive programs created by the Foundation. One of the social values of the company is to create means to expand the audience of women working in the cultural area and is included in this project
  • In partnership with Tribeca Film Institute, the AT&T Foundation grants US $1 million to women filmmakers or teams that demonstrate the financial need to produce feature films. The project also includes the orientation and distribution of the film.
  • The program started in 2017, with the production of the film "Nigerian Prince", directed by Faraday Okoro. In its third edition, in 2019, it contemplated the production of "Black Hole", of a team composed mainly of women.
  • Registration is free and the decision is made through a pitch, with no prior images required.

AT&T Society

  • AT&T Society is the company's institutional development program, which aims to engage its employees in local causes. It works as a way to make employees aware of the social issues around them, but it also aims to increase team spirit in the workplace.
  • In 2018, approximately 31,000 employees offered more than 1,5 million hours of community activities worth more than US $35 million.
  • The program started in 2009. Since then, more than 250 projects have been completed in 13 countries
  • One of the main actions that compose this program is called ESCULEA +, and has already reached 9,356 people, in 9 countries in Latin America. The program volunteers assist in revitalizing and restructuring schools in undeserved communities.
  • Some organizations benefiting from this program are Liberty House, The Art Station, Child Health, Audubon Center, DFW Humane Society and Special Olympics, Operation Gratitude, Promise House, and Texas SPCA.

AT&T Together

  • The AT&T Together is a technological initiative created by the foundation to encourage different philanthropic actions.
  • The platform connects all options of activities related to social and environmental engagement, in the areas where AT&T is headquartered, simply and attractively. In this way, those interested in contributing to any cause, have the opportunity to choose by affinity.
  • The program started in 2018 and, over the first year, 42,000 employees used it to seek opportunities to engage in social projects, donate to causes or participate in campaigns such as blood donation, for example.
  • This project ended up arousing a strong level of engagement among the company's employees and expanded relations with residents of local communities.

Research Strategy

We started our research by analyzing the AT&T Foundation website, to understand which programs they offer and in which areas they operate. We were successful in finding all the information requested. Then, we looked for the official websites of the programs described in the survey. AT&T Believes's program has a website for each area in which it operates, so we searched for information that could summarize the program as a whole. Information about the AT&T Society program is contained on the Foundation's home pages and detailed in the company's annual accountability report. We use these sources to increase the degree of detail about the actions carried out in the project. AT&T Society has its website, where we look for information for this research. The AT&T Together program is recent, appearing mainly in the company's annual report, witch has been our main source of content.

Part
02
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Part
02

AT&T Foundation Partners

Organizations that the AT&T Foundation partners with include local organizations and educational institutions.

Believe Arkansas

  • The AT&T Foundation has partnered with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the state government in the Believe Arkansas Initiative.
  • This initiative aims to identify strategies and programs where the biggest affect can be made on hunger and food scarcity.
  • AT&T also pledged $70,000 to directly support food pantries in the state.
  • AT&T and its subsidiary Cricket Wireless set up donation/collection points in all its stores, including special stations where first responders can grab emergency packs to carry and give out during the course of their work.
  • The partnership will bring increased brand recognition, social responsibility recognition and extra foot traffic to AT&T as members of the public bring donations to its stores.

STEM Scholarships

  • One of the AT&T Foundation's major funding points is education and scholarships. For example, they awarded The Minnesota West Foundation $15,000 to fund high-demand college courses in relevant areas like IT.
  • In addition to the general social good of such a grant, the AT&T Foundation also helps better train a young workforce for the 21st century.
  • Another example is funding that the AT&T Foundation poured into K-12 initiatives in Chicago, implementing STEM mentoring programs.

Believe Louisville

  • Similar to Believe Arkansas, Believe Louisville is another AT&T initiative to help improve various communities across the US.
  • This partnership was between AT&T and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), aiming to improve education and job skills for at-risk communities and improve homelessness.
  • The AT&T Believes program helps fulfill the company's promises to help employees impact their local community.

Overall Insights

  • The AT&T Foundation focuses on education, civic & community service, arts and employee involvement.
  • The Foundation aims its funding at communities where AT&T has a solid business presence, innovative uses of technology and groups that employees are actively involved in.
  • It will partner with local organizations that align with its stated goals in that particular geography.
Part
03
of seven
Part
03

AT&T Foundation Integration with AT&T Business Units

Although AT&T has several business units, the region of focus is global. Its business units promote the AT&T Foundation's philanthropic projects through their skills and efforts to benefit communities.

AT&T Foundation's Integration With AT&T Business Units

  • In 1984, AT&T decided to use corporate philanthropy as a strategy to cement themselves as a leader in the field.
  • The primary objective of the foundation is to help improve lives, progress education, and bolster communities. The AT&T Foundation contributions amounted to almost $150 million in the year 2001, with over $85 million coming from the AT&T Foundation.
  • Several divisions were in contention with the foundation initially but have since come to respect the foundations purpose.
  • The company stated, “Philanthropic initiatives should help advance business interests through strategic alliances with the marketing, government affairs, research and development, and human resources functions.”
  • One strategy consisted of business units assisting philanthropic projects with their skills and efforts to benefit communities, thereby immersing themselves in the community and having a sensitivity to the communities needs. By thoroughly understanding the communities needs, AT&T’s business units could have more responsive and profitable business strategies.
  • The company's image benefited significantly from the AT&T Foundation and further collaborated on other marketing projects that were mutually beneficial.
  • AT&T’s marketing department and the AT&T Foundation collaboration included splitting production expenses, as well as operating assistance, for nonprofit producers, advertising, and promotion support.
  • The AT&T Foundation took AT&T’s government affairs division to heights not seen by any other private organization. In 1984, they were able to influence government policy by insisting the information superhighway should be private instead of public.
  • In return, the AT&T Foundation championed WIC and other family programs through its relationships with other influential companies.
  • AT&T division has committed itself to investing in the AT&T Foundation even amidst layoff, seeing a benefit in a strategy of cost-cutting and corporate citizenship.

Part
04
of seven
Part
04

AT&T Foundation Employee Engagement

AT&T employees contribute financially towards AT&T Foundation through an annual Employee Giving Campaign. The benefits they get for contributing is recommending a non-profit organization for an AT&T Foundation grant. Below are explicit details on the request.

Employee Financial Contributions

Benefits for Employees Who Contribute

  • The employees who participate in the annual Employee Giving Campaign are eligible to receive Cause Cards.
  • Cause Cards are grants offered by AT&T Foundation to eligible charities recommended by employees. This is, the Foundation supports the organization(s) which employees are passionate about through this Cause Cards Program, a Charity Reward Program.
  • These Cause Cards range from $25 - $250 depending on employees' percentage of total giving. Usually, the employees are notified about the value of their Cause Cards and the deadline they are supposed to redeem them by making recommendations for AT&T Foundation grants to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations/charities of their choice.
  • 501(c)(3) organizations/charities include educational institutions, arts & cultural organizations, health & human services organizations, environmental organizations, civic & community organizations, among others.

Research Strategy

In search of data needed to answer the research question, your research utilized various publicly available sources, such as the AT&T Foundation website, among other credible third-party websites. From these sources, the team was able to compile all the information required to satisfy the research question.

Part
05
of seven
Part
05

AT&T Foundation Funding

Based on an examination of the 990 forms for the AT&T Foundation from 2013 through 2017 (the most recent publicly available), almost all the contributions to the fund come from AT&T. There are a few small contributors that are included below, but the contributions are relatively tiny compared to what AT&T contributes. Additionally, the Foundation does get some funding from interest, dividends, and the sale of assets. However, these are again small compared to the contributions made by AT&T.

2013 Contributors

2014 Contributors

2015 Contributors

2016 Contributors

2017 Contributors

  • AT&T contributed $95.2 million, the large majority of it in the form of non-cash stock that is being held by the Foundation.
  • Network for Good contributed $27,000.
  • Benevity Community Impact Fund contributed $65,000.
  • AOL Giving Foundation contributed $6,000.
  • To confirm that the stock came from AT&T, we also examined the company's 2017 annual report. In it, they clearly state that they donated "an additional $89 million to the AT&T Foundation."

2018 Contributors

  • Although the 2018 form 990 has not yet been filed and/or made public, we were able to determine from the company 2018/2019 CSR report that the total philanthropic giving for AT&T in 2018, through a combination of corporate and Foundation giving, was $102.7 million.
Part
06
of seven
Part
06

AT&T Foundation Impact

The AT&T Foundation has increased the college access to youths who cannot afford education. From 1984 to 2018, the foundation made total contributions of $3.494 billion. Below is an in-depth overview of the request.

Total Amount Contributed by AT&T Foundation

Impact


Research Strategy

During a deep search in the public domain, your research team was able to compile total contributions made by the AT&T Foundation since its beginning in 1984 to 2018. The team was unable to locate the 2019 data to help us calculate the total amount contributed by the foundation to date (we assumed to date means 2019). In search of this data, 2019, the team employed the following strategies.

We began the research by going through the company's websites related to the AT&T Foundation. Also, we searched through the company's sustainability reports. We utilized this strategy because the company usually posts about its projects, including sustainability projects, in these sources. However, after going through them, we could not find any data related to AT&T Foundation's 2019 total contributions. We could only find data for previous years.

Next, we went through charitable databases, such as Donor Search, Guide Star, Philanthropy, CAF America, among others. Here, we checked if the AT&T Foundation had donated to the community or any nonprofit in 2019. But after a deep search in these sources, we could not find any relevant data required to answer this specific question.

Finally, we searched through credible third-party news websites, such as Philanthropy News Digest, CSR Wire, among others. Here, we hoped to find an interview conducted by any top official of the AT&T Foundation, explaining how much the foundation contributed to the community in 2019 or any other relevant information that addresses this specific question. Unfortunately, from these sources, we could not find any information on AT&T Foundation's 2019 total contribution.

NOTE: Since the above strategies could not provide the data needed, the team made an assumption that AT&T Foundation's 2019 total contributions information has not been made public yet by the company, and this report may be made public this year, 2020.

Calculations

The team could discover that AT&T Foundation contribution comes from the AT&T (corporate + employees) and the Foundation itself. The data we have provided below is from 1984 to 2018:
From 1984 to 2007 = $1,900,000,000, 2008: $169,020,000, 2009: $155,090,000, 2010: $148,200,000, 2011: $130,000,000, 2012: $131,000,000, 2013: $130,000,000, 2014: $126,900,000, 2015: $156,600,000, 2016: $139,300,000, 2017: $156,000,000, and 2018: $151,700,000.
Therefore, AT&T Foundation total contribution from 1984 to 2018 is: $[1,900,000,000 + 169,020,000 + 155,090,000 + 148,200,000 + 130,000,000 + 131,000,000 + 130,000,000 + 126,900,000 + 156,600,000 + 139,300,000 + 156,000,000 + 151,700,000] = $3,493,810,000

Part
07
of seven
Part
07

AT&T Foundation Media Coverage

Most articles that cover stories about the AT&T Foundation are published by local newspapers. In general, the media coverage about the organization is positive. More information regarding these articles is provided below.

AT&T Foundation Gives $300k to Local Nonprofits to Help Children Realize Their Dreams

  • This article talks about how the AT&T Foundation, as part of the AT&T’s Believe Miami initiative, gave $300,000 to local Miami nonprofits to help young adults succeed in life. The Believe Miami initiative was designed to help remove the barriers that keep young adults from accomplishing their dreams.
  • The media that published this article is a local online newspaper.
  • The commentary about the AT&T Foundation is positive.

AT&T Foundation Contribution to Support Embark Georgia Network

  • The article is about the AT&T Foundation's $25,000 contribution to help the University of Georgia increase college access and retention for students who have experienced foster care or homelessness. The donation will also help to cover these students' medical, transportation, housing, and food needs.
  • The media that published this article is a local university website.
  • The commentary about the AT&T Foundation in this article is positive.

AT&T Foundation Makes Donations To PBSO Foundation and FAU Paradise Club

  • This article discusses the donations done by the AT&T Foundation to Florida Atlantic University’s Paradise Club and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Foundation. The AT&T Foundation gave each entity $25,000 to fund scholarships.
  • The media that published this article is a local news source.
  • The commentary about the AT&T Foundation in this article is positive.

AT&T Launches 'Believe in Tennessee' Initiative for Community, Tech College Students

  • This article covers the AT&T Foundation's launching of its new initiative "Believe in Tennessee," which will help to remove barriers to academic success by preparing students for career pathways through partnerships with community and technology colleges.
  • The media that published this article is a local news provider.
  • The commentary about the AT&T Foundation in this article is positive.

AT&T Foundation Boosts STEM Plans at Edmond High Schools

  • The article talks about how the AT&T Foundation donated $25,000 to Edmond Public Schools to help implement a quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. Through this program, about 7,000 students will be able to acquire new skills.
  • The media that published this article is a local online newspaper.
  • The commentary about the AT&T Foundation in this article is positive.

Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin Receives $10,000 AT&T Foundation Grant to Support School-to-Work Program

  • The article discusses the AT&T Foundation's donation to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin of $10,000. This grant will help to provide work and training experience for high school students and help them obtain new skills for future jobs.
  • The media that published this article is a local newspaper.
  • The commentary about the AT&T Foundation in this article is positive.

AT&T Leads Effort to Give $100,000 to Fight Hunger

  • This article talks about how the AT&T-related entities, including the AT&T Foundation, committed over $100,000 to Believe Arkansas initiative that aims to combat hunger in the state. The AT&T Foundation committed $50,000 to the cause.
  • The media that published this article is a local newspaper.
  • The commentary about the AT&T Foundation in this article is positive.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "cost cutting and corporate citizenship."
Quotes
  • "The foundation’s mission is to advance education, strengthen communities, and improve lives."