Community Outreach Programs: Case Studies
A number of non-consumer packaged goods (CPG), service-related brands have used community outreach programs as a strategy to enhance their growth over the years. Most notably are tech giants — Microsoft and Apple, who have engaged local communities in their strategies as a way to improve their corporate image and overall profitability. Their case studies are explained below.
CASE STUDY 1: MICROSOFT
- Microsoft has embarked on a number of community outreach programs over the years and aims to support this passion through a number of ways. The company together with its employees largely support the community in which they reside in by bringing the merits of information technology to persons and companies throughout the community.
- Microsoft's America Operations Center makes contributions to the local communities through more than 20 outreach programs and occasions, run and funded every year through the company's 'Site Pillar Programs.'
- Microsoft's IT makeover campaign is one of the company's site Pillar Programs. In partnership with IQ technologies, Microsoft‘s IT makeover campaign provides for $10,000 worth of tech enhancement and upgrades for local non-profit recipients in the Northern Nevada Region. Microsoft reviews recipient needs, missions and objectives based on applications the organizations send. In the past six years, $150,000 has been awarded, and over 20 local nonprofits have benefited.
- The GIVE (Charitable & Volunteerism) program is another prime example of Microsoft's pillar areas. The matching contributions program has Microsoft employees directing their corporate contributions to thousands of nonprofit organizations. Employee contributions have been matched yearly. Up to $15,000 has been donated. Microsoft also allocates a significant portion of its giving budget to match employee donations to causes employees choose. In addition to the campaign, Microsoft has dedicated the month of October as the annual giving campaign month. A spectrum of events including 5K runs, online auctions and others are held throughout the month, each event targeting a specific non-profit organization that received all revenue raised from the particular event.
- Microsoft provides a platform for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to earn revenues from the annual golf charity tournament funded by the company. Also, Microsoft has an open policy for its employees and willing sponsors to chip in. The competition is held annually in August. The tournament is part of the broader Microsoft’s initiative of giving back and supporting the local community. All proceeds from the event go to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs at the Boys And Girls Club
- Through the charity events that Microsoft holds, the company can maintain its large customer base alongside blooming the new. The boys and girls club initiative, for instance, introduces the young people to the company and builds a relationship that the company hopes will cultivate loyalty to the brand. It is one of the reasons why Microsoft is still relevant, 30 years on.
- In 2018, Microsoft’s valuation topped $1 trillion, making it the third-largest tech giant in the US. One of the significant contributions to the growing market, besides cloud computing is the consistent community outreach programs.
- According to research conducted by Verizon and Campbell Soup, Microsoft's community outreach increased its revenue by 20% and boosted customer commitment by 60%.
CASE STUDY 2: APPLE
- Since its inception in 2011, the global volunteer program wing of Apple incorporation has created a better reputation for the company and this has helped bolster its sales and overall growth within the United States and the rest of the world.
- This program entails the employees volunteering in local communities programs. In 2018, Apple spent $125 million to fund various projects such as education for the needy it provided devices to help in learning. The program also involves teaching subjects such as coding, drawing, photography, music and videography at underprivileged schools
- The program has also partnered with local charities in the United States such as "Point of Pride" charity which offers support to transgender people. This is inline with the Company's C.E.O, Tim Cook who stated via Twitter, "You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in."
- According to research done by the environmental leader site, Apple has been listed one of the companies that has increased revenue and shareholding value through an effective Corporate social responsibility community outreach tool. This indeed shows that community outreach programs help in improving a company's stake holding and market share.
For this request, one of the sources we have used, a report from Environmental + Energy Leader, was published in the year 2015. We decided to use this report as the information it presents is still relevant as the request is centered on non-CPG service-related brands that have successfully employed community outreach programs at some point, and we assumed that older examples would be suitable. The remaining sources used for this request are all recent and published within the last two years.