Creating ever more effective solutions for the fast-evolving challenges that face a globalized world is an important part of the culture at Hewlett Packard (HP). Social innovation can lead to huge improvements in people’s lives, and HP is focusing its considerable resources on the areas of community involvement, education and healthcare. Through the company’s extensive global reach and wide array of products and services—plus the valuable expertise of its employees—HP supports programs that need assistance as part of good corporate citizenship.
In addition to corporate efforts, HP is all about employee involvement in social innovation. In fact, employee giving, amplified by HP and Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation matching cash and equipment donations, was valued at nearly $100 million over the past five years. And that’s not counting employees’ community involvement, which HP encourages and supports. More than 4,500 HP employees donated over 52,000 hours of expertise to volunteer projects in local communities in 2009.
These activities go beyond traditional philanthropy to cultivate new skills in the global workforce and kickstart business-oriented solutions to social problems, often complementing the philanthropic work of the Foundation. Through HP VolunteerMatch, an online service available through the HP intranet, employees can search for and find volunteer opportunities that match their specific skills and thus help them to make the maximum impact with their time.
In the area of community involvement, US-based activities within HP’s Social Innovation Office include a wide variety of projects. For example, one important partner for HP is Community Renewal International (CRI). Together, HP and CRI have committed to building, nourishing and sustaining safe and healthy communities with solid, measurable results. The results are visible in three key areas. The first is Funding, which expands the capacity of the CRI model, develops access to healthcare programs within that model and completes the evaluation design and implementation so CRI can be sure its programs are working. The second is Collaboration and Volunteering, which involves the development and implementation of CRI metrics and evaluation program. There are also shared partnership liaisons to handle the coordination of new plans for CRI programs. Finally, Technology is naturally a big focus for the HP-CRI partnership. That means developing Learning Labs (training and information sharing centers) that connect across all CRI Friendship Houses to share data and thus improve programs for all CRI offices. Currently, CRI is based in Shreveport, Louisiana--and the organization is expanding to Washington, DC.
Another area where HP has committed to community involvement is in its legal department. That department has set a goal for half of its US employees to provide at least 20 hours per year of pro bono services to their local communities. Hundreds of pro-bono hours have been donated so far, supporting projects ranging from providing legal advice to homeless people in the San Francisco Bay Area to running legal clinics for veterans in Houston, Texas.
Over the past five years, HP has invested more than $236 million in cash, technology and services, which has supported over 1,100 projects in 45 countries.