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The pandemic and societal challenges continued to further our Edelman value – The Commitment to Positively Impact Society – and to generate constructive change and support where we work and live. We elevated this commitment through our pro bono and volunteer initiatives, our investments in global Community Investment Grants, and the desire of our 6,000 employees to build inclusive and sustainable communities. We demonstrated that Action Builds Community.

Our Community - infographic

Our Engagement in Community

Employee engagement rose 5% in FY22 with Edelman’s community engagement, environmental, human rights and sustainable procurement policies contributing to that increase, our FY22 employee survey found.

Employees believe Edelman and they are contributing to the greater good, with 81% believing the agency has effectively adapted their own global citizenship efforts to adjust to societal changes due to COVID-19. The annual survey also found eight in 10 believe Edelman has created a culture where global citizenship is valued, three-fourths say our culture values volunteerism, and 68% think the agency has created a culture sensitive to its environmental impact.

Consequently, the percentage of employees committed to being social and environmentally responsible increased to 94% from 73% in FY22. And those believing they make a meaningful difference to societal causes climbed to 58% from 43%.

We give each full-time employee eight hours of time to participate in Edelman organized and individual pro bono or volunteer projects. Pro bono partnerships continue essential to our citizenship endeavors around the world, with a new partnership model in place in FY22. The three-category classification – Flagship for global, Premiere for national, and Local as local office/market – ensures a holistic and consistent way to evaluate opportunities, involve more employees, and achieve higher pro bono hours.

Pro Bono & Volunteerism Investment

Edelman continued in FY22 to align its pro bono projects against five United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Climate Action, Quality Education, Reduced Inequalities, Gender Equality, and Good Health and Well-being. This offers our offices a holistic and consistent way to evaluate opportunities and create greater impact. Overall, we achieved an 86% alignment rate, with the Reduced Inequalities goal accounting for the most pro bono work among the five, at 33%, with Climate Action accounting for the least, at 9%. Our employees’ volunteer hours climbed 34% to 7,804 from 5,738 in FY21 when the first year of the pandemic curtailed volunteerism. The FY22 hours represented a $220,303 investment. Pro bono hours, however, slipped 24% to 12,028, representing an investment of $2.34 million. Hours spent by employees in board advisory roles rose nearly 23% to 1,871, increasing overall employee investment in such activities in FY22 to $2.93 million.


Australia - Edelman Australia Supports UN Women Drive to Close Gender Equity Gap
Closing the global gender gap will take 135.6 years, the World Economic Forum predicts. That’s why UN Women Australia launched a new campaign, Equality: Our Final Frontier, to examine the timeline for gender equality, and Edelman Australia helped deliver national broadcast, print and online media.
The campaign, which began in late FY22, has secured over 90 pieces of earned coverage, reaching over 6.4 million. This has included interviews on national evening news stations, an online and print article in The Australian, widespread coverage from advertising and media, and Ad News, and thought leadership pieces published in Women’s Agenda. Since the campaign began, the timetable for closing the global gender gap has declined by six years. 
U.S. - Edelman D.C. Amplifies AAPI Voices at The Unity March
The Unity March, the first-ever rally led by Asian-Americans, was held on June 25 and Edelman partnered with a coalition of leading Asian and Pacific Islander American nonprofits to mobilize and demand the U.S. take actions to ensure the safety, security, and prosperity of AAPI communities.
Edelman developed social and earned media strategies to amplify the Unity March and served as advisors to the coalition planning the event. This effort involved Edelman’s Boundless ENG and different business units, including Digital, Multicultural, Edelman Global Advisory (EGA), DxI, Creative, and Earned Media Strategy. The March generated over 2,000 mentions online, with influencers such as Jeremy Lin, Phillip Lim, Geena Rocero and Daniel De Kim using their platforms to amplify the march, which continues to serve as a central advocacy platform.
U.S. - Edelman Smithfield Helps Underserved Students Gain Access to Top Colleges
Edelman Smithfield established LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America) as its Premier Pro Bono Partner. The nonprofit organization helps high-achieving students from under-resourced backgrounds gain admission and succeed at the nation’s most selective colleges. The LEDA community is  1,850 strong comprised of Scholars, Career Fellows and an expansive college alumni network.
Each year, 100 high school juniors become LEDA Scholars and receive leadership training, writing instruction, standardized test preparation and a year of personalized guidance as they navigate the application and admissions process at the most competitive colleges, as well as ongoing advising during college. LEDA Career and Alumni Service s provides Scholars and Career Fellows with career exploration, professional development, and internship opportunities, whilst maintaining a robust professional alumni community.
Edelman Smithfield provided event support and panelists at LEDA’s Annual Celebration and Summer Career Institute, provided traditional PR counsel, and hosted 20 Scholars at the Edelman D.C. office for a “Day in the Life at Edelman” event.
We also reimagined how LEDA employs social media to attract and engage prospective scholars, and we launched a LEDA Digital Media Fellowship Program in which we mentor two Scholars on digital marketing, content creation and social media. Our partnership also emphasizes relationship-building with LEDA Scholars and community members, including serving as a professional resource for them.
Canada - Documentary brings awareness and funds to Canadian Charity
Jake’s House, a Canadian nonprofit that provides support to families affected by autism, partnered with Edelman Toronto to solve a not-so-unique problem with a distinct solution. It helped the group generate fundraising support and compete with higher-profile autism organizations.
The project with Jake’s House centered around the formation of the ASD Band (named for Autism Spectrum Disorder). The band featured four talented performers on the autism spectrum, illuminating achievements of those on the spectrum. Edelman Canada created a feature-length documentary called “OKAY!” that followed the band’s journey as the quartet wrote, recorded, and performed an album of original songs. As a companion piece to the film, an innovative music video featuring AR filters celebrated the song ‘Masquerade.’ The campaign increased donations to Jake’s House by almost $1 million in a pandemic year, representing a 226% increase.
Brazil - Adus Institute Promotes Refugees’ Integration Into Brazilian Society
Edelman Brazil partners with the Adus Institut, an NGO helping refugees integrate into the country through learning, legal advice, training, assistance with job placement and other services.
In FY22, Edelman supported several initiatives, including an exhibition, “Olhares que acolhem”, that included photos by photographer Felipe Grespan of refuges from seven countries, and new branding for the organization’s language teaching project, “We, the world.” In the first six years of the teaching program, it received about 4,000 students, trained more than 150 teachers of different nationalities, and made more than 2.5 million resources available to professionals.
On World Refugee Day on June 20, Edelman provided media assistance for a YouTube discussion of the necessity to integrate and included history professor Leandro Kamal, singer-songwriter Jorge Vercillo and two teachers who were refugees.


Edelman Mexico City Supports Reforestation of Urban Forest

Edelman Mexico employees participated in a volunteer outing supporting Pronatura, a Mexican nonprofit focused on the conservation and resilience of biodiversity and environmental services. Thirty-plus Mexico City office employees contributed to the reforestation of the Bosque de Aragón, an urban forest located northwest of Mexico City.

Edelman Chicago Helps Distribute Computers to Students

Edelman, alongside Hewlett Packard and Affordable Connectivity Program, donated 130 new computers to Chicago Public School students and their families through a new technology donation program with Comp-U-Dot, a nonprofit that provides technology access and education to under-resourced youth and their communities. Edelman, HP and ACP are each donating one percent of the value of every computer Edelman purchases to provide new computers annually to students.

EMEA Africa

For many communities in the South African province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, where access and funds for fresh produce is scarce, the Mbokazi Vegetable Garden was created to promote social cohesion and community empowerment to students at a primary school. The Edelman Africa team donated garden necessities and provided hands-on support, and the garden assisted hundreds of local families.

APAC Shanghai

Working with Heart2heart Shanghai, Edelman Shanghai office held a charity bazaar and raised enough money to help a Tibetan girl, Dawa, complete the operation for congenital heart disease.

Employees Tap 33 Nonprofits for Community Investment Grants

Employees with a cause they support can recommend the nonprofit for a Community Investment Grant to receive up to $2,500 in funding. The Edelman program has awarded over $1,425,000 over the past 11 years to support 973 local organizations around the world with whom our employees volunteer. All grants align to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

In FY22, we funded $81,500 in grants to 33 nonprofits. Recipients use their funds to further their mission and help us build stronger, healthier, and happier communities. Here’s how many of the FY22 recipients used their awards:

AbhayaAbhaya Yoga Foundation, Brooklyn: Supported scholarships for teacher training and yoga education to increase diversity and accessibility in yoga education.

AADIAction for Ability Development and Inclusion (AADI), New Delhi: Supported its Urban Community-Based Rehabilitation Program, which works toward the inclusion, participation, well-being, habilitation, and rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

brandlabBrandLab, Minneapolis: Provided paid internships, apprenticeships, and mentorships as well as networking and resume support.

Chinese American Service LeagueChinese American Service League, Chicago: Used toward programs including its senior meals program that delivers meals to 300-plus seniors at several senior living centers every day.

embarcEmbarc, Chicago: Helped support the nearly 4,000 students and 200 teachers, providing 4,350 hours of coaching, professional development, and curriculum support.

guidedogsGuide Dogs of the Desert, Whitewater, Calif.: Trained dogs and educated six teams of students and new guide dog partners.

angelsImerman Angels, Chicago: Supported the Cancer Access Resource and Equity (CARE) Advocate program.

irishIrish Classical Theatre Co, Buffalo, N.Y.: Funded the ICTC Cultural Classics Exchange Program, a reading series of plays and lore that connects cultures.

jarThe Jar, Boston: Supported its inaugural Jar Festival featuring playwright and director Aya Ogawa and two nights of comedy and poetry.

jewishJewish World Watch, Encino, Calif.: Created 17 Perma-gardens in Eastern Chad to help alleviate food insecurity for displaced people and feed more than 100 people in Eastern Chad on an ongoing basis

JLIJournalistic Learning Initiative, Eugene, Ore.: Expanded its Black Student Magazine and moved it to a digital publication model.

la-fireLos Angeles Fire Department Foundation, Los Angeles: Funded replacement of 660 brush fire captain’s helmets that provide protection during firefighting.

oaklandOakland Theater Project, Oakland, Calif.: Supported its ability to livestream the West Coast premiere of the play "Endlings" by Celine Song about three elderly Korean “sea women” who harvest seafood with only rusty knives.

heartOne Heart One Soul Coalition, Niles, Ill.: Helped extend art workshops for children and provide educational classes for youth.

pawsPets Are Wonderful Support Inc., New York: Supported the care of two dogs while their owner underwent a medical procedure that kept her in the hospital for two nights.

bostonProject Hope Boston, Roxbury, Mass.: Supported its housing services department that provides hundreds of families with housing search and placement, eviction prevention, and shelter diversion services.

house-1Restoration House Hamilton, Ontario: Assisted the hungry with food supplies and festive occasions with food.

qreverbREVERB, Portland, Maine: Promoted sustainability among fans and artists at concerts and festivals across the country at its Action Villages and supported waste reduction and diversion practices.

Sai Kung Stray Friends Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation Limited, Hong Kong: Supported its project to neuter free-roaming dogs.

horizonSafe Horizon Inc., New York: Supported its care at its network of eight domestic violence shelters, five Child Advocacy Centers, its Streetwork Project and community programs.

sickSick Cells, Lisle, Ill.: Funded its Warriors with Pride Campaign, which highlights unique stories of LGBTQ+ members in the sickle cell disease community and used to share stories from the Latino community living with SCD.

travelTravel & Give, Los Angeles: Alleviated the costs to travel to Haiti and Kenya to provide workshops for teachers, and hands-on therapy for children.

chicagoTutoring Chicago, Chicago: Enabled 1,000 students from over 220 school districts facing economic barriers to receive one-on-one academic support.

trisomeTrisomie 21 Corse, Lucciana, France: Supported its mission to promote the educational, professional, and social inclusion of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

cervicalUK Cervical Cancer, England: Helped fund a Nepal clinic that screens low-income women for cervical cancer and other cervical abnormalities.

vancouverVancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Vancouver: Supported its subscription concerts, education seminars and school workshop, and free community concerts.


Ruth Edelman Annual Citizenship Award

The Ruth Edelman Citizenship Award, given annually since FY16, recognizes the team and individuals who develop and execute the pro bono project that demonstrates Edelman Citizenship to the highest extent. The $5,000 award honors the legacy of Edelman’s late deputy chairman and the wife and life partner of our founder who supported numerous health organizations and nonprofits throughout her life.

The award illustrates how our offices and employees can impact a specific societal issue in partnership with a nonprofit client and it drives collaboration across Edelman offices and practices. For FY22, the award goes to Edelman’s London office for its work with Race Equality Matters, a not for profit community interest company, in launching the #MyNameIs ‘Fuh-Net-Ic Filter’ campaign during Race Equality Week, an annual UK movement to address workplace barriers to race equality.

Mispronunciation of names is the most common micro-aggression toward minorities in the UK, a poll revealed. And fear of speaking up leads to people accepting wrong pronunciations, such as taking on an anglicized name at work or letting people use an “easy” nickname instead of their real name.

Race Equality Matters and Edelman utilized the Fuh-Net-Ic filter, a social tool with a database of over 500,000 names with different phonetic spellings from over 70 countries and pronunciations in 22 languages. The filter let anyone share the phonetic spelling of their names and the stories behind them. During the weeks following the launch, over 55,000 people worldwide shared stories about their name origin, their ancestors and their identity.