Through Strategic Volunteer Engagement, KPMG and Freeport-McMoRan Promote Youth Education

Mar 2, 2017

There are a variety of ways companies support education initiatives across the country, from philanthropic investments and fundraising to employee engagement activities and skills-based volunteering. For 2016 Civic 50 sector leaders KPMG and Freeport-McMoRan, investment in education translates to a firm-wide commitment and strategic business opportunity. Not satisfied with one-and-done service opportunities, these companies are using strategic corporate citizenship initiatives to ensure maximum impact for students in the communities where they do business.

KPMG’s Family for Literacy program gives new books to children in need.

For KPMG, Civic 50 industrials sector leader, an emphasis on youth and education has always been a focus of their philanthropic and foundational work. In an effort to improve reading levels across the country, KPMG established its signature community involvement program, Family for Literacy, which provides families and children from low-income areas with books. Since 2007, the program has engaged employees across all levels of KPMG – interns, its partners and professionals alike – to donate books to local schools and education centers. KPMG also finds ways to engage key stakeholders – including clients, alumni, and family members – in their community involvement initiatives. At KPMG, supporting learning and literacy is more than just providing books.  For example, after realizing a lack of diverse representation in children’s books, KPMG worked with an outside publisher to create a children’s book about a disabled man in Ghana. Through its work in education, KPMG is striving to ensure all children grow up with a love of reading.

A member of Freeport-McMoRan's University Teams program works with a student at the South Dakota School of Mines on a capstone project.

Freeport-McMoRan saw a different opportunity to strategically align philanthropy efforts with the needs of educators and students. After identifying a recruitment gap, the Civic 50 materials sector leader decided to work with universities around the country through their University Teams program. The company sent representatives from key business areas to eight universities with strong mining engineering, metallurgy and geology programs to create high-impact partnerships. This mutually beneficial program helps the company identify and cultivate a new talent pool and also gives the University Teams a chance to work hand-in-hand with schools to identify opportunities for grants, educational programs, scholarship needs, and more. The program also ingrains a strong culture of service at Freeport-McMoRan by offering employees an opportunity to be key players in the recruitment process and see first-hand how investments are helping students across the country.

By investing time, money and other resources in education programs, and connecting community engagement initiatives to key business functions, KPMG and Freeport-McMoRan demonstrate a strategic commitment to students across the United States. As sector leaders of The Civic 50, they scored highest in their industries in the annual Civic 50 survey, a benchmarking effort to recognize and honor the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation.

Do you work with a company that excels in community involvement and exemplifies the ideals of The Civic 50? The Civic 50 is currently looking for the next cohort of community-minded champions to take the 2017 Civic 50 survey, the deadline for which has been extended to 11:59 PM EST on March 13. The entirely quantitative survey looks at four dimensions of community engagement: impact, investment, institutionalization and integration. Any company with operations in the United States and an annual revenue of $1 billion or more is eligible to apply. For more information – including a best practices report, resources for survey-takers, and a full list of the 2016 Civic 50 honorees – visit For further updates and insights, follow The Civic 50 on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Robert Montgomery