Sustainability 2011/12


Ford Volunteer Corps

In addition to the financial contributions made by Ford and Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services to hundreds of organizations globally, thousands of Ford employees and retirees volunteered to help build stronger communities around the world in 2011.

Volunteerism has been an integral part of Ford Motor Company since its creation in 1903. Today, we help build communities by leveraging the volunteer muscle of Ford employees and retirees around the world.

Ford is a leader in community volunteerism. Volunteer efforts help to build the morale of our employees. There’s a strong business case for volunteerism, too: Our volunteer projects help to strengthen the name of Ford and enhance purchase consideration for future buyers.

The Ford Volunteer Corps comprises salaried employees, retirees and dealers across six continents who work to strengthen their communities. Ford Motor Company offers its U.S. salaried employees two workdays per year to volunteer in the community. Employees form “MODEL Teams” and volunteer to help nonprofit organizations. In 2011, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees in 45 countries provided more than 110,000 hours of volunteer time for their communities, or the equivalent of $2.35 million in in-kind corporate contributions.

The new, four-year UAW/Ford Collective Bargaining Agreement, finalized in late 2011, calls for the expansion of the Ford Volunteer Corps program, currently limited to Ford salaried and supplemental employees, across the UAW-represented workforce.

In 2011, Ford held five “Accelerated Action Days” – concentrated one-day efforts to meet critical needs identified by our agency partners. Each Accelerated Action Day had a special focus, such as families and children or the environment. For these events, Ford volunteers are mobilized into MODEL Teams that are matched with local social service agencies requesting their help. The daylong service programs benefit shelters and schools, children’s homes, soup kitchens and parks and playgrounds, to name just a few. In 2011, more than 60 community organizations shared $275,000 in mini-grants to support the volunteer projects (e.g., for purchasing the paint and lumber needed to complete a project). In 2011 we added a collection or drive to each action day. For example for our “Children and Families” day we collected diapers and formula, for our “Better World” day we collected electronic waste such as phones and printers, for our “Community Building” day we collected prescription lenses to be sorted and distributed throughout the world with a partner organization, and on our “Giving and Sharing” day we collected coats and jackets for the Salvation Army.

Software designed and launched by the Ford Volunteer Corps aligns our volunteer projects with the needs of nonprofit organizations across the U.S. Using this system, employees can go online to sign up for volunteer projects based on their interests and availability. In prior years, our volunteers would essentially tell the nonprofit organizations when we would provide hands-on assistance, without fully assessing when would be the best time for them. Now, our nonprofit partners can tell us when they need help and what manner of assistance they need. In 2010, the software was upgraded to help us expand our volunteer programs to other regions, strengthen data-collection capabilities and enhance the employee user experience.

In 2011, Ford held its sixth-annual Global Week of Caring, a weeklong series of volunteer events around the world that is coordinated by the Ford Volunteer Corps. During one week in early September, more than 12,100 Ford employees on six continents in 45 countries and 19 states contributed more than 55,100 hours of their time to over 244 volunteer projects touching 1.5 million lives. During this week, participants built homes; picked up trash in nature preserves, in wildlife refuges and on beaches; and fed the hungry, to name just some of the efforts. Ford retirees participate side by side with current employees on these volunteer projects.