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Employee Volunteering

Volunteerism is an integral part of our business. We encourage our employees to participate in programs that strengthen the communities in which we operate.

The Role of the Ford Volunteer Corps

Leading the way in our mission to create a better world, the Ford Volunteer Corps was launched by Bill Ford in 2005 in the aftermath of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami and deadly hurricanes in the United States. It has since grown into a highly coordinated network of current and retired Ford employees across six continents, helping feed the hungry, deliver clean water, build homes, renovate schools and mentor young people.

To maximize the two paid workdays we offer salaried employees each year to volunteer in the community, our “matchmaking” software system enables nonprofit partners to inform us when and where they need help, while employees can sign up online for opportunities based on their interests, skills and availability. We are continuing to enhance the user experience and strengthen our data collection, especially outside the United States.

Community Involvement in 2017

More than 36,000 volunteer participants

40 countries reached

237,000 hours of volunteering

1,766 community projects

$5.7 million in grants for tools and supplies

Our Volunteering Programs

Ford Global Caring Month 

September is Ford Global Caring Month and in 2017 more than 19,000 current and retired employee volunteers participated in 559 projects around the world. These included:

  • Australia: Installed water tanks at a camp for underprivileged young people
  • Brazil: Helped build a facility to care for impoverished families and children with cancer
  • China: Community gardening, beach clean-up and environmental education
  • Germany: Assisted with preparations for a new refugee camp
  • Mexico: Home construction, school and shelter renovation
  • Philippines: Building community water facilities in villages
  • South Africa: Installed equipment to capture and store water at schools, and carried out building repairs

Ford Seasons of Service 

The Ford Volunteer Corps is evolving its year-round efforts to make people’s lives better. Ford employees and nonprofit organizations have fully embraced our community volunteer work, but they need more flexibility to work around tight schedules or answer the call when nonprofits need it most. Responding to their feedback, we are now focused on four seasons of Ford volunteer service, rather than four days of concentrated efforts we called Ford Accelerated Action Days.

The seasons of service are:

  • Spring: Children and Families, including the annual Diaper and Formula Drive in Michigan
  • Summer: Better World, environmental projects, including the Green IT e-Waste Recycling Drive in June, which this year adds car seat recycling
  • Fall: Community Building, with Ford Global Caring Month in September remaining our signature annual event
  • Winter: Giving and Sharing, including hunger relief and the Kids’ Coat and Jacket Drive

The Ford Volunteer Corps is also encouraging skill-specific volunteering to better utilize the advanced skills of more employees, who will return for future service, providing sustainable support for nonprofits. More than 60 Ford employees are trained and certified to work this year with Accounting Aid Society, which provides free tax services for low-income people in southeast Michigan to make sure they receive earned income tax credits and other benefits they are entitled to when they file their tax returns. Most of the Ford employees assisting with tax returns work in accounting or finance. The dollars are critical to helping people become more self-sufficient and improve their quality of life.

Bill Ford Better World Challenge 

The Bill Ford Better World Challenge is a global grant program, jointly funded by the company and Executive Chairman Bill Ford. Through the initiative, set up in 2015, employee volunteers can apply for grants, totaling up to $500,000 a year, to support transformational community service projects that address issues around mobility; basic needs, such as food and shelter; or access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

In 2017, we awarded $200,000 for two projects that will significantly improve health and sanitary conditions for people in India and Mexico:

  • In the Kancheepuram district of India, 300 SMART toilets will be installed at residential homes to mitigate poor sanitation; the program includes education on good hygiene practices
  • In Guayacan, Mexico, grant funds will build a community center where area residents can obtain uncontaminated water, have access to flushing toilets and receive a weekly free meal; the facility aims to serve 750 families

 Case Study

Helping People Overcome Taxing Challenges

Tax Manager Bob Clary has worked for Ford for 19 years. For all of that time, he’s also been a volunteer tax preparer for the Accounting Aid Society. Accounting Aid provides free tax services for low-income residents in southeast Michigan to make sure they receive tax credits and other benefits they’re entitled to when they file their tax returns. The money they receive is often critical to helping them become more self-sufficient and improving their quality of life.

More than 60 Ford employees are currently trained and certified to work on its volunteer tax assistance program, providing much-needed help to community members. In 2017, Accounting Aid helped local residents claim a total $28 million to which they were entitled, an economic boost to the area that otherwise would have been out of the reach of those who need it most.

The tax help is available at both of Detroit’s Ford Resource and Engagement Centers.

Ford provides a lot of volunteer opportunities, but this is one of the most rewarding experiences because you could possibly be generating cash for a client. It’s often the largest amount of cash these people will get in an entire year.”

Bob Clary,State Tax Manager, Ford