Volume 05, Issue 1
The power of the pool
What good can come from a small donation? Lots, when many contributions are put together. That's what lets the Employees Community Fund provide strong support to organizations that help improve the areas where Boeing people live and work.
BY SUSAN BIRKHOLTZ
Most people have heard the old saying, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." One prime example is right here at Boeing—the Employees Community Fund.
The Fund's objective is to provide monetary support to nonprofit community organizations that offer critical services in the places where Boeing employees live and work. It's made up of individual contributions from Boeing employees. Some contributions are large, but most are relatively small. However, all are powerful when they are pooled and directed to the communities where there are Boeing employees. Just ask the nonprofit organizations ECF is helping around the United States, profiled in the following articles. It is in their stories that the "power of the pool" is most evident.
"The inherent value of the Fund is that it provides employees with a means to pool their contributions for greater impact on the community," said Anne Roosevelt, vice president, Corporate Community and Education Relations.
"The Fund is ideal for those who want to help but may feel that what they can afford to contribute is not significant enough on its own," she said. "Employees can give as little as $5 per paycheck, which may not seem like much. But when that $5 is combined with the contributions of thousands of other employees, that's when the real magic happens."
Roosevelt noted the Fund also is unique in that local employees direct local contributions. "ECF members elect fellow employees to sit on local ECF boards or committees, who are charged to direct employee donations to viable nonprofit organizations in the community," she said. Board and committee members volunteer their time to review grant applications, make site visits to organizations seeking support, and maintain relationships with the organizations to ensure employee dollars are being used wisely.
Sitting on an ECF board or committee is "a very responsible job that can be a significant time commitment, and it's a wonderful way to live the Boeing value of good corporate citizenship," Roosevelt added.
Besides being able to elect board and committee members to direct their contributions (or running for these boards and committees themselves), employee members in many locations can sponsor nonprofit organizations for support. "I encourage ECF members to get involved in how their contributions are directed," Roosevelt said. "The more involved employee members are in their individual Funds, the better. It's their money, after all."
Another unique thing about the Fund, Roosevelt said, is no employee contributions are used to pay for the traditional overhead expenses that other nonprofit organizations are burdened with. "Boeing believes in ECF and the power it has to do good in our communities," she said. "That's why the company pays 100 percent of all administrative and promotional costs associated with the Fund. Every dollar contributed by employees goes to the community."
The nonprofit organizations profiled in the following stories—from Los Angeles, Seattle, Wichita, Kan., and central Florida—represent just a handful of the thousands of nonprofits supported by ECF boards and committees in the United States and internationally.
"We should all be proud of the good work we are doing in our communities through ECF," Roosevelt said. "There certainly is 'power in the pool.'"
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