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Press Release


ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 6, 2011) — Today, United Way honored U.S. Bank with the 2011 Spirit of America® Award to recognize the company and its employees’ commitment to improving the financial stability of individuals, families and local communities. Microsoft Corporation, Bank of America, Procter & Gamble and Dominion Resources, Inc. also received Summit awards for generosity, volunteerism and measurable community impact.

“At a time when many families need extra help, U.S. Bank has demonstrated true leadership by dedicating their resources and people to improve financial stability through program grants, training, financial education and assistance, community service, and more,” said Brian Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “Their commitment, and that of these other model corporate citizens, is truly improving lives.”

As part of the 2010 U.S. Bank United Way campaign, Richard Davis, chairman, president and chief executive officer for U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of  U.S. Bank, called U.S. Bank employees to action, asking them to “Dare to Dream” of a community where everyone could live a healthy life. Employees responded wholeheartedly, leading U.S. Bank to a $12.5 million United Way campaign – an 11% increase from the previous year. In 2010, U.S. Bank provided $38 million in total charitable giving (including United Way), an increase of 24%. Further, over 36,000 U.S. Bank employees (60%) volunteered, helping hundreds of thousands of people with home buying, basic banking and more.

“It is an honor to be recognized by United Way, an organization that truly makes a difference by providing a wide variety of services and assistance to those in need in communities across the country,” said Davis. “I am especially proud of our employees whose contributions, service and partnership with United Way have helped to make our communities stronger, healthier and more vibrant places to live, work and play.”

U.S. Bank provided $25.8 million to support programs focused on financial education, job training, affordable housing and more – representing 75% of the bank’s overall charitable giving. Plus, U.S. Bank boosted its fundraising efforts for United Way and 25,000 other qualifying charities by offering triple FlexPoints to customers who used their FlexPerks Visa card to make charitable contributions.

Donations made via the card increased overall by 22% and donations specifically to United Way increased 45%. 

In addition to the 2011 Spirit of America Award, United Way presented Summit Awards for exceptional community results to these corporate leaders: 

  • Microsoft partnered with United Way in multiple ways including Gulf Coast oil spill support, software and grants, plus a companywide auction, photography book and employee donations – overall providing $14.3 million in cash, software and in-kind donations to United Way, part of the $603 million in cash, software, and matching of employee contributions to charitable organizations and causes around the world in 2010. Microsoft also supported United Way’s focus on education by serving on the Campaign for the Common Good education launch panel, partnering with United Way during the NFL Half Time Show to promote InterroBang, an interactive online educational game for kids, and providing software and expertise for the online components of United Way’s education town hall, plus local support for United Way of King County’s Parent-Child Home Program to help low-income families prepare for kindergarten. Microsoft’s General Counsel, Brad Smith was the co-chair of United Way of King County this year, and Microsoft employees logged more than 72,490 volunteer hours toward education projects and 363,000 hours overall. Since 2006, Microsoft has doubled the number of employees volunteering plus provided $23 million in matching grants, with a $17/hour donation for employees volunteering 10 or more hours.
  • Procter & Gamble and its employees demonstrated their commitment to touch and improve lives by contributing time, cash and product to United Way organizations around the world last year, including raising almost $16 million for local communities through employee campaigns.  In concert with the Company’s Live, Learn and Thrive program that helps children get off to a healthy start, receive access to education, and build skills for life, P&G helped expand the reach of United Way organizations around the world.  For instance, P&G provided support for the creation of United Way chapters in Panama and Honduras, and supported on-going efforts in Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S.  Through efforts like these P&G has benefited more than 210 million children globally since 2007 – on its way to reaching 300 million by 2012.  Plus, P&G provided support to United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Winning Beginnings and Success By 6 early childhood education programs and the Born Learning program in Latin America.  In addition to employee financial donations, more than 5,000 P&Gers volunteered more than 37,000 hours to United Way agencies last year, including more than 145 team volunteer events, a 453% increase over the previous year.
  • Bank of America has invested more than $450 million with United Way since 1999, taking a leadership role as the largest financial institution supporter for more than 10 years. The bank was the first financial institution to nationally support United Way’s Financial Stability Partnership through $4.5 million in grants in addition to employee volunteers, providing free tax preparation and filing assistance to lower-income working families, resulting in 1.5 million free tax returns and $2 billion in total tax refunds. In addition, the bank is also the national founding partner of United Way’s one-stop centers which bring a range of social services under one roof to increase people’s economic self-sufficiency.  In 2010, bank employees donated more than $25 million to basic human services supported by United Way and donated thousands of hours as part of more than one million volunteer hours contributed to local communities last year.
  • Dominion and its philanthropic arm, The Dominion Foundation, granted $24 million in 14 states, including supporting United Way of Southeastern Connecticut’s heating assistance program and food center. Dominion also provided $4.5 million in EnergyShare heating and cooling assistance. In 2010, Dominion employees volunteered 150,000 hours, a 20% increase over 2009. Dominion’s focus on supporting the communities it serves is clear: Employees participating in the Speaker Bureau program spoke at 91 different schools and civic organizations in 2010; the company created STEM endowments for New England Public Schools, including “Worm World” outreach; and Dominion piloted a new higher education grants program in Virginia, focusing on workforce development. The program has been expanded to 10 states for 2011. Dominion is a leader and key sponsor of Greater Richmond and Petersburg United Way’s Women’s Leadership Initiative where 75 Dominion employees are members, focusing on supporting childcare centers.

The Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, now in its 24th year, is United Way’s highest national honor for a corporation, recognizing the United Way Global Corporate Leadership company with the most comprehensive commitment to improving lives and strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers, labor representatives and local United Ways.

Media Contact

Amanda Ponzar 
703-836-7112, x253