Baxter Recognized on The Civic 50 List for Focus on Volunteerism and Education

Dec 13, 2013 1:30 PM ET

Baxter International

Baxter makes it a priority to give back to the community. Through a mix of financial contributions, product donations, grants and employee volunteer efforts, the company strives to make a meaningful impact in expanding access to healthcare, promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, and addressing other critical local needs.

The company's commitment to civic engagement was recently recognized through its inclusion in The Civic 50, a list of the most community-minded companies in America from The National Conference on Citizenship  and Points of Light, published by Bloomberg.

Fifty companies were selected for The Civic 50 list based on their commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities where they do business. Baxter was recognized in particular for its longstanding efforts supporting employee volunteerism and STEM education.

"The results of this year's Civic 50 survey show that even the most civically engaged companies are doing more to make community engagement a top priority and a permanent aspect of their business strategy," said Michael Weiser, chairman of the Board, National Conference on Citizenship and Neil Bush, chairman of the Board, Points of Light, in a joint statement. "These 50 companies are showing others in the private sector how to boost the bottom line and make the world a better place."

A culture of community engagement
Baxter encourages employees to get involved in the community, and offers programs and policies that make it easier for them to give their time and financial support to causes that matter to them. For example, the Baxter International Foundation matches employee donations of $25 or more, up to $5,000, to non-profit, tax-exempt U.S. hospitals and health care agencies, schools and cultural organizations, through its Matching Gifts program. In 2012, these gifts reached 730 charitable organizations.

The Baxter International Foundation also awards grants to organizations around the world that help increase access to dental care, mental health care and other services for the young, elderly and the uninsured. This includes support for prize programs such as The Foster G. McGaw Award, William B. Graham Prize, and Episteme Award, which all recognize individuals and organizations that are innovating in meeting the healthcare needs of diverse populations.

The company provides employees with paid time to volunteer, and donates to organizations where employees have actively volunteered for at least six months of the year through the Baxter International Foundation's Dollars for Doers program. More than 6,500 Baxter employees volunteered more than 127,000 hours in their communities in 2012. Throughout the year, Baxter employees make a positive impact in their communities through efforts such as blood drives, food pantry donations, nature preserve restoration projects, and home building with Habitat for Humanity. They also mobilize during annual volunteer events such as Baxter World Environment Week and Making a Meaningful Difference Month.

"We are fortunate at Baxter to have employees who are generous with their time and donations; both of which make meaningful differences in the local community," says Alice Campbell, Baxter senior director, Global Community Relations.

In addition, Baxter and its employees support education initiatives in communities in which it has a presence. Science@Work, the company's multi-year commitment to Chicago Public Schools to support teacher training and student development in healthcare and biotechnology, has now reached more than 60,000 students and 720 teachers since starting in 2008. Baxter is also a founding member of FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and sponsors the award-winning Mountain Home High School team in Arkansas. The company is involved in Junior Achievement, and Street Law, Inc., as well as in providing internship opportunities for students in high school and college.

Last summer, 24 Chicago Public School high school students participated in Baxter's second annual summer high school internship program, during which they attended educational sessions, toured a Baxter laboratory and took part in hands-on research experiments. Baxter is also one of the corporate sponsors of Howard University's 21st Century Advantage Program  (21 CAP), through which it "adopts" a team of students and provides them with on-site training sessions, as well as scholarship and internship opportunities.

More about The Civic 50
This year's applicants for The Civic 50 were evaluated and accrued points based on several criteria, including the level of financial and human resources that are applied to civic improvement, whether internal and external resources are activated to maximize community impact, how a company's community engagement activities support its business interests, how broadly community engagement is supported and institutionalized within a company's policies, systems and incentives, and how a company measures the social and business value of its community engagement programs. True Impact, a company specializing in helping organizations maximize and measure their social and business value, administered the survey. A cross-sector team of independent qualitative evaluators reviewed the responses.