Community involvement — enhancing quality of life, benefitting our employees
We strive to help the communities in which we operate become vibrant places to live and work. We serve many communities around the world, and our employees' skills and ideas are a reflection of them. When we support our local communities, we support our employees, customers and other stakeholders.
Contributing significant resources to enhance the communities we serve
We encourage community involvement, believing that doing so creates healthy, sustainable communities and business facilities. Our ultimate goal is to bring tangible and sustainable benefits to the places in which we live and work around the world. Some examples of our involvement include:
- Service on boards of nonprofit organizations
- Volunteer programs
- Financial support
- In-kind contributions
The talent, energy and skills that our employees donate to community projects hold significant value for us as well as the communities we serve. Our volunteers benefit from the satisfaction of accomplishing necessary work, expanding their social connections, learning creative problem-solving and increased well-being.
We find that employees who volunteer with local organizations are more committed to their community and feel more fulfilled at home and work.
Supporting United Way for more than 100 years
We have a long tradition of public service and commitment to our communities. In 1915, our founder Joseph O. Eaton led the formation of The Cleveland Federation for Charity and Philanthropy, which helped create Cleveland's first United Way.
Supporting the United Way in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico has been a top priority for us for the last 100 years. Our tradition of United Way support is deeply embedded in our culture. Throughout our communities, employees serve on United Way Boards of Directors, Community Campaign Cabinets and Allocation Committees.
We support the United Way concept of raising charitable donations through a single company-wide campaign. This allows community volunteers to allocate campaign proceeds to agencies that provide needed health and human services. For every dollar donated by an employee, Eaton contributes 50 cents.
Our strong commitment to the United Way goes beyond the dollars contributed. Three of our recent CEOs have served as chairman of the Greater Cleveland United Way campaigns, and plant managers and other Eaton leaders regularly take leadership roles in local campaigns.
Providing meaningful impact for local communities
Our employees take pride in determining where we invest our time and money. Local managers and employees work together to determine the programs their facility will support. This approach helps to ensure that our community involvement has the most meaningful impact at each location.
Many of our facilities have created community involvement teams, which tailor site activities to the needs of their local communities. Comprised of cross-functional employees, their responsibilities include:
- Developing an annual community involvement plan and budget to support activities
- Conducting employee-giving campaigns
- Organizing volunteer activities
- Responding to community requests for donations
Our community involvement teams foster higher employee participation and a strong sense of pride. Their individual efforts and contributions directly benefit the places where they live and work.
Annual Stover Awards recognize volunteer accomplishments
Every year, we recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of employees who volunteer in their communities with the Stover Award for community service. Any Eaton employee can nominate full-time employees who demonstrate leadership or service in community organizations.
The senior vice president within each business unit appoints a selection committee to review nominations. The committee chooses an award recipient based on the following criteria:
- Positive impact of the employee's involvement in both the organization and the community.
- Extent to which the nominee has demonstrated leadership or unwavering dedication to the organization.
- Importance of the activity or institution to an Eaton community, employees and their families.
- Volunteer service with other nonprofit community organizations.
- Letter(s) of commendation from the organization for which the employee volunteers.
Stover Volunteerism Award recipients each receive a commemorative award, a check for US$2,500 payable to the nonprofit organization of their choice, and special recognition by our chairman and CEO at a formal ceremony.
Eaton Charitable Fund —supporting education, arts, culture and social services
In 1953, we became one of the first companies to establish a corporate foundation, the Eaton Charitable Fund, to support public charities. The Eaton Charitable Fund actively supports programs that improve the quality of life in communities where we operate. We provide financial and volunteer contributions to education, the arts, cultural institutions and social service organizations.
To encourage our employees to become more involved in their communities, the Fund gives primary consideration to requests from organizations for which Eaton executives serve on the Board. Fund money is also made available to Eaton sites commensurate with facility size, and local employees decide how to allocate resources where they are needed most.
Matching gift program multiplies employee giving
Gifts made to education, arts, and cultural non-profit organizations in the United States by our employees, retirees, and directors are multiplied by Eaton's Matching Gift Program. The program provides funds to match an employee's gift, dollar for dollar (up to a $5,000 per year per employee). Eaton employees in North America are eligible to participate.
Eaton is proud to have strong internal processes and controls for managing our sustainability performance. Many of these controls connect individuals and teams across our company and include management at each level of the organization.
Explore this interactive visual map, which shows how we manage community involvement at Eaton.
How we measure success
Our key performance indicators for local community involvement are measured through several quantitative methods, including:
- Charitable contributions
- Funds allocated by community involvement teams
- Number of Stover Award recipients each year
- Eaton Charitable Fund total annual donations
- Number of Cleveland-area board members
Through these indicators we can evaluate our performance over time, allowing us to make informed decisions about possible needed changes.
2016 charitable contributions by category
In 2016, almost 60 percent of our charitable giving went to health and human services; about 17 percent to education; 14 percent to arts and culture; and the remaining supported civic and community efforts as well as global disaster relief.