Employee volunteering

Many of our people volunteer in their local community, organise fundraising events or use their skills to benefit charitable causes. This can help increase job satisfaction and boost morale.

Many of our companies support this activity by giving employees paid time off to volunteer or by organising team volunteering events. Recent examples include:

  • Bates 141 raised money to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake. The proceeds went to the rebuilding of Hong Qi School.
  • BM US is a National Partner for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society’s Annual Light the Night Walk. Employees from all US offices participate by raising money for the LLS and taking part in the walk, which is held every autumn.
  • CommonHealth participated in a toy collection benefiting Hale House. This is a non-profit organisation dedicated to building better futures for children and families in need of 24-hour infant and toddler residential care.
  • JWT Ho Chi Minh City is the annual sponsor of the Saigon Children’s Charity Cyclo Challenge event and the entire agency participates in the race. Chairwoman Chu Thi Hong Anh and Managing Director Chris Von Selle led the JWT delegation in 2008. JWT also produced banners to raise awareness for the event.
  • MVI-Management Ventures participated in the Greater Boston food bank drive.

Many WPP and company executives give pro bono advice and support and serve as charity trustees and advisors. For example:

  • Jesse Green, Executive Director, H&K Japan is Head of the Communications Steering Committee for Run for the Cure Foundation.
  • Jordi Alavedra, Group Vice Chairman, Ogilvy is a Board Member of the Special Olympics.
  • Jorge Rodriguez, President, JWT Puerto Rico is a Board Member of Drug-Free America.
  • Michael Parisi, President, Altum is a Strategic Advisor to Breast Cancer Network of Strength.
  • Richard Powell, Chief Operating Officer, BM is a Director of Global Action for Children.
  • Steve Madincea, Group Managing Director, Prism is a Board Member of the Vasculitis Foundation.

Sir Martin Sorrell is an active participant in programs at the following international business schools: London Business School; IESE, Spain; Indian Business School; Harvard Business School and Boston University School of Management.

Unusual pitch raises funds to provide fresh water for children in Lesotho

More than one billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. Dirty water and poor sanitation account for the vast majority of the almost two million child deaths each year from diarrhoea. Access to clean water and sanitation can reduce the risk of a child dying by as much as 50%. Lesotho is an extremely poor African country where the life expectancy of a newborn is just three years.

One Water sells branded bottled water, with all profits used to provide free, clean water to people in Africa. They set GroupM an unusual challenge as part of a pitch to promote One Water to the Asia Pacific market – sell as much One Water as you can for as much money as possible.

Offices got involved in the three-hour event, and one Hong Kong office alone sold 2,016 bottles raising approximately US$10,000. The money has been used to install a water pump at a children’s school in Lesotho.