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

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 skills and contribute to job satisfaction. Many of our companies give employees paid time off to volunteer or organise team volunteering events. Recent examples are summarised here.

Support for Haiti

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake on Haiti, WPP companies and employees organised fundraising events, volunteered and made donations to support humanitarian relief efforts.

Many WPP companies provided valuable marketing and creative expertise pro bono. For example, Grey Canada developed a fundraising poster for the Salvation Army in just 24 hours. Entertainment and sports marketing agency Alliance used its relationship with Western Union and music artist Wyclef Jean to raise awareness and support for the Yele Haiti Foundation.

Peter Tortorici of GroupM Entertainment became executive producer on the new recording ‘We are the World 25 for Haiti’ which featured major stars and premiered at the Winter Olympics.

My First Book

Children learning to read

Using an idea that began in the Cape Town office, 20 JWT locations around the world are using their creative skills to turn stockpiles of photography and illustration catalogues into teaching resources. So far more than 2,000 employees have used the materials, made redundant by online libraries, to create books that have helped 70,000 children in disadvantaged communities to learn to read.

View the video

A new school for China

Young Chinese students whose school Ogilvy and WPP have continued to support

16 December 2009 was a special day for people in the remote mountain village of Hongqicun, Sichuan Province, as children returned to school after more than a year in temporary classrooms in villagers’ homes.

Heavily damaged in the May 2008 earthquake, the elementary school was rebuilt with money raised by Bates141, Ogilvy and WPP and in partnership with the Education Bureau of Lizhou District, Guangyuan City. The donations funded new school buildings with places for 150 pupils, a dormitory for 45 students and four teachers, and a new playground.

Matthew Fan, chairman and general manager of BatesApex, who led the companies’ involvement said, “After the earthquake, staff from Bates141 and Ogilvy immediately became involved in relief work – they donated money and goods, purchased and delivered medicine and children’s supplies to affected areas. Our staff also put their professional talents to use, creating earthquake relief appeals to help raise funds and encourage people’s support. Sichuan is my hometown so I especially felt the responsibility.”

Bates141, Ogilvy and WPP have continued to support the school. In March 2010, two Hongqicun teachers attended training programs organised through HSBC and the China Charity Federation. Other training initiatives and student scholarships are among various projects under consideration for the school.

Many Ogilvy Hands project

Many Ogilvy Hands mural with child on foreground
A school Ogilvy UK built in Buikwe, Uganda
  • In 2009, Ogilvy UK built a secondary school in Buikwe, Uganda with space for 138 students, who previously had nowhere to go when they graduated from the primary school in the village. A second schoolhouse is under construction and by the end of the five-year project the school will have places for 600 students.

Ogilvy is funding the project and three groups of volunteers visit the site each year to help with construction, forge links with the teachers and schoolchildren and gain new skills and experiences. The Many Ogilvy Hands project has ignited a passion for inventive fundraising at Ogilvy, and many employees are personally sponsoring a child’s schooling and medical care.

Children’s Corner Malawi

TNS has had a long-standing partnership with UNICEF. In 2008 the company committed to a three-year UNICEF project called Children’s Corner Malawi which sets up community centres for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. The centres offer a safe place for the children to play, get some basic education, eat a nutritious meal and come to terms with their loss. Approximately 125 children attend the centre each day.

The partnership with UNICEF was extended to all of Kantar, after the acquisition of TNS. At the end of January 2010, six Kantar employees flew to Malawi to see at first-hand the work UNICEF carries out using money donated by Kantar companies.

To date TNS and Kantar have raised more than £310,000 through their partnership with UNICEF.

Children’s Corner Malawi: Malawi children and a volunteer Children’s Corner Malawi: Malawi children around a water pump

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