The good we can do in communities expands exponentially when we complement our grants with the time and talents of Avery Dennison employees. Over the last two years, our Foundation worked to increase the level of employee volunteerism associated with our global grants. Company-wide, our employees have embraced this opportunity with enthusiasm, and volunteering is rapidly becoming a fundamental part of the Avery Dennison culture. Currently, about 48 percent of our programs include an opportunity for employees to volunteer or otherwise engage. Our 2020 Vision calls for us to raise that to 50 percent by the end of the decade.
Because Avery Dennison employees often have the best understanding of their communities’ needs, more than 110 Community Investment Teams coordinate volunteerism at the local level. The teams have also informed our decisions to give to a broad range of community-based organizations.
We also engage employees at the local level through the Granting Wishes program, which enables employees in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. to recommend smaller, one-time grants to local nonprofit organizations. Employees also collaborate with the organization on a hands-on, employee-led volunteer project. Often, employees will already have a connection to the organizations they nominate through prior volunteerism or service on the organization’s board. In the six years since we launched Granting Wishes, more than 600 of our employees have taken part, and we’ve granted $885,000 to 160 organizations.
To further encourage service among our employees—and to honor the example set by our late Chairman, President and CEO, H. Russell Smith—we created the Model Integrity and Social Responsibility Leadership Excellence Award in 2010. We award it annually to employees who demonstrate an exemplary and sustained personal commitment to voluntary community service. Recent recipients of the award have helped connect women with scholarships, provide food for the hungry, raise the spirits of children with serious illness and more.