Consumers complain about internet service providers left and right. They’re expensive, dishonest, selfish, opportunistic . . . the list goes on to describe several deplorable, Uncle Scrooge-like characteristics. This is why it may surprise you that many ISPs have social outreach programs and charitable initiatives.
But you might not be so surprised if you know that philanthropic efforts and sustainability can embellish a bottom line. As Cone Communications reports, “More than 9 in 10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause.” Then Cone did it again with another study, finding, “87 percent will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about.” Large corporations from Coca-Cola to Taco Bell are emphasizing socially responsible missions and charitable giving in an effort to attract more paying customers — of course internet companies also caught on to the idea that this is the strategy to win an American’s heart and wallet. Below are some of the ways they’ve been plugging into the community. Will these outreach programs motivate you to let them tap into your funds?
The Comcast Foundation
Comcast includes several social responsibility programs as part of its Comcast Foundation. Internally, the company claims a commitment to diversity and aspires to a 50 percent women and 33 percent people of color inclusion at every workforce level through the help of leadership training programs, Employee Resource Groups, and recruitment initiatives. It has also hired over 15,000 veterans since 2010 as part of its goal to include the military community in its workforce.
In addition, sustainability is an emphasis for Comcast. Its goal is to complete 500,000 hours of green volunteering by 2020.
The 18-year anniversary of Comcast Cares Day occurred this year in May. Volunteers worked with Olympic Gold medalists in Colorado Springs to train children in the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region. Comcast is responsible for funding and sponsoring Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide.
Google Fiber ConnectHome
At its core, Google Fiber’s mission is to provide internet access for everyone in the cities it services. It partners with the Nonprofit Technology Network to create digital literacy programs, and it offers free web access for community hubs like libraries through Community Connections.
But Google Fiber’s cause goes beyond that. Fiber ConnectHome lets community members in public and affordable housing receive their gigabit internet for free. This allows children access to the internet to complete assignments and improve their schooling and fills the digital equality gap for low-income groups.
Read also: How to Improve Wi-Fi and Internet Speeds in an Apartment
CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation
CenturyLink’s Clarke M. Williams Foundation delivers philanthropic outreach in several facets. Its Teachers and Technology Grants fund technology use in American classrooms, and its Annual Backpack Buddies Food Drive donates to food banks providing meals to children during school breaks.
The foundation also has a Matching Time Grant Program to donate to organizations their employees volunteer with, creating an environment where employees are encouraged to volunteer their time.
Spectrum Housing Assist
When natural disaster strikes America’s homes, Charter Spectrum pledges its help. Partnering with companies like Rebuilding Together and the American Red Cross, it has logged over 37,000 volunteer hours and repaired over 27,000 homes. The mission? Improve 50,000 homes by 2020; it met its prior goal of 25,000 in a similar time span.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Charter Spectrum invited volunteers to rebuild homes impacted by the disasters. The company schedules “Community Days” to work with local nonprofits in this initiative.
AT&T Climate Resiliency Community Challenge
The Climate Resiliency Community Challenge is a collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory to encourage young scholars to find innovative solutions to climate change. AT&T endorses southeastern universities to assess climate risks in their communities and propose changes, addressing topics from infrastructure to public health. AT&T will fund up to $50,000 for these research projects. AT&T emphasizes its mission to mitigate the risks of climate change, and it will accept applications until September 30, 2019.
Some of these programs have been in action for over a decade; others are more recent. Do any of these initiatives move the reputation needle for you? That’s one of the goals, but it’s up to consumers to voice their support in these causes and take action by paying for services from the best possible provider. Studying community outreach may need to become one of your to-dos when you’re researching your next purchasing decision.