We align our central donations programme with our unique contributions, inviting staff across Reed Elsevier to nominate relevant charities for funding from a central budget. RE Cares Champions awarded over $500,000 to more than 80 charities in 2011.
In managing community involvement, we apply the same rigour and standards as in other parts of our business. We conduct an annual RE Group Community Survey in conjunction with RE Accounting Services and RE Cares Champions. The methodology has been developed by the London Benchmarking Group (LBG), where we are members and serve on the steering group. It divides our aggregate giving into short term charitable gifts, ongoing community investment, and commercial initiatives of direct business benefit. In 2011, all global data was assured by the Corporate Citizenship Company. Read the LBG assurance statement in Appendix 1.
In 2011, we donated £2.4 million in cash (including through matching gifts) and £5.5 million in products, services, and staff time. The market value of time, products and services, of our in-kind giving was approximately £13.7 million. There was an 8% increase in the number of employees who volunteered for RE Cares.
2011 was an exceptional year for the RE Cares Committee of Reed Elsevier Singapore. Together with staff from Elsevier, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, Reed Exhibitions, and Reed Business Information, we set an ambitious target to benefit hundreds of children, through the charity Room to Read, which fosters literacy in the developing world. To reach our goal of building a school and library in the province of Oudomxay, Laos required collaboration and boundarylessness – and the generosity of approximately 350 staff in Singapore.
We described our plans and won second prize in the RE Cares Challenge, which provided seed funding for the campaign, and then set about planning fun and engaging activities that raised money and brought colleagues together to make Reed Elsevier Singapore an even greater place to work. Among other activities, we held a June ice cream sale and invited staff to join an hour get-together where they learned more about Room to Read. We held Rock the Auction, a silent and live auction utilising the skills of a professional auctioneer, with donated goods (such as fine wine, ebook readers, and antiques) and pledged gifts of time (including dinners, language lessons, and even a job exchange). Before the close of the year we had a calendar sale, bake sale, and Christmas party.
The result? We exceeded our goal of $33,000! We dreamed big and none of us will forget the difference we made to Room to Read.
Throughout 2011, we encouraged in-kind contributions, particularly by sharing skills. RBI UK, for example, partnered with the charity, Children with Cancer, to create a marketing video to generate greater awareness and support. Staff helped with design and production and provided use of their facilities and equipment. The video explains how Children with Cancer works and how funds it raises are spent on research, care, and advocacy, with a featured case study.
After the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March 2011, we acted quickly to ensure the safety and well-being of staff in the country. Employees across Reed Elsevier also responded quickly, contributing more than $250,000, through fundraising and matching gifts, for relief efforts. We also contributed our expertise. For example, Elsevier provided medical professionals responding to the crisis with free access to MD Consult and First Consult, allowing them to search Elsevier content at the point of care, with online access via the First Consult iPhone/iPad App. Elsevier also gave free access to online medical information for healthcare professionals, librarians, and the public through the Emergency Access Initiative (EAI), a partnership of the National Library of Medicine and the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers, and other publishers. We also provided free access to ScienceDirect for researchers at the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.
Shortly after the earthquake, Reed Exhibitions held a key show in Japan – Finetech, dedicated to flat panel display technology – with nearly 60,000 people taking part. Exhibitors and visitors commended the show team on its commitment to the country during a time of uncertainty. In addition, Reed Business Information’s Bankers’ Almanac helped banking clients publish alternative contact details for staff that relocated in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Kermit R. Lowery, Vice President and Lead Customer Solutions Counsel in the LexisNexis Legal & Professional Global Legal Department (centre, below) is a Colonel in the US Army Reserves and Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the US Army’s Southern Command. He, along with fellow officers, won the Hodson Award for Public Service at the 2011 American Bar Association Annual Meeting for their support of relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
The Hodson Award, in honour of the public service career of the late Major General Kenneth J. Hodson, a former Judge Advocate General of the US Army and a founding member of the Division, recognises extraordinary service by a government or public sector law office. During his deployment in 2010, Kermit worked with staff on his mission for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.