Global Citizenship

Creating a Culture of Citizenship Community Involvement

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More than 88 percent of U.S. employees participated in the campaign and their contributions were distributed to more than 5,700 community organizations.

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Our Family Science program is active in eight countries, sending some of Abbott’s best scientists into elementary schools like this one in Waukegan, Illinois, not far from Abbott headquarters.

Abbott’s first Family Science Day in Germany showed children and their parents the wonders of natural science through fun hands-on experiments. One favorite: poking a thin wooden skewer into a balloon…without popping the balloon! Other experiments revealed the secrets of light, static electricity and sound waves. Kids and parents enjoyed the day of discovery and learning – while volunteer scientists from Abbott enjoyed helping to inspire the scientists of tomorrow.

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Thanks to a partnership with Feeding America, thousands of children from hungry families across the U.S. and Puerto Rico leave school each Friday toting backpacks filled with nutritious foods and juices for weekend family meals.

In communities large and small, in developed and developing nations, and wherever we live, work and do business, Abbott strives to make a positive and lasting difference in people’s lives. We do so by creating and distributing life-enhancing products; by providing our expertise to advance health care quality and access around the world; and by providing financial support to the Abbott Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation. In 2012, Abbott and the Abbott Fund contributed more than $755 million in grants, product donations, community partnerships and efforts to strengthen health care systems around the world.

In addition, Abbott employees around the world generously contribute their time, expertise, money and enthusiasm to numerous community-based initiatives. Employees in Canada, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and the United States currently have access to an online system enabling them to select volunteer activities that match their needs and interests, and to track their hours for local reporting purposes.

Abbott employees also continued to expand their financial giving to nonprofit and community groups in 2012, with more than 88 percent of U.S. employees contributing through the company’s annual employee giving campaign and the matching grant program. Contributions from the Abbott Fund and employees reached a new company record of $14.7 million. Abbott’s employee participation is more than twice the rate typically seen in employee giving campaigns, according to JK Group, which administers corporate philanthropy programs at Abbott and elsewhere.

To ensure that our philanthropic activities are strategic and impactful, Abbott begins by exploring the needs of those we seek to assist, listening and asking questions until we understand their challenges and can propose workable solutions. We identify partner organizations whose skills and contributions complement Abbott strengths and expertise, and then we carefully measure the impact of our programs and share what we learn with others.

Abbott’s approach to community involvement includes:

  • Science Education: Abbott works to inspire and engage students, their families and teachers in scientific exploration to help prepare the next generation of innovators. We sponsor and participate in programs that encourage young people to become proficient in science and pursue careers in science and engineering. For example, our Family Science program engages elementary school students and their families in stimulating evenings of experimentation and discussion, led by some of Abbott’s top scientists. During the past seven years, we have held more than 150 Family Science programs in China, Germany, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Community Vitality: Healthy communities possess vibrant and diverse institutions that serve the public good. These institutions range from health and human welfare agencies such as food banks, homeless shelters and health clinics to museums and universities. The Abbott Fund supports creative programs that address unmet needs of local communities. When natural disasters and emergencies strike communities, the Abbott Fund responds with grants to trusted humanitarian relief partners. Grants are directed to both immediate needs and longer-term reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

Anticipating and Responding to Natural Disasters

When natural disasters and other emergencies strike, Abbott and the Abbott Fund respond quickly with grants and product donations to trusted humanitarian relief partners – not only to meet people’s immediate needs, but also to assist with longer-term reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. We also work to anticipate disasters. For the past seven years, for instance, Abbott has worked with Direct Relief and Feeding America to pre-position medical and nutritional products in targeted high-risk locations in advance of hurricane season. By pre-positioning products that will be urgently needed in food banks and clinics along the East and Gulf Coasts, the Caribbean and Central America, we ensure that the right products are in the right places before a disaster occurs.

Prior to the 2013 hurricane season, Abbott, the Abbott Fund and our partners had pre-positioned nearly $875 million worth of donated products, which could then be delivered within two or three days of a disaster, compared with the seven to ten days that are typical of most relief programs. Each clinic and food bank participating in our program receives disaster relief modules or packs containing the most essential supplies. These packs can treat more than 100,000 people, helping to mitigate mass referrals to local hospitals.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which caused massive floods, fires and unprecedented destruction across the eastern seaboard of the United States, Abbott and Abbott Fund committed $1 million, including monetary grants, to four relief organizations: Direct Relief, American Red Cross, AmeriCares and World Vets, as well as product contributions to food banks and free clinics in the affected areas.

Employee Giving and Involvement

Giving back is an integral part of Abbott’s culture, and our employees’ generosity mirrors that of our company. The Abbott Fund and Abbott employees contributed a record $14.7 million in 2012 through the Abbott Employee Giving Campaign and Matching Grant program, compared with $13.9 million the previous year. More than 88 percent of U.S. employees participated in the campaign – compared with 87 percent in 2011 – and their contributions were distributed to more than 5,700 community organizations. Abbott employee giving includes pledges raised through the company’s annual employee giving campaign, donations by employees throughout the year, and matching gifts from the Abbott Fund.

The people of Abbott have a long history of supporting our communities through volunteerism and by generously sharing their skills, scientific knowledge and enthusiasm with community-based initiatives. For example, many of our scientists volunteer their time and expertise to reach young people through our science education programs, while others assist our nonprofit partners in investigating new treatments and developing new products to help relieve malnutrition.

Measuring Results

We assess our community investments based on the impact they have on our business and on society. Abbott works with each community partner to measure and track outputs and the impact of major philanthropic initiatives, including science education, access to health care, HIV/AIDS, patient assistance and product donation programs.

Since 2009, Abbott has been a member of the London Benchmarking Group (LBG), the internationally recognized standard for measuring corporate community investment. Abbott is among the more than 300 companies worldwide using the LBG framework to measure, manage and report the value and achievements of the philanthropic contributions they make.

For example, we used the LBG framework to help measure the impact of the Abbott Fund Institute of Nutrition Science (AFINS) – a unique program aimed at advancing clinical nutrition practices in developing nations through extensive training; the integration of nutrition education into local medical school curricula; and the development of standardized nutritional guidelines.

Note: All data reflects Abbott activities in 2012. Some content has been adjusted to remove data specific to AbbVie, which became a separate company on Jan. 1, 2013.