The FINANCIAL -- Wells Fargo & Company last year continued to invest in communities across the country through its philanthropy and volunteerism, donating more than $286.5 million in 2017 to more than 14,500 nonprofits, the company announced on February 21.
In addition to corporate donations, Wells Fargo’s team members volunteered a record 2 million hours in 2017, valued at $48 million (source – Independent Sector), which included 183,528 hours of service on 3,679 nonprofit boards supporting community revitalization and resiliency, homeownership, small business, food insecurity, and other global challenges. During the company’s annual employee giving campaign, more than 65,300 team members pledged $85 million in 2017 to 40,000 nonprofits. As a result, United Way Worldwide named the company’s workplace giving campaign No. 1 in the U.S. for the ninth consecutive year, according to Wells Fargo.
The company also reaffirmed its previously-announced 40 percent increase in corporate philanthropy for 2018, targeting $400 million. In addition, the company set a goal of investing 2 percent of its after-tax profits in corporate philanthropy, beginning in 2019.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our Wells Fargo team members who, year after year, exhibit selfless commitment to strengthening the communities we serve and enriching the lives of others,” said Wells Fargo President and CEO Timothy J. Sloan. “We honor the volunteerism, determination, and leadership of our team members, who are the cornerstone of our efforts to build a better bank for all communities. Their generosity underscores one of our company’s most important core values and inspires the investments in communities across the country that we will continue to make.”
“We’re grateful to Wells Fargo and its team members for their growing investment and commitment to building stronger communities,” said Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “Whether it’s volunteer financial coaching, charitable giving through their workplace campaign, helping to fight hunger or supporting new job opportunities, Wells Fargo is leading across the board to make a difference in every community across America.”
Other philanthropy and volunteerism highlights from 2017 include Wells Fargo’s new Holiday Food Bank campaign, which kicked off last November with a $5 million grant to United Way. Nearly 1,900 team members volunteered more than 7,340 hours over the holidays to sort food donations, deliver meals, and help fight hunger. Overall, the company collected 251,095 pounds of nonperishable food for 363 food banks in just over a month, serving 433,814 meals. Wells Fargo accepted goods at 5,900 bank branches and 44 other locations and hosted a mobile pop-up food bank tour that visited 17 cities between New York and California. In addition, Wells Fargo recently announced an $18 million initiative with United Way Worldwide to help one million people find jobs over the next five years to better support their families and strengthen communities.
Wells Fargo also made a number of long-term strategic philanthropy commitments during 2017, including increased funding for the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, now a $30 million partnership with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory that speeds the path to market for promising clean-tech startup technologies; and a five-year, $50 million commitment to American Indian/Alaska Native communities to help address their unique economic, social and environmental needs.
Wells Fargo’s corporate philanthropy and community initiatives reflect the company’s commitment to addressing pressing economic, social and environmental issues including in times of urgent need. For example, during a year of numerous natural disasters in 2017, Wells Fargo donated $10.6 million to the American Red Cross and local nonprofits to assist disaster relief and recovery efforts, including $6.5 million to the WE Care Fund for 4,714 grants to support its team members impacted by the three hurricanes, widespread California wildfires, and other financial hardships.
Additional examples of Wells Fargo’s philanthropic efforts in 2017 included:
$28.3 million in assistance to veterans, military service members, and their families through financial, education, career transition, and housing initiatives.
$45 million in down payment assistance grants and homebuyer education in collaboration with NeighborWorks America® through its NeighborhoodLIFT program, which helped create 2,820 homeowners during the year.
$2 million to eight nonprofits—generating $11.6 million in matching funds from grantees—for the Resilient Communities Program to help cities protect natural habitats and prepare for, withstand, and recover from natural disasters associated with changing sea levels, water quantity and quality issues, and longer fire seasons.
“At Wells Fargo, we believe we have a significant role to play in supporting community stabilization, resiliency, and economic growth, especially in underserved communities,” said Jon Campbell, head of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations. “We deeply appreciate the expertise and collaboration of our nonprofit partners who work together with us to empower change for the better in our communities.”