It turns out that BP, the giant energy company, has been investing significantly more than just billions of dollars in the United States. It has been doling out to help ease the financial and ecological pain suffered by Gulf states after the giant oil spill in 2010.
BP is also investing $20 million into American communities in another way, with a unique twist. The company is leveraging the specific donations with an employee-engagement program, The Fabric of America Fund.
The Fabric of America Fund was launched in 2007, and each full-time, U.S.-based employee can donate up to $300 a year to a charity of their choice -- without having to match any portion of the donation out of their own pocketbook. This seems like a good way to harness the tremendous power of employee engagement in a way that benefits BP and the communities it serves -- and gives the company's staffers a no-strings-attached reason to appreciate their employer.
"Employee engagement is a cornerstone of BP's efforts to make a positive difference in the communities in which we work and live," said Crystal Ashby, executive vice president of government and public affairs for BP in the United States, in a press release. "Providing our employees with the means to connect directly to organizations of their choosing makes BP's Fabric of America Fund unique."
Whether or not a company does something like this is beside the point. BP's method effectively engages employees in decisions that benefit the not-for-profits organizations that they personally favor. This year alone, the fund has made contributions to organizations in more than 3,000 cities and towns totalling around $1.8 million.
BP says it has invested more in the U.S. over the last five years than any other oil and gas company. And it hasn't been just to clean up an unfortunate oil spill.