Alcoa’s Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld often says, “No one is perfect but a team can be.” This is evident in many places, among them, the Alcoa Foundation Board of Directors, composed of 13 Alcoa executives and managers from different levels of the organization, including one Alcoa retiree, representing our regions and business units.
Recognizing the mutual benefits of board service to organizations and individuals, Alcoa Foundation launched a nonprofit board placement program in 2012 as a pilot initiative with a few executives. We envisioned this as another way to create shared value – lending experience, knowledge and dollars to nonprofits, supporting our employees’ community interests and personal and professional development, and building Alcoa’s reputation as a compelling place to work and responsible corporate citizen.
Our board placement process includes training, tracking, leveraging and communications. We match the employee’s interests related to the environment and education to the needs, requirements, and expectations of a nonprofit. The program is off to an encouraging start with 19 people placed, and we continue to receive positive feedback from both the nonprofits and placed board members. If the program is successful, our goal is to extend it throughout the organization.
Looking ahead, there are several nonprofit board trends and additional internal efforts we will need to integrate to improve our program. We want to help diversify boards.
- Nonprofits want more diversity. According to BoardSource, a nonprofit organization focused on good governance practices, 82% of boards are composed of Caucasian members, nearly 60% of all members are older than 50, and only 14% are younger than 40. We want to help diversify boards.
- They also want financial support. In addition to asking their board members to be more proactive on fundraising, nonprofits are instituting sizable personal “give” requirements that can be earmarked as unrestricted dollars. BoardSource says 75% of fundraising charities require personal financial contributions from their board members. While it is understandable that charities would want their board members to have some “skin in the game,” making substantial dollars a prerequisite might impede charities from building the boards they want. We will see how this plays out.
- Internally, we need to continue developing training to leverage the board experience, track the engagement from both perspectives, offer ideas to maximize the relationship and communicate milestones.
Alcoa Foundation is energized about our board placement program and eager to connect Alcoans and nonprofits that share common values and a vision to improve their community. We know firsthand that, like seeking love or a new career, there are many factors that go into making a match. But the rewards of service – and teamwork – make the effort entirely worth it. Continue reading for a few of these stories from Alcoa and our terrific nonprofit partners!
President, Alcoa Foundation
What's Happening Around Our Focus Areas and Alcoa
Nonprofit perspective: Liz Maw about board member engagement
Liz Maw joined Net Impact as CEO in 2004. During her tenure, Net Impact has tripled its chapter network to more than 300, formed partnerships with over 50 global corporations, and developed multiple new programs that engage students and professionals in sustainability. Liz is the President of Net Impact’s Board of Directors. She is also a Board Member of the World Environment Center. We asked her about her experience and lessons learned. Read more
Alcoa’s Kevin Anton about what to consider when joining a board
Kevin Anton was named Chief Sustainability Officer for Alcoa in August 2010. In this role, he is responsible for developing a comprehensive strategy that integrates all of the Company’s sustainability efforts. Kevin currently serves on the board of Earthwatch Institute, an international nonprofit organization that promotes action and understanding necessary to sustain the natural environment. Earthwatch Institute is an Alcoa Foundation partner. Kevin provides his perspective on finding the right match when considering joining a board. Read more
Alcoa Brazil Volunteers Plant Trees during Green Works
During Green Works, Alcoa employees in Brazil collaborated with nonprofit organizations and community members to make their neighborhoods cleaner and greener. Trees were planted in São Bento and Santa Tereza parks, making it a new place to enjoy nature for 3,000 residents. In São Paulo, Alcoans partnered with Julita Foundation and The Nature Conservancy to plant native tree saplings, with the aim of reforesting the Atlantic Forest, which boasts 20,000 plant species, 40 percent of which are endemic.
Central Park Conservancy Unveils 700 Infinitely Recyclable Aluminum Trash Bins
The new bins will help increase recycling, improve visitor safety and reduce the rat population, improving the Central Park experience for 40 million annual visitors. Alcoa Foundation awarded the Conservancy a $500,000 grant to support the new system’s design, Alcoa made an in-kind donation of aluminum and Landor Associates designed the new bins. The receptacles are made from 30 percent recycled aluminum, are more durable than the current plastic receptacles and were designed to prevent overflow and increase the park’s aesthetic appeal. Read more
Ten Million Trees Campaign Continues with Global ReLeaf in 11 Countries
Through Alcoa Foundation’s partnership with Global ReLeaf, and as part of our commitment to plant Ten Million Trees by 2020, World Wildlife Foundation Spain received a $55,000 grant to plant trees in Spain. Alcoa volunteers planted 800 indigenous trees in the A Coruña region. Council members, nonprofit partners, students and the mayor, Jesus Veiga, joined in the activities. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation and Global Releaf will work in 19 different communities in 11 countries to plant 175,000 trees. Read more
Public Private Partnerships in Spain Help Train Future Professionals
Xove Technical School, a San Ciprián technical college, will be the first in the Galicia region to train future professionals on the Planning and Production of Molding of Metals and Polymers thanks to an Alcoa Foundation grant. The new technical qualification will allow students to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge required by the metallurgical and plastic industries, which will improve their chances of gaining employment. The project carries an agreement between the Regional Ministry of Culture, Education and University Organization and Alcoa. It includes the possibility for the students to perform some of their training at the Alcoa San Ciprián plant.
C2ES Helps U.S. Schools Pledge More Than 21 Million Pounds of CO2 Savings; Earn “Green” Grants
In partnership with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), schools across Alcoa communities in five states have won a total of $10,000 in grants after competing in the ‘Change Our 2morrow (CO2) Schools’ Challenge.’ During the month-long educational energy conservation competition, more than 10,400 participants collectively committed to take actions in their daily lives that will save more than 21 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road for one year. Read more
National Society of Black Engineers’ Summer Engineering Experience Educates Students Through Hands-on Projects
During the annual National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) convention, Alcoa Foundation announced a $50,000 contribution to the 2013 Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) Academy. Developed by NSBE, SEEK is designed to be a fun and engaging educational experience aiming to raise the interest of underrepresented minority youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It is led by engineering students and technical professionals dedicated to giving back to the community. Read more
Canada Takes Hands-on Approach to Increase the Next Generation’s Interest in Manufacturing
Thanks to Alcoa Foundation, Alcoa Canada partnered with three nonprofit organizations in the past 12 months, working to increase the next generation’s interest in careers in science, technology, engineering, math, mining, metallurgy and other non traditional fields. Specifically, employees met with students face-to-face to talk about future opportunities and provide tips on making career choices. Read more
Global Giving Challenges Addressed at the 2013 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) Conference
By Tricia Napor, Principal Manager, Alcoa Foundation
At the CECP conference on June 5, I was asked to speak about Alcoa Foundation’s international giving practices to discuss the challenges and opportunities of large, macro grantmaking vs. localized community-based engagement. I was joined by Carmen Perez from CECP and Sheila Warren from NGOSource. Carmen started the panel by laying out four primary ways that organizations can give globally:
· From headquarters to U.S. 501c3 and intermediaries which move money abroad
· From headquarters directly to local NGO partners
· Establish foundations in other countries
· Autonomous contribution programs of regions and subsidiaries. Read more
Alcoa Foundation 2012 Annual Report
For the past 60 years, Alcoa Foundation has sought to make a difference in more than 20 countries where Alcoa operates. Read more
2013 Independent Sector National Conference
On Sunday, September 29, at 3:30-5:00 p.m. in New York, Leaders of Corporate Philanthropy programs, including Alcoa Foundation’s Tricia Napor, discuss new developments in the field and offer advice to audience members in an interactive segment where nonprofits can test their “pitch” for support. Read more
Jamalco recognized by the Council of Voluntary Social Services
Jamalco received a volunteer award from the Council of Voluntary Social Services for outstanding community service. “This is a fantastic recognition for all Jamalco volunteers and the contribution they have made to the lives of residents in our host communities and the communities in which they live," said Jerome Maxwell, Managing Director (retired), Jamalco. Read more
Team Rubicon receives Disaster Relief grant to aid Moore, Oklahoma
Alcoa Foundation committed $20,000 to Team Rubicon, an NGO that unites the skills of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams into crisis situations. The grant will help thousands of tornado victims in the affected areas clear debris, rebuild their homes, and get their lives back on track.
Alcoa Leads as Veterans Return to Workforce
On May 21 in Pittsburgh, former Alcoa Chairman and CEO Paul O'Neill talked about the importance of providing support to veterans at an American Corporate Partners (ACP) event. Also in May, Alcoa Foundation President Paula Davis was part of an ACP panel in New York City on "Women and Work: Leading and Succeeding.” Davis joined speakers from Goldman Sachs to advise women veterans on marketing their skills and transitioning to different corporate cultures.