At Alcoa Foundation, we understand the importance of engagement at many levels when it comes to achieving results. That’s why we fund both local efforts led by Alcoa employees around the world as well as initiatives by leading global nonprofit organizations.
All investments are aimed at meeting key Foundation goals. We seek to:
- Align our nonprofit investments with Alcoa’s sustainability mission
- Increase stakeholder engagement, including volunteerism and connection to Alcoa business and regional efforts
- Promote diversity
- Enhance our corporate reputation through greater public relations and internal communications
- Emphasize and increase focus on outcomes
Partnership and investment structure
At the beginning of each year, Alcoa Foundation allocates 50 percent of its spending for that year (5 percent of the endowment) to Alcoa locations. The budget allocation depends on local headcount.
The remaining 50 percent is used to develop global, multi-year signature partnerships and programs. Most include an internal engagement strategy, enabling employees, together with community and family members, to support these programs in their own locations.
To ensure that each Alcoa location develops successful, long-term partnerships, we’ve developed a Community Framework to determine and address specific needs, assess perceptions of the company and develop public strategies that enhance Alcoa’s reputation. Each location has an advisory board that often includes members of the local community.
In addition to the main focus areas of environment and education, local needs can be addressed within the Framework, which includes a measurement and evaluation process. We train employees worldwide on how to apply it in their regions and use it to develop more strategic and effective partnerships.
Approximately 50 percent of our 2012 budget was earmarked for our signature Advancing Sustainability global partnerships with a focus on three elements:
- Invest: Cultivate academic, non-governmental organization (NGO) and nonprofit partnerships, specifically fellowships, research projects, events, competitions, training and development programs, and social enterprises that are action-oriented and produce tangible outcomes.
- Involve: Partner with far-reaching and innovative organizations that engage Alcoa employees, retirees, families, friends, customers, and communities through hands-on activities, skills-based volunteerism, and leadership opportunities.
- Inspire: Create ambassadors that advance our mission, support train-the-trainer programming, and provide teachers with resources and curriculums to reach students in creative and dynamic ways. Focus on diverse and underserved communities.
In 2010, we rolled out an Impact Measurement System for all nonprofit organizations that apply for funding. These organizations must define their programs in terms of outcomes to be achieved, with milestones and specific plans to communicate the impact of their funding in their communities.
By applying well-defined and rigorous metrics, we help to ensure that every project we fund meets our central purpose: to develop multi-dimensional, holistic programming with key partners in their areas of competency that is also reflective of Alcoa’s sustainability, geographic, and industry priorities.