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Press Release -- June 7th, 2011
Source: Cisco Systems

Cisco Launches New Community Impact Program

New model designed to maximize local efforts, improve collaboration and deepen relationships with nonprofits

SAN JOSE, CA, June 7, 2011 – Cisco has created a new model for community giving to more effectively address critical human needs and education in communities where Cisco operates around the world.  The Community Impact Cash Grants (CICG) program will help Cisco better target local needs with more nonprofits and make Cisco’s community contributions – including financial resources, technology donations and employee volunteer hours – more impactful.

For instance, Cisco will expand its work with Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit that partners with middle schools to enhance the learning day for children in low-income communities through afterschool and expanded learning-time programs.  Cisco will provide a $250,000 cash grant to Citizen Schools in addition to $500,000 worth of technology.  Cisco employees will also volunteer to teach 10-week apprenticeship courses where underserved students learn 21st century skills such as creativity, entrepreneurship, engineering and technical innovation.  This nationwide effort builds upon the success of a Citizens Schools-Cisco collaboration in Silicon Valley over the last year.

Cisco will also provide $195,000 to food banks in California, North Carolina and Texas to reduce hunger and improve access to millions of dollars in unused federal food stamp benefits. Those agencies will provide outreach, agency training and direct food stamp application assistance to low-income populations.  The Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties estimates that for every $1 invested in food stamp outreach, low-income households will receive approximately $10 in benefits.

The CICG program builds on the strengths of Cisco’s historical commitment to investing in the communities where it operates through financial resources, product grants, and employee volunteerism.  In fact, Points of Light Institute today announced that Cisco is one of three companies to receive its 2011 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence in recognition of the company’s extraordinary commitment to empowering employee volunteer efforts.


  • CICG is a global program that aligns with Cisco’s corporate philanthropic strategy while helping Cisco better focus on critical local needs in the communities where it has a significant presence.
  • CICG will allow Cisco to collaborate more effectively with local partners and deepen its relationships in the community by providing:

o   Greater flexibility in the grant process, including larger, more impactful grants;

o   More emphasis on measurement and sustained impact over time; and

o   More flexible parameters that allow Cisco to better respond to unique local needs.

  • Cisco’s CICG takes advantage of the power of networking technology to create communities of interest for employees as well as to track data on giving so that it can make necessary adjustments or tailor investments accordingly.
  • In 2011, CICG will invest $2.95 million in local communities around the world.  These resources  complement Cisco’s overall corporate giving efforts, which totaled $138.7 million in 2010.
  • In 2010, along with matching funds for volunteering and giving, Cisco employees also contributed almost $10 million to non-profits around the world.
  • CICG reflects Cisco’s broader community commitment and employee engagement, and builds on the company’s longstanding emphasis on  assisting local communities.  The precursor to CICG, the Silicon Valley Impact Grant, has been awarded to more than 1,500 Bay Area nonprofits since 1997.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Sandra Wheatley, Director of Global Community Relations, Cisco

“Through close collaboration with our community partners and employees, Cisco continually strives to have a greater impact on the communities in which we operate. The Community Impact Cash Grant Program allows us to better meet the unique needs of local organizations, as well as more accurately measure results so that we can refine strategies in the future.  The program will ultimately deepen Cisco’s relationships in the community, provide our employees with rewarding local volunteer opportunities,  and drive effective outcomes.”

  • Eric Schwarz, co-founder and CEO, Citizen Schools

“We are inspired by the work that Cisco employees have already taken on through teaching apprenticeships and are honored to even further embed that talent and passion into our work with Citizen Schools students nationwide.  Cisco and their employees are playing a significant role in setting thousands of students across the country on a path towards educational success.”

  • Tami Cárdenas, Director of Development & Marketing, Second Harvest Food Bank, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

“Second Harvest Food Bank is both truly excited and deeply humbled to be recognized by Cisco through their Silicon Valley Impact Grants. Their generosity will directly help more than 2,000 eligible households receive CalFresh benefits, resulting in approximately $5.7M in benefits, over the course of one year.  I know that the leadership and vision provided by Cisco to support basic human needs, will inspire others to join us in our fight to  eliminate hunger in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.”

Links / URLs:

  • Learn more about the Cisco’s Support for Nonprofit Organizations:

  • Learn more about the Community Impact Cash Grants program:

  • Read Cisco 2010 Corporate Citizenship Report

Tags / Keywords:

Cisco, CSR, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, Silicon Valley Impact Grants

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