NEW YORK - The Verizon Foundation has launched the Verizon Corporate Philanthropy Pulse, an online tool designed to gather public opinion on philanthropic issues, including those that impact the responders' communities.
According to the Council on Foundations, a membership organization of more than 2,000 grant-making foundations and giving programs, the online survey approach is groundbreaking. The survey can be accessed at the Verizon Foundation Web site at www.verizon.com/foundation.
In addition to providing valuable feedback to the company, the Verizon Corporate Philanthropy Pulse will help philanthropic organizations identify needs and spot trends. Verizon also will encourage the organizations to share the results with their members.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, will post a different survey every two months on topics associated with philanthropic trends.
"The Verizon Corporate Philanthropy Pulse will help Verizon assess the issues and needs in the communities that we serve," said Patrick R. Gaston, president of the Verizon Foundation. "This online approach also allows us to share timely information with philanthropic organizations, both big and small, including those that may not have the money or time to conduct these types of surveys."
Ellen Dadisman, vice president, communications and membership, Council on Foundations, said, "Philanthropy is most effective when conducted in partnership with the community it serves, and we applaud the Verizon Foundation for this effort."
The first poll, which will remain online on the Verizon Foundation Web site until November 8, asks voters to choose the issues that are the most important to their communities. The choices are: culture and arts, education, eLearning, health services, human services literacy, and domestic violence solutions. There is also an "Other" category where voters can opt to write in their choices. These are same-time results, which show how others are voting.
The voters are also asked to specify if they are affiliated with a nonprofit organization, or whether they are a member of the general public or a Verizon employee. As of last week, voters from 36 states and two countries made their voices heard through the online poll, making education and human services their top two choices.
This online survey continues the Verizon Foundation's cutting-edge approach to philanthropy. In 1995, the Verizon Foundation became the first fully Web-based corporate foundation in the United States. The foundation's Web site has earned several awards, including a silver award in the 2004 Wilmer Shields Rich Awards program. The program is sponsored by the Council on Foundations and the Communications Network, a nonprofit organization that promotes strategic communications as an essential part of successful philanthropy. The site also won the silver award in 2003 and received top honors in 2001 with the gold award.
The Verizon Foundation last year provided more than 21,000 grants totaling almost $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.
The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer 595,000 hours in their communities and provided $34.6 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.
A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.