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Cisco Employee Changes Lives Through Technology Donations

In 2013, Roland Holloway learned he was cancer-free. For 9 years, Roland, a Cisco employee, had battled neck cancer, but a surprising recovery inspired him to give back to his community. With the help of Cisco’s Employee Purchase Donation Program (EPDP), Roland is empowering a local nonprofit with new technologies and helping others in need.

Roland, who will celebrate his 20th anniversary at Cisco later this year, is taking advantage of his newfound health to create change in his own neighborhood. “I’ve had a lot of good fortune come my way,” he said. “I enjoy giving back; I can’t change world politics, but I can definitely help my local community.”

After recovering from neck cancer, Roland enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren

After recovering from neck cancer, Roland enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren

He started by visiting his childhood friend, Johnny Taylor, who founded a veterans’ outreach nonprofit called Promised Land Foundation. Doctors diagnosed Taylor with polio as a child, forcing him to use an electric scooter for transportation and making his goal of serving other veterans difficult. Roland saw his friend struggling, and helped Taylor purchase a wheelchair-accessible van in 2013. “I wanted to help him fulfill his aspirations to help veterans,” Roland said. “I saw him struggling to get around, and he’s using the van to make veterans’ lives easier.”

However, Roland didn’t stop giving back. In 2014, he learned about Cisco’s EPDP through a colleague who had used the program to donate equipment to his daughter’s school. Roland realized that as a Cisco employee, he could purchase equipment at a 75% discount for donation to qualified nonprofits and schools in the United States.

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Community Math: Multiplying Employee Power to Fight Global Hunger

Cisco’s 63,000 employees live and work in hundreds of cities globally. No matter where we are, we’re committed to using our expertise and conducting our business in a way that ultimately benefits our communities. That’s core to our culture. Our 2011 Global Hunger Relief Campaign, which just closed, raised a record $4.1 million. It’s a vital example of the power that arises when employees take action and leverage networks – both human and technology – to multiply our impact.

Over two months, our employees donated $1.6 million to more than 130 food agencies through Cisco’s unique global matching gifts IT solution, Community Connection. That tool allowed us to quickly aggregate and approve donations, and disburse matching funds from the Cisco Foundation and Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge’s TOSA Foundation, bringing the total delivered to $4.1 million. Employees also volunteered thousands of hours to food agencies, recording that time in the tool to deliver additional matching funds.

For 15 years, Cisco has united with food agencies to help serve hungry people. Our employees give significant time and expertise, along with corporate product donations, to multiply the impact of each dollar donated. So, although our campaign delivers critical support, it’s only part of a multi-layered community strategy that ensures nonprofits maximize efficiency and scalability by using networking technologies. That’s why, in part, agencies are providing 28 million meals with Cisco’s 2011 campaign proceeds.

When our network of employees connects to a common purpose, impact multiplies. We all can access a network – online or through friends, families and villages – to make extraordinary change. Learn more about Cisco’s work in communities around the world at our new CSR website, launched today.

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Use WebEx to Raise Money for Your Cause: Social Giving [Infographic]

Source: Social Giving Infographic

Frank Barry at NETWITSTHINKTANK has published a compelling infographic that visually describes the power of social media to enhance charitable giving.

He describes this as the power of “friends asking friends.” A call out in the graphic notes, “Participants who use online fundraising tools raise six times more money than those who don’t.”

See the social giving infographic.

I know this has worked with me – I feel good when I click on a friend’s Facebook post about a walk they are doing or a cause they support. For just $5 or $10, I can support them and their cause and it’s a win-win-win.

According to the article,

Overall, those who use social media tools at all increased their fundraising by 40% compared to peers. However, fewer than half of fundraisers tap into their social networks or use social media tools when fundraising.

Those are persuasive numbers. The infographic shows a host of tools folks are using to raise money and it includes hosting events and other online tools. That’s where WebEx can help. It is just another tool to add to your arsenal for social fundraising. Read More »

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Happy Holidays, Making a Difference with Video in Schools

Recently, my wife and I made a small contribution to an elementary school in Bosier City, Louisiana.  We found the class through a site called DonorsChoose.org, which lets teachers request donations for specific projects or general needs in their classrooms.

One particular request seemed meant to be: The teacher wanted two Flip cameras to teach podcasting, editing and photo journalism to her class. Of course, this punched my buttons since I work for Cisco and have a Flip camera of my own, which I love; and my wife works in TV news — and was actually born in Bosier City, Louisiana!

So, we made a small personal donation of a few hundred dollars that enabled the school to purchase the cameras and some related tools, and thought little more of it. Then, we got a note back from the teacher with profuse thanks: The students had put the cameras to work immediately, and are creating podcasts regularly as part of their classroom work.  And then the other day in the mail came dozens of hand-written Thank You notes from the students in the class. (You can see these in the attached video.) Read More »

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