For the second year in a row, our Be the Bridge Campaign was a gravity-defying experience for Cisco employees worldwide. Together, they acted as global problem solvers and supported the Annual Giving Campaign by raising millions in donations, volunteerism, and matching from the Cisco Foundation.

At the core of our People Deal is the idea of benefiting everyone — we are dedicated to changing the world for the better by connecting resources, technology and our employees to their local communities. This signature campaign built upon Cisco’s decades-long commitment to supporting those in need and empowered our global workforce to support social issues in their own backyards.

During last year’s campaign, employees supported organizations focused on critical human needs, which include shelter, water scarcity, nutrition, hunger and emergency response. This year, we shifted the campaign to truly make an impact for everyone. While critical human needs remains a key focus area, we realized our employees are passionate about many social issues and causes, from education and hunger to disaster relief, medical research, and animal rights. Knowing this, we expanded the scope of the campaign to include over 1,900 organizations worldwide, regardless of focus area.

The result: Over 10,000 employees in 45 countries participated, generating $7.1 million dollars in direct employee donations and matching funds from the Cisco Foundation for 1,200 community partners. This is a 56 percent increase over 2015’s collective $4.5 million dollars in direct employee donations and matching funds.

The monies raised will make a meaningful impact in our communities and elevate our commitment to thinking globally and acting locally.

  • In San Jose, our donations will help Second Harvest Food Bank provide over 1,500,000 meals for hundreds of thousands of people in the San Mateo and Santa Clara communities.
  • In India, our donations will help Akshaya Patra feed mid-day meals to over 18,400 children for an entire school year.
  • In Canada, employees supported the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank, raising funds and generating an additional $10/hour for time volunteered.
  • Across the United States and around the globe, our donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will help change the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
  • Globally, our donations to Islamic Relief USA will help provide 3,900 medical facilities located in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions with resources to help those affected by natural disasters or conflict.

These are just a few examples of how our donations will impact our communities worldwide.

Thank you to all the employees who were able to participate in this year’s campaign. It was touching for me to hear some of the personal stories of giving during last month’s all-employee meeting. I was genuinely moved by their generosity. Once again, you’ve been a great example of “Being the Bridge” to our communities around the world.

Cisco offers a robust set of resources year-round to support the causes, issues, and nonprofits that reflect our employees’ passions and interests. Cisco provides five calendar days per year of paid volunteer-time-off through our Time2Give employee benefit, a matching gifts program through the Cisco Foundation and global programs – Girls Power Tech and Earth Aware – that align with our employees’ passions. In FY16, Cisco employees volunteered over 187,000 hours and donated nearly $11.3 million to organizations around the world.

Follow Cisco CSR on Twitter to see how we continue to accelerate global problem solving around the world.

Our support of Be the Bridge is one example of how Cisco is harnessing the power of the digital revolution to accelerate global problem solving, enabling people and societies to thrive in the digital economy. Our goal is to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025.


Rebecca Jacoby

No Longer with Cisco