At First Data, we’re committed to the communities we serve and we recognize our unique opportunity to make a positive difference around the world. Last year, we made a pledge to fulfill a higher corporate purpose in terms of giving back, so we developed three pillars of corporate social responsibility: financial empowerment, community involvement and global citizenship. These pillars align with the diverse needs in the communities where our 24,000 employees live and work.
We believe that promoting commerce and empowering people to develop strong financial skills help foster a robust global economy. Our employee volunteers and our financial resources support non-profit education organizations such as Junior Achievement and the Young American Center for Financial Education to provide a solid understanding of personal finance and free enterprise among K-12 students. We invest in micro-entrepreneurs by supporting micro-finance organizations such as ACCION International that provide small loans to entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow a business. And, through our payment technology program, we provide state-of-the-art donation acceptance systems to enhance the security of fundraising and operational efficiency of non-profit organizations.
We have more than 24,000 employees around the world, and we encourage all our employees to play an active role in the communities where they live and work, and we support those employees with three community involvement programs. We reward community organizations such as a food banks or homeless shelters with a $500 donation when an employee volunteers 50 or more hours. To multiply and encourage employee giving, we provide a 50% matching gift for donations to eligible charities such as art museums or cancer research foundations, and conduct a global employee giving campaign in 23 countries and over 50 cities around the world. And we provide support for relief and recovery operations around the world where employees or clients are directly impacted.
Finally, as a global company, we recognize the importance of operating at the highest level of accountability to our clients, our employees and the environment in which we work. To help prevent the payments system from being used to facilitate child exploitation, we’re supporting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Soon after First Data was acquired by KKR in 2007, we joined KKR’s “Green Portfolio Program” to quantify and improve the environmental impact and performance of our business operations around the world. And we provide a summer workplace internship program for talented minority youth in the U.S. through INROADS.
I look forward to sharing more about the ways we’re actively engaged in promoting financial literacy among our youth, fostering entrepreneurism, and encouraging global charitable giving through employee volunteerism and fundraising.
Ellen Sandberg is vice president of community relations at First Data.