At IMC we believe that businesses and those who work for them should contribute towards a better society. Therefore, we give our time, talent, and money to enrich the lives of people in the communities where we live and work, with a particular focus on education.
Through our Foundations we donate for impact, supporting charities and organisations that share our commitment to helping young people develop to their fullest potential.
At the same time, IMC encourages, empowers and enables its employees to make their own contributions to causes they care about.
In more than two decades of charitable involvement, the IMC Foundations have built lasting relationships with individuals and organisations who are improving lives through diligent effort and a commitment to making a positive impact.
We are inspired by the difference that our charity partners are making, and we seek to apply the high standards we set everywhere in our business to our donations and volunteer projects. An aspect that especially has our focus is a measurable impact.
Our charity committees in each of our offices are responsible for the local implementation of our charity strategy. These teams, which include volunteers from all parts of IMC, review the local proposals for grants. Larger grants are brought forward and reviewed by the Global Charity Board.
The IMC Foundations have very focused priorities and currently do not accept unsolicited grant proposals.
In 2020 we worked harder, and gave more to good causes, than ever before:
With the outbreak of Covid-19 we are living in unprecedented times. In response, IMC has donated to initiatives helping and protecting vulnerable communities, locally and further afield, in the face of the global pandemic. These include the Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID -19 Response Fund, which assists healthcare workers, hygiene initiatives, and vulnerable populations in the US. We have helped Medecins Sans Frontiers buy more than 1 million masks for developing countries. We have supported Studiezalen to provide access to the internet and laptops for underprivileged children in Amsterdam, and are participating in three large funder collaboratives in Chicago providing emergency food, healthcare and business recovery support. We are also double-matching financial donations from our employees to Covid-19 responses. As the impact of Covid-19 evolves, IMC will continue its focus on efforts that help others get through this crisis. Our Covid-19 response is on top of our structural donations to our long-term charity partners.
We believe we also have a role to play in supporting organisations in developing countries that provide increased access to better education. Our largest unified effort is an annual Trading Day for Charity, where one day’s trading revenue is donated to an international cause.
For four years the global focus of IMC’s philanthropic efforts has been Room to Read, a child literacy project in Africa. Each year the entire proceeds of a single day’s trading are donated to support the organisation’s work building libraries, training teachers and publishing books for children.
We support and encourage IMC employees to develop their own philanthropic interests through our Make-Your-Mark and Matching Gift Program initiatives. We also organise volunteer activities with our grantees and other organisations to further our impact and to provide opportunities for deeper understanding of the challenges in our communities.
All IMC employees are encouraged to volunteer at least once a year, especially at charities whom we support financially. Our goal is to reach charities that need the most support, thereby ensuring the energy and enthusiasm of our employees has maximum impact.
In each office, IMC employees are encouraged to 'make their mark' and nominate, with an explanation, charities who they feel deserve the IMC Charitable Foundation's support. The local charity committee and office colleagues will then vote for the charities they feel are most deserving of this support.
Any employee can request that the IMC Charitable Foundation matches a set amount of personal donations per year to registered charities. We also make contributions to honour the effort of an IMC employee when they are regularly volunteering with an organisation or participating in an event to benefit a cause of personal significance.
Local giving is focused on longer-term, larger donations to charitable organisations that improve access to opportunities for young people. We provide support primarily through financial grants and also by sharing access to networks and expertise. Below you will find some examples of our activities from the past year in our three regions.
In the US, our giving aims to provide opportunities for young people in Chicago to develop to their fullest potential. We focus in three areas: Improving the school experience for students, using sports and experiential learning to help students and strengthening early childhood development.
To improve the school experience of students we have funded principal initiatives at Arthur Ashe Elementary School, including a reading specialist, music instruction, and student attendance incentives. As part of our sports and experiential learning focus, we helped to create a safe and dynamic place to play at Little Village Academy, where we funded a new turf field, playground, and basketball court. And to strengthen early childhood development, we have funded high-quality child care for families at organisations like Erie Neighborhood House, which prioritises child mental health.
In Europe, we support organisations that stimulate the development of children and young people with a socio-economic disadvantage in the Netherlands. IMC weekendschool, De Schoolschrijver and The Bridge are the three main projects we support.
In 1998, IMC was instrumental in launching IMC Weekendschool. Today Weekendschool provides supplementary, motivation-based teaching for more than 1,000 children. De Schoolschrijver aims to improve Dutch language capabilities of primary school children who usually do not come into contact with literature and books. Professional writers visit the supported schools every week for half a year to cultivate an interest in reading, introduce new vocabulary, and spark children’s imaginations. IMC support has lead to the implementation of two distinct tutoring programs offered by a new organisation: Stichting The Bridge Learning Interventions.
In Asia Pacific, we extended our commitment to young people by tailoring the approach to the unique needs in the community in and around Sydney.
Bear Cottage is a hospice that provides state-of-the art care facilities where parents and siblings of children with life-limiting conditions can stay together. It is a home away from home for families in need. We’re raising funds and awareness for Bear Cottage by holding a Superhero Day in the office where more than 50 IMC staff, their partners and children transformed into Spider-Man, Zorro and others to show their support.