America's ISPs Show Their Commitment Through Philanthropic Efforts
‘Tis the season for giving, and there’s no better time to celebrate the philanthropic work that is occurring year-round throughout the cable industry than during the merriest season of all.
As America’s broadband providers interact with residents every day in every region of the country, they’re not only helping to connect communities on a digital level; they’re also investing in revitalizing the communities they serve. In many cases, especially in more suburban and rural regions, cable’s employees live in those very communities and know their customers on a personal level. It’s no surprise that ISPs are committed to seeing the communities in their footprint grow and thrive economically and socially through various grant giving programs, fundraisers, donations, partnerships, and in-kind contributions. And on a national level, all of these efforts combined make an enormous impact in advancing social and economic goals for cities and towns all over the U.S.
Here’s a small slice of the myriad of charitable giving initiatives underway in multiple markets all over the map, and a cursory snapshot of the kinds of programs that ISPs are supporting to help their customers and communities succeed:
Charter, also known as Spectrum, partners with nonprofits and enlists the help of its employees and community volunteers to provide home repairs in areas of the country that have suffered from hurricanes and other natural disasters. Its staple program, Spectrum Housing Assist, strives to improve 50,000 homes by 2020. So far, over 27,000 homes have been touched by the program. Charter has also committed $1 million to promote digital education, and offers funding for nonprofit organizations in its service area that educate community members on the benefits of broadband. Its digital education grants help community programs better support families or seniors on issues like broadband adoption and media literacy, helping to shrink the digital divide.
Comcast invests in a plethora of programs and charities through its foundations and philanthropic efforts. The Comcast Foundation has contributed over $200 million in the past two decades to nonprofits that focus on expanding digital literacy, while its NBCUniversal Foundation supports nonprofits that implement high-impact emerging programs in civic engagement, jobs and economy empowerment, and technology and innovation. Its Flyers Charities initiative, which supports hundreds of nonprofits in Philadelphia that serve youth, education and medical research, has given more than $26 million to charity. And of course, Comcast offers numerous sponsorship opportunities throughout its footprint in community improvement and partners with a multitude of organizations that focus on diversity and inclusion.
Cox prides itself in supporting each of its markets by funding programs in key areas including education, environment, civic life, diversity, and technology. Many of its regions are members of Cox Charities, an employee funded and managed workplace giving program that has donated millions in different markets to nonprofits and agencies that serve families, youth, and various community initiatives.
GCI in Alaska regularly partners with foundations and nonprofits to meet fundraising goals. A couple of the latest achievements from this year include raising $1 million for a homeless shelter in support of the state's homeless and at-risk youth population, donating funds to a local fire department that represent Alaskan tribes, and partnering with the Salvation Army to help provide social services to Alaskans in need.
Midco’s foundation provides grants and funding twice a year to charities in its service area that focus on facilities improvement, equipment and more across a community. In fact, the foundation has contributed more than $3.8 million in the past 30 years in support of non-profit organizations, local government and schools, projects that provide meals for families in need, renovating community facilities like the zoo and aquatic center, local artists and musicians, education initiatives and more.
Mediacom funds grants to nonprofit organizations in its footprint that provide art and cultural experiences for students and residents throughout the year. Past grants have been used by organizations to create murals in efforts to revitalize neighborhoods, establish art clubs and programs for people with disabilities, improve local art museums and theaters, and to afford communities the opportunity to celebrate and experience visual art, dance, and history experiences.
Vyve emphasizes its commitment to education through its Teacher of the Month contest in its rural communities. Community members nominate and vote for teachers to win the honor of being Teacher of the Month, which Vyve celebrates with a classroom presentation, over social media, newspaper, and radio channels, and by giving away a free iPad for the classroom. The ISP also launched the Vyve Cares Program this year , designed to give back to the communities it serves in eight states through food drives, holiday contests for kids, and through "Random Acts of Vyveness"—an initiative that encourages employees to do random acts of kindess, such as serving free ice cream to a community or providing free Wi-Fi at a local park, all sponsored by Vyve.