Employee Volunteerism

In addition to our signature Connecting Hearts Abroad program, we have a number of initiatives designed to promote employee volunteerism.

Lilly Global Giving Program

Our business is global. Our company is global. And so is our role as a good corporate citizen. That’s why we recently introduced the Lilly Global Giving Program, in partnership with the GlobalGiving Foundation.

Through this program, Lilly employees around the world can contribute to a wide variety of projects that are personally meaningful—and have their donations matched dollar-for-dollar by the Lilly Foundation. The program, which kicked off in 2011, gave each eligible Lilly employee the opportunity to direct a $50 credit toward a project of his or her choosing through Lilly Global Giving.

Employees may support hundreds of different grassroots programs through Lilly Global Giving, including projects that:

  • Provide insulin and insulin supplies to patients in Guatemala,
  • Improve the diagnosis and care of people with tuberculosis in India,
  • Teach farmers in Zambia about animal management and sustainable farming,
  • Provide an education for orphaned children in Cameroon, or
  • Help restore acres of rainforest in Brazil, among hundreds of other projects.

Lilly Global Day of Service

In 2008, Lilly launched our annual Global Day of Service, which ranks among the largest single-day volunteer initiatives of any company in the United States. In 2012, 20,000 employees in 40 global locations volunteered in their communities on a single day in October. Our largest Day of Service effort is in Indianapolis. Over the last five years, Lilly employees have volunteered 475,000 hours during Global Day of Service, which is valued at more than $9.5 million. 

United Way Campaign

Lilly has been a long-standing supporter of the United Way. In fact, our support dates back to the 1800’s, when Colonel Eli Lilly sponsored the Charity Organization Society, a forerunner of the United Way. In nearly 95 years, Lilly has raised more than $275 million for the charity.

In 2012, we donated $12.6 million to the organization, exceeding our goal of $12.5 million. The check represented contributions of our US employees and retirees, along with a matching fit from the Lilly Foundation. The funds, which go to the Central Indiana and other chapters of the United Way, make up nearly 25% of the United Way of Central Indiana’s 2012 annual campaign goal.

Six Sigma Programs

Lilly is one of many companies to incorporate the principles of Six Sigma, a business management strategy that uses a set of quality management methods to improve manufacturing processes and other operations. Recently, we began putting the skills of our Six Sigma-trained employees toward voluntary good in two different programs.

We’re offering the time and talents of our Six Sigma “black belt” trained employees to volunteer (on company time) for local nonprofit (non-health care) organizations to help them improve their own operations. In 2010, 32 Lilly volunteers offered their management expertise to 29 projects, including helping the Indianapolis library system to find cost savings to cover a projected $1.5 million budget shortfall. Another project was with a local food bank and addressed the capacity to fill “backsacks” with food for children on the weekends during the school year. The result increased project capacity from serving 2,000 kids to 8,000 kids—increasing filled backsacks from 88,000 to 352,000. As resources continue to decline and community needs continue to rise, nonprofit organizations can benefit from the expertise of our Six Sigma-trained volunteers.

In a separate Six Sigma program, we offer the skills of our black belts to partner with our health care customers where there is an identified opportunity to work together to improve patient outcomes.