PEOPLE's 50 Companies That Care: See Our 2019 List of Employers Who Win by Giving Back
No. 1: Salesforce
For workers who love to give, the company is a dream. Salesforce matches employee donations up to $5,000 and gives each employee seven paid days off a year to serve. Its top 100 volunteers get a generous added bonus: $10,000 to donate to a nonprofit of their choice.
"Our culture is aligned with doing good in the world," says a staffer, "and I truly believe that my contributions to the company have far bigger impact than just selling software."
Salesforce also embraces vets with its Vetforce program for military service members, veterans and their spouses, offering new skills training, career coaching and mentoring.
No. 2: Ultimate Software
Employees at Ultimate Software, a technology company providing human resources and payroll solutions, value executives' personal touch. After one staffer's wife died of cancer in 2014, the company CEO and head of human resources "made sure to take special care for me and my girls," he says. "I love this company."
Ultimate Software has some great perks to give back. Veterans and their families can renovate homes of fellow vets in the Miami, Florida, area alongside members of the NBA's Miami Heat through its UltiVETS program. Finding time for that isn't hard, as everyone gets three full paid days annually to volunteer.
On the job, diversity is embraced through a variety of employee groups called communities of interest. The first group to form, PRIDEUS, was founded for and by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and ally (LGBTQIA) staffers.
No. 3: Adobe
The computer software company behind Photoshop and Acrobat has a Create Change program encouraging staffers to give. For every 10 hours a worker volunteers, Adobe donates $250 to that employee's favorite nonprofit. At the company's San Jose headquarters, its Girls Who Code program teaches underserved girls coding over a summer and pairs them with mentors.
Employee perks include reimbursement of up to $25,000 for adoption expenses, and $25,000 towards surrogacy expenses.
"Adobe never forgets that we are people first and employees second," says a staffer. "Adobe makes us feel part of a vibrant human community and not cogs in a machine."
No. 4: Orrick
Orrick, a legal services company, shows great support for employees with kids. After the birth of a child, a lawyer returning to work has just a 50 percent workload, with full pay for the first month. There's 60 days of childcare provided through a baby's first year, and 20 days of backup care after that.
Parenting classes are offered onsite, including CPR, which one staffer credits for saving her 9-month-old's life after he choked on a piece of meat. "I managed to get him out of his high chair and flip him over like we were taught in class, giving him a firm strike on the back," she says. "The fact that this class was offered by the firm literally saved my child’s life.”
Orrick offers support for families at all stages of the life cycle. "This past year I had challenges with keeping my dad out of a nursing home," says a staffer. "Had Orrick not bent the rule of hourly staff not allowed to work from home, I would have had to put him in a home or quit my job. I don't think most places would do that."
No. 5: Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
This family-owned chain of 99 supermarkets — with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts — shares its products with the less fortunate. Employees at Wegmans Food Markets collect and then donate millions of pounds of unsold food to local food banks as well as raise millions of dollars annually for hunger relief.
Wegmans also takes care of workers experiencing a health crisis. When one employee shared with colleagues that his wife was battling cancer and he felt guilty leaving her at home, Wegmans paid his full-time salary to take a leave and stay with her.
"They told me to take whatever time I needed," he says. "They wanted me to be there for my wife."
No. 6: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
PricewaterhouseCoopers — a global company providing audit, tax and consulting services to businesses — values diversity and inclusion. It starts at the top with PwC CEO Tim Ryan, who spearheaded leadership sessions and a video series, "Check Your Blind Spots," on unconscious bias, which has made 20 stops across the country and reached 5,000 people.
Access Your Potential connects staffers and partner organizations with underserved students to teach tech and money skills. PwC has committed $320 million to this effort, and since July 2017, some 11,500 people have volunteered 128,000 hours, helping kids with science, technology, engineering and math.
It's a workplace where employees feel they can thrive. "I feel cared for and looked out for as a person," says a staffer.
No. 7: Patagonia
Patagonia is synonymous with enjoying the great outdoors, and it sells clothing and gear for all sorts of outside pursuits, as well as sustainably sourced food and beverage products.
The company encourages staffers to give back in a big way. Its Environmental Internship Program provides full pay and benefits for up to two months to an employee who is interning full-time with a non-profit environmental group of his or her choice.
For more than 30 years, Patagonia has donated 1 percent of its sales to grants that preserve and restore the environment, with employees playing a huge role in deciding where the money is given. "It's not just about earning a salary at Patagonia," one staffer says. "People believe that the work they are doing is improving our planet."
No. 8: USAA
USAA, which provides insurance, banking and investments products to current and former members of the U.S. military and their families, prioritizes giving jobs to vets and family members.
More than 13,000 have been hired since 2006. USAA has also helped create the Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones (MSSEEZ) program to provide military spouses with employment and career help.
"The people that work here are special," says a staffer. "People here genuinely want to help each other. We truly want to do what's right for our members and provide financial security for the military and their families."
No. 9: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a research institution focused on treating as well as finding cures for pediatric cancers and other life-threatening diseases.
Staffers are not only devoted to this mission, but also to putting a smile on the faces of their young charges. Every Halloween, employees don costumes to entertain their young patients, and host trick-or-treating booths with themes inspired by Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more popular franchises.
"The unification of staff under a life-saving mission and visionary leadership makes you want to clap and shout 'hooray,’ " says a staffer.
Adds another employee: "I truly feel like I am making a difference just by working here."
Last year, the hospital launched St. Jude Global to expand its treatment of children sick with cancer across the world. Its more than $100 million investment expects to impact and improve the care of 30 percent of children worldwide within the next decade.
No. 10: Workday
Workday, an information technology company, aspires to create an inclusive and diverse workplace. Its Employee Belonging Councils, created by staffers, include Women@Workday to support women, Workday Pride to promote respect for LGBTQ communities, and The Talented Tenth to inspire African-Americans about software technology careers.
"If something is important to you, it's important to Workday," an employee says. "If you want to celebrate something, you have the chance to do it. If you want to participate in something in your community, Workday will help make it happen. If you are passionate about something, Workday will support that cause with you with both time and money."
No. 11: Edward Jones
When employees face an emotional or financial crisis, Edward Jones, a financial services firm, snaps into action. Its disaster relief fund gave one California advisor $5,000 after his house burned down.
Following Hurricane Harvey, 20 advisors in Texas showed up at colleague Jenny Gann's damaged Rockport, Texas, home to fix it up. "They came with power tools, food, cleaning supplies and my favorite part, the hugs," she says. "They worked and worked, and I'll be forever grateful."
Edward Jones is also committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's, donating $12.5 million over five years to the Alzheimer's Association. Since 2016, over 46,000 staffers have participated in fundraising walks for the Association, raising an additional $6.9 million.
No. 12: Merck
The New Jersey-based Merck, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, is investing $500 million over a decade to reduce preventable maternal mortality across the globe with education, tools and technologies for health care providers and moms.
"The work we do makes a difference," says a staffer. "Every day I come in I know that I am contributing to life-saving medications and vaccinations to prevent deadly diseases. At the center of everything patients come first."
Among the places where Merck for Mothers is making an impact: Nigeria, a country with the most maternal deaths.
No. 13: NuStar Energy
NuStar Energy is an independent liquids terminal and pipeline operator that gives each employee 50 hours off a year to volunteer. Staffers put in 98,000 hours of community service in 2017 alone, while 100 percent of its workers contributed to the annual United Way campaign, each donating on average of $2,148. And at its Four-Legged Friends Fairs, employees have the chance to provide loving homes for rescue animals.
NuStar also takes care of its employees. When a worker lost her husband in a tragic accident, management started a scholarship fund that raised close to $30,000 for her children's education. It also provided this grieving widow with flexible work hours, sent carloads of food and flowers and helped plan her husband's memorial service.
"Through the ups and downs of the industry, one thing remains constant," one staffer says. “This company holds fast to the culture of taking care of both the employees and the communities in which we work."
No. 14: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Staffers at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, a pediatric healthcare organization with three hospitals and 26 neighborhood locations, love inspiring delight in their young patients. The company also takes care of its employees' health, with stress-reducing retreats such as its 10-day Stress Less Quest.
"It's nice to come to work, knowing that I am contributing to the greater good," says one employee. "I also appreciate the emphasis that is made on the importance that we employees stay healthy, both physically and emotionally."
No. 15: Intuit
Intuit, a business software company that developed TurboTax and QuickBooks, values helping its workers in crisis.
After wildfires in late 2017 destroyed the Santa Rosa home of chief data architect Calum Murray, the Mountain View, California-based company gave him three weeks off, meals, groceries, clothing, furniture and the proceeds of a $20,000 GoFundMe fundraiser to which numerous employees contributed.
Perks include a free college coach to help staffers' kids get into a top university, a free healthy living coach for weight loss help and $650 annually for living a healthier lifestyle.
Each year Intuit holds a Week of Service where staffers volunteer in their local communities by partnering with nonprofits to do good, and in keeping with environmental awareness, employees give to clean up.
"Intuit has changed my life," says a staffer. "No other company would encourage you to build a family, care for your mental/physical health and still support you in furthering your career within the business. Intuit is a blessing."
No. 16: SAP America Inc.
Software company SAP America's Autism at Work program is now in 12 countries to help people with autism spectrum disorder enter its workforce. The company employs over 140 people with the condition, and SAP colleagues in Philadelphia have participated in the Eagles Autism Challenge Bike/Run/Walk event, raising money for autism research.
"I'm so proud of our commitment to diversity, the environment, fairness to us [the workers] and to our customers," says a staffer. "This resonates throughout the organization and spills over into our communities around the world. We lead by example."
No. 17: Bombas
Employees rave over sock company Bombas’ commitment to donate a pair to an organization or shelter helping the homeless community for every pair sold. "To work at a place where you know the hard work is actually helping improve the day to day lives of those in need," says one staffer, "is a remarkable feeling."
The company — founded by CEO Dave Heath and CBO Randy Goldberg, pictured above — offers a paid internship program for people who are either homeless or transitioning out of it, and employees host regular "pop-up" breakfasts where they cook for the homeless.
Perks include $100 a month to spend on wellness, a dog-friendly office, boxing lessons and trapeze school.
No. 18: Hilton
Employees at Hilton, the worldwide hotels and resort company, work on saving the planet by collecting guests' old soap, then sanitizing and recycling it into bars for needy communities, while diverting over 1.5 million pounds of the substance from landfills. By the end of 2018 Hilton had also removed plastic straws from 650 of the properties it manages.
Through the company's Thrive Sabbaticals program, 10 employees each year receive a four-week paid leave to give back to the community or achieve a personal goal. "Hilton is an amazing place to work," says a staffer. "I am routinely asked to be involved in projects that have helped me to grow and learn."
No. 19: CHG Healthcare
CHG Healthcare, which staffs hospitals and clinics throughout the country with doctors, nurses and other health professionals, is known for offering week-long, subsidized volunteer trips throughout the year. In 2018, staffers helped a small family with their crops in the Navajo Nation in Tuba City, Arizona.
Other volunteer excursions have helped the needy in Ecuador and Mexico, and this past August, employees went to Kenya on a 10-day, company-sponsored trip to build a much-needed school for girls.
CHG Healthcare also focuses on its employee's well-being. "This organization is very supportive when you or a member of your family are not well," says a staffer. "They offer great flexibility in allowing you to work from home or to take whatever time is needed to take care of yourself and your family."
No. 20: Hyatt
Hyatt, a hospitality chain with hotels located around the world, helps staffers through difficult times. When Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma struck, Hyatt donated almost $150,000 to colleagues impacted by the storms.
Another employee who has had cancer three times shares she's felt cared for by her "Hyatt family." "Care is a word that we hear each day and is part of our culture," she says.
Last year, Hyatt launched RiseHY, a commitment to hire 10,000 young men and women who are unemployed by 2025. The Hands On Education program at 35 hotels has trained more than 1,700 disabled students and helped find them jobs in the industry.
No. 21: Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is a regional healthcare organization with 10 hospitals and more than 90 outpatient and urgent care facilities and physician practices.
Staffers come from more than 80 countries, and Baptist Health gives those seeking citizenship a helping hand through meetings and coaching with immigration specialists at its various locations.
Baptist Health's ASPIRE program provides people with disabilities with internships that sometimes lead to full-time employment. "It’s the first place I have worked that does not make me feel like a second-class citizen," says an employee. "This is the first place where I feel welcomed and not judged for my disability."
No. 22: Cisco
Cisco, a San Jose, California-based high-tech company, gives every employee 40 hours of paid time per year off to volunteer through its Time2Give program. Last year, close to 11,000 employees volunteered all over the world, including Matthew Wright, an inside client services manager who travelled to Zambia and worked with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a mother and her three children.
“From start to finish this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life," says Wright. "A safe and secure home can lift a family out of poverty, and a Habitat home can change the course of lives for generations to come. I’m eternally grateful to Cisco for the opportunity."
No. 23: Genentech
Genentech, a biotech company that develops medicines targeting serious diseases, gives unlimited paid time off to volunteer.
This giving back includes Genentech's Futurelab program, with staffers mentoring students from kindergarten through 12th grade in the South San Francisco public school district, inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
"From packing food, painting classrooms, teaching kids," says one staffer, "this makes me proud to work for such a great company."
Employees are also rewarded with a sabbatical of six weeks paid time off every six years.
No. 24: Bank of America
Bank of America, the massive financial institution providing a full range of banking and financial products and services, gives employees two hours of paid time each week to volunteer.
"I love the time and effort employees put in within the community," says a staffer. "This is where I truly find a sense of pride in my workplace."
In 2017 employees donated nearly $30 million to personally meaningful causes, and Bank of America matched those gifts for a total of $60 million in donations.
No. 25: AbbVie
Over 400 scientists with AbbVie — a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company — have volunteered more than 30,000 hours researching neglected diseases, including malaria and river blindness. AbbVie has also donated medicines at no cost to 77,000 patients across the U.S.
"I cry every time I watch the videos with patients we have helped," says a staffer. "There isn't anything more important than health. What we do as a company matters not only because we provide better life quality for our patients, but because we give hope to those who love and care about them."
No. 26: Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans, a large mortgage lender based in Detroit, has been instrumental in revitalizing its city. The company has helped install a 6.6-mile long railway system and sponsored downtown parks and cultural events. Quicken Loans promotes local home ownership, and since 2014 has spent $5 million to rehabilitate 55 blighted homes in decaying neighborhoods through its Rehabbed and Ready Program.
"Our organization is revitalizing an entire city, a city that many have discredited and shunned," says one staffer. "Detroit is completely transforming due to the positive impact that our organization has on the community and the downtown area."
No. 27: Square Root
Square Root, a data analysis and collaboration software for automotive and retail brands, gives each employee $3,000 a year to study anything they want — from learning Japanese and travelling to Japan for practice, to taking flower arrangement and barista classes.
"It's truly up to you to decide how to spend your budget," says an employee. "This makes me feel empowered, cared for, and feel that my individual interests matter."
No. 28: Veterans United Home Loans
Staffers at Veterans United Home Loans, which helps vets buy a home, are encouraged to fundraise for favorite charities. Its bike team, The Loan Riders, trains and rides in the Bike MS event, a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis research.
The company's perks for altruistic workers include the chance to go on service trips to impoverished areas including Jamaica and Haiti, with Veterans United footing half the cost of the trips.
"It is easy to point out the perks like free food, competitive salaries and unexpected 401(k) contributions," says a staffer, "but the thing that gets me excited on Sunday night is that this is a company where employees chipped in and bought a car for a fellow employee in need, where day in and day out we care about serving veterans."
No. 29: NVIDIA
Want to take as much vacation time off as you wish? NVIDIA, an artificial intelligence company in Santa Clara, California, has this perk for volunteering, personal growth or work-life balance.
For NVIDIA's year-end celebration, Project Inspire, employees volunteer together to transform local schools or community facilities by building outdoor classrooms, outfitting computer labs and painting murals. "I feel proud to work for a company with such a charitable and community focus," says a staffer.
Last year, NVIDIA held 12 Project Inspire events worldwide, donating nearly $900,000 of equipment, labor and other resources to local communities.
No. 30: REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.)
REI, the Washington-based retail and outdoor recreation company, gives employees two paid Yay Days to go out and seize the day with a favorite outside passion.
"REI is a special company in many ways," says one employee. "It's the first company I've worked for that feels like it knows what its values are and how to live up to them."
REI's Rewilding Projects are multiyear, multimillion-dollar programs in partnership with nonprofits in five cities across the country to create public trails and green spaces to help millions connect with the great outdoors.
No. 31: Deloitte
Deloitte's global network of member firms work across audit, advisory, consulting and tax areas. Its Right Step program has 10,000 Deloitte employees volunteering to help 500,000 underserved students get ready for college.
The Deloitte Disaster Relief Fund provides immediate economic assistance to staffers going through hard times, and non-financial help is abundant too. "Caring for our people is a very strong value at work, personally and professionally," says a staffer, whose son suffered a serious accident. "My children couldn't believe the outpouring of support from colleagues. The people who work here are genuine."
No. 32: BetterUp
BetterUp, which provides companies with trained coaches for improved productivity and happiness, makes sure its own employees are happy with five "innerwork" days per year of meditation and hikes. The time helps employees deal with depression, stress and burnout.
BetterUp Adventures gives staffers a chance to earn a spot on an adventure trip with a company executive. These have included hiking the Inca Trail with the company's COO or visiting El Camino de Santiago with BetterUp's CEO.
"We are all so dedicated and passionate while also having fun," says a worker, "and injecting playfulness and work-life balance into our daily routine."
No. 33: Novo Nordisk Inc.
Novo Nordisk, a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company with five locations in the U.S., gives employees 80 hours of paid time to volunteer in federally designated disaster areas, and eight hours of general volunteer time off annually.
"The support employees have to provide time and resources to outside charities and volunteer for non-profit organizations is tremendous," says a staffer. "It makes you feel good that your company cares."
No. 34: Nationwide
Nationwide, an insurance and financial services organization, offers maternity concierge services for new parents, including nurses who give much-needed guidance. Its Make Safe Happen initiative provides gifts that promote safe sleeping for employees' newborns as well as items for new parents and growing babies.
Staffers are rewarded for giving back, with two paid days off for volunteering 25 hours or more. "Nationwide doesn't want us to spend our life at work," says an employee. "They encourage us to maintain a balance: family, work and giving back to the community."