3M Employee Engagement Program Touches Local Nonprofits across the Country

By Tara Laskowski

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3M office supply donations to the American Red Cross ensured that the organization could focus on their blood donors.

With more than 80,000 employees around the world, 3M’s culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3Mgives’ mission is to improve every life through innovative giving in education, community and the environment.

In 2009, with the help of Good360, 3M developed the 3M Supplies4Nonprofit Organizations Product Donation Program (S4NPO). This program engages 3M site leaders to select nonprofits in their communities which best align with two of 3Mgives’ focus areas, community and environment, to benefit from donated 3M products. Through the program, nonprofits can receive donations such as cleaning supplies, office products and first aid products for their programs. The nonprofits “shop” at the 3M S4NPO website to select the products of most value to their programs.

“S4NPO allows us to deepen relationships with organizations that are also receiving grant support from us. Many of the nonprofit organizations also benefit from 3M volunteers,” said Cindy Kleven, manager, 3Mgives. “We know the strength of 3Mgives is our products, our purse, and our people. When we have all 3, we hit the sweet spot.”

From youth programs to nature centers and arts programs, the nonprofits that benefit are extremely grateful for the generous donations. For many, the gift of 3M supplies allows them to use their budgets for programs and priority projects. “The scissors, tape, mobile projector, camcorder projector and other supplies that were donated will not only be used directly for art projects, but will help us tremendously to leverage funds from other sources and enable us to provide art education to more children from low-income families,” wrote Victoria Lyons from Bad Dog Arts in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a thank you letter.

“Your gift came at a time when we are striving to continue providing food and services for our clients,” wrote Betty McWilliams of the Foothill Unity Center in California. “Your donation saved us from not having to spend money on office supplies, but to allow us to spend it on food for our clients. We are so grateful for the support we receive that will be used to make life a little brighter for struggling very low income families, homeless, and children.”

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The Assistance League of Salt Lake City received 3M donations for their organization through the S4NPO program.

The 3M S4NPO is part of the 3Mgives initiative. Since 1953, 3M and the 3M Foundation have invested more than $1.3 billion in cash and products in education and charitable organizations and are proud of their thousands of employee and alumni volunteers that drive these efforts.

“Good360 was the right partner to execute this program,” said Jill Sjodin, product donations administrator, 3Mgives. “Warehousing, shipping, inventory management and all logistics are handled ably by Good360. Reports keep us in the loop as to how the program is progressing, and final reports paint the picture of the overall result.”

And 3M’s history with Good360 also goes back a long way—3M was its very first product donor, and the company’s donation was the kick-off for the formation of the nonprofit (then called Gifts in Kind).

In the past year, there were 241 organizations that received $1.4 million worth of product donations through the S4NPO program. “It’s so rewarding to hear the excitement from the organizations when they receive the 3M product, knowing they will put them to good use. We love being able to help them use their budgets more efficiently for mission-critical purposes,” said Sjodin.