Giving Back Through Collective Action

Giving back to our communities has always been a central part of our culture at DocuSign. One of the ways we celebrate this culture is through our annual Global IMPACT activities, when hundreds of employees around the world take a break from their daily routines to volunteer together in their local communities (or virtually), contributing to causes they care about.

This November, the DocuSign community came together again to celebrate Global IMPACT Week. As we’ve adapted to a hybrid work environment, our 2021 Global IMPACT Week allows employees to choose their own mission from our five priorities as an organisation:

Help end hunger

The United Nations estimates that over 800 million people around the world experience hunger. Healthy and nourishing food is a basic need that everyone deserves to have met. And yet, despite the fact that more than enough food is produced around the world to feed the global population, hunger continues to grow. 

For this mission, employees were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to their local food banks, and had an opportunity to attend a panel discussion on the topic of hunger and food insecurity with guest speakers from Feeding America (US), FareShare (UK), and FoodCloud (Ireland).

Seattle-based employees chose to contribute by writing handmade cards and notes of encouragement to be included in emergency meals distributed by FareStart, while others in Dublin, Ireland baked cookies to support the homeless population served by Dublin Simon Community. DocuSign’s Pan Asian Voices for Equity Employee Resource Group also hosted a panel discussion on food sustainability with representatives from Florence Fang Community Farm and the SF Marin Food Bank.

Promote equal access to opportunity

Throughout the world, people are discriminated against based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual identity, country of origin, income level, age, physical ability, and more. In many cases, this discrimination leads to unequal access to resources and opportunities, making it much more difficult for individuals and families to lift themselves out of poverty and maintain sustainable livelihoods. 

Employees passionate about this mission signed up as volunteers on CareerVillage.org to offer career advice to students, and conducted mock interviews with students and job seekers participating in programs through YearUp, JVS, Students Rising Above, and The Chicago Lighthouse. Employees in Singapore attended a presentation and panel discussion on LGBTQ+ allyship in the workplace with local organisation Ooogachaga, while colleagues in Australia collected clothing to donate to Dress for Success. And many joined the DocuSign Lending Team on Kiva.org, helping to fund loans for individuals without access to traditional financing such as bank loans.

Support healthy and safe communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly influenced nearly every aspect of our lives over the past 1.5 years. Progress on existing challenges related to health, safety and well-being have been stalled or reversed, with 90% of countries reporting one or more disruptions to essential health services, and health workers still in short supply in many communities. 

To support this mission, employees worked with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team to map under-mapped communities to ensure that humanitarian organisations can effectively distribute resources during times of need. Two groups of employees mapped over 3,000 buildings in Guatemala during these virtual mapathons. Others wrote uplifting notes to those facing illness through organisations like Fred Hutch and Lifelong in Seattle, or participated in walks, runs and bike rides to support organisations such as Optim’Autisme in France and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland. The Cairo team organised a presentation on mental health with the Mersal Foundation, and the Israel team rode tandem bikes with the blind through an organization called Kadur Or. Employees also assembled and distributed hygiene kits to support the clients of organisations such as Operation Dignity in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary’s Place in Seattle, and Share the Dignity in Australia.

Promote climate action

Despite an economic slowdown due to the global pandemic, the climate crisis continues to grow. We’ve seen the results of this in the form of various climate disasters setting new records, from floods to wildfires and hurricanes. Biodiversity is at risk, with more and more species becoming endangered or extinct. But although the window of opportunity to reverse climate change is closing, it's not too late to take action to protect and preserve the natural resources which we depend on for survival.

For this mission, employees were invited to join Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program to help empower the next generation of climate change activists. The Brazil team learned about recycling solutions with Limpa Brasil, while employees in Australia sewed joey pouches with Wildcare Australia, and others in France learned how to care for injured animals with Faune Alfort. Employees in Japan and across the globe also participated in local neighbourhood and beach clean-ups.

Support children and families

Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and loving environment with access to the resources they need to thrive. But for millions of children living in poverty around the world, these rights are not met. And the global pandemic has only further exacerbated the challenges this population faces. According to UNICEF’s 2020 Annual Report, the number of children in monetarily poor households is estimated to have risen by 142 million by the end of 2020. 

Employees on this mission worked with organisations such as ChildFund International, Cradles to Crayons in Chicago, and Backpacks4VicKids in Australia to make handwritten cards and notes for children facing challenging circumstances. Others participated in toy and clothing drives to collect items for children during the upcoming holiday season, and employees also contributed to Always Dream’s childhood literacy programs through a week-long read-a-thon.

Non-profit spotlight: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

One non-profit we partnered with for Global IMPACT Week was Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, an international organisation dedicated to humanitarian action and community development through open mapping. HOT supports community mapping projects around the world and assists people in creating their own maps for socio-economic development and disaster preparedness.

HOT also partners with donors, academic institutions, and government agencies to plan and execute mapping projects focused on education, financial services, health, infrastructure, transportation, water and sanitation, and other sectors.

During Global IMPACT Week, employees had the opportunity to support HOT with two virtual mapathons. Volunteers traced satellite imagery of buildings in under-mapped communities that are vulnerable to disaster and poverty. The resulting map data can be used to support humanitarian aid and sustainable development projects in these communities. DocuSign also partners with HOT to conduct monthly virtual “mapathons” with new hires who have recently joined the company.

We hope you’ll join us in giving back in your own way to a cause that resonates with you. 

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