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Community Engagement

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Management Approach

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Direct economic value generated and distributed

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RAI’s companies are guided by the principle that our success is tied to the communities where we live, work and actively participate as involved neighbors. Philanthropy and community engagement are traditions and points of pride.

RAI’s companies and our employees generously contribute their time, talent and money to benefit others and the communities where we live and work. We find great value in building strong community connections through philanthropic giving, employee-directed giving and volunteer participation.

Giving back to our communities is not just the right thing to do; it also fosters an attractive environment for recruiting and retaining a high-performing talent base. By providing opportunities for employees to engage with nonprofit organizations, the RAI companies’ employees build personal community connections and experience professional development while helping their neighbors. For example, serving on a non-profit board of directors offers training in areas such as financial and organizational management that can directly benefit an employee’s professional development.

2017 Giving at a Glance

Our companies, along with their foundations and employees, donated more than $32.6 million in cash and property to a wide range of nonprofit organizations in 2017. Employees gave approximately $2 million of their own money to nonprofit and educational organizations through the United Way campaign and the employee matching grants program. Employee contributions were matched one-for-one by the Reynolds American Foundation.

Donations by Funding Source



 

Goals & Leadership

RAI’s total giving programs are led by the director of community engagement programs and the vice president of corporate sustainability, who also serve as the executive director and president, respectively, of the Reynolds American Foundation. The American Snuff Company Charitable Trust and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Foundation are independently managed by their individual boards of directors. The executive vice president of Law and External Affairs for RAI has executive oversight of the giving strategy and reports progress to the RAI leadership team and the Board.

RAI and its subsidiaries are focused on facilitating opportunities for employees to engage in the community, with the goal of increasing the number of employees participating in matching grant programs and in volunteerism.  This requires understanding our employees’ interests and effectively communicating activities and opportunities.

We conducted an employee survey and hosted focus groups to learn of employees’ current volunteer efforts and their interests in community engagement. Insights gained from our employees guide our planning of community engagement activities. Some of the insights were shared with the internal United Way Steering Committee, who used them to increase the number of donors and conduct another successful campaign. RAI enhanced its communications about its own activities and those of the Reynolds American Foundation, significantly increasing internal communications about grant recipients and opportunities for partnering with colleagues to become more engaged in the community. The Reynolds American Foundation also expanded its presence on social media, heightening awareness of the activities of grant recipients.

These and other efforts led to significant increases in the number of employees who invest their money and time in the community in 2017:  

 

  • The number of employee donors to United Way campaign increased by 292, or 7.7%; and
  • 1,250 employees volunteered their time in connection with the United Way Days of Caring program, an increase of 48%. 

There is also a new web-based tool that will connect employees with volunteer opportunities and allow them to track their volunteer hours.

“The most rewarding aspect of being involved in these volunteer efforts is getting to be a part of something bigger than yourself. The RAI companies’ support of our volunteer efforts proves that they value employees and the community at the same time.” 
Keith Lonon, Senior Area Manager and United Way Days of Caring past chair

Programs & Priorities

Community outreach efforts are an important part of our sustainable business practices and our commitment to being a positive, connected contributor in the community. To this end, RAI and its subsidiaries' total giving programs are defined by four components:

Foundation Giving

Corporate Giving

Employee Giving

Giving Priorities