We invest our company’s resources and knowledge to advance access to education and training, improve lives, and strengthen communities in which we live and work.
1 2017 total does not include WarnerMedia.
2 $182.47 million of 2021 philanthropic giving was provided by AT&T and $19.58 million was provided through the AT&T Foundation.
3 In 2020, we added a focus on the digital divide, supporting organizations and initiatives that promote broadband affordability, availability and adaption.
4 2017–2018 data does not include AT&T operations in Latin America or WarnerMedia. 2019–2021 data is representative of AT&T Corporate, including DIRECTV and Vrio through December 31, 2021. Note: In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein.
5 While we realized a decline in employee volunteer participation related to COVID-19 requirements for social distancing, average giving per employee donor increased in 2021, reflecting AT&T employees’ continued commitment and generosity.
6 2017 data does not include AT&T operations in Latin America or WarnerMedia. 2018–2021 data does not include WarnerMedia. DIRECTV and Vrio are represented through December 31, 2021.
7 From 2017 to 2020, the value of volunteer time was calculated in coordination with True Impact. The 2021 value was calculated using the Independent Sector value of a volunteer hour for 2021, which was $28.54 as of April 2021.
8 2017–2018 data includes AT&T Communications and Xandr. 2019–2021 data is representative of AT&T Corporate, including WarnerMedia, Vrio and DIRECTV through the divestiture of those units in July 2021 and November 2021, respectively.
TOPIC: Employee Volunteerism & Giving
2030 GOAL: Engage 50% of our employees worldwide in communities through grassroots volunteerism and giving initiatives.
PROGRESS: 30% of employees engaged in volunteerism and giving
TOPIC: Disaster Preparedness & Recovery
2030 GOAL: Beyond emergency response and network disaster recovery, help 1 million people prepare for and recover from the impacts of disasters.
PROGRESS: Delivered connectivity solutions serving more than 200,000 individuals
In 2021, through strategic partnerships, we supported the delivery of connectivity solutions, humanitarian relief and resiliency and recovery resources serving more than 200,000 individuals impacted by Winter Storm Uri, historic California wildfires and the 3rd busiest hurricane season on record. For example, connectivity solutions provided by the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center included network infrastructure and Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as cellphone and medical charging solutions to support survivors, public safety personnel and responding NGOs.
We’re committed to developing and supporting programs and initiatives that make a meaningful impact. AT&T philanthropic giving and community engagement efforts include initiatives that promote academic success, provide job skills training, drive innovation, empower women and underrepresented communities, and respond to worldwide disasters and emergencies. Our employees play an important role in community engagement, and we support them by providing tools, resources and opportunities to make a difference in communities where they live and work.
For more information on how we promote broadband affordability, availability and adoption to help bridge the digital divide, see our Digital Divide issue brief.
Philanthropy at AT&T
The Governance and Policy Committee of the AT&T Board of Directors oversees our policies for philanthropic giving, which cover corporate contributions approved by the AT&T Contributions Council and grants approved by the AT&T Foundation. The AT&T Contributions Council and AT&T Foundation are composed of senior executives charged with supervising our philanthropic investments.
Our philanthropic funding areas include education (digital divide); community support and safety; health and human services; and arts, media and culture. We seek to fund programs designed to serve predominantly underserved, underrepresented or low-income communities. Qualifying organizations include:
- 501(c)(3) public charities
- Government instrumentalities (for charitable purposes)
- Organizations with philanthropic or social-purpose programs or efforts
Charitable organizations are invited to apply for philanthropic funding by AT&T grant/contribution managers or our state External & Legislative Affairs teams. Organizations must detail how and where the funds will be used in their program plan and the number of individuals the funding will serve. AT&T tracks these programs throughout the funding cycle, and recipients are required to report results at the conclusion of the cycle.
Our philanthropic funding focuses on qualifying organizations, programs and projects that are based in or strongly impact geographic regions served by the company. Requests from organizations are evaluated based on:
- National or regional needs
- Alignment between the specific initiative and AT&T goals
- The qualifying organization’s ability to positively affect key community issues
- The qualifying organization’s innovation in addressing a target issue
- The extent to which the contribution can generate awareness for AT&T priorities and extend the impact of our work
For more information about our philanthropy governance, see our Philanthropy Policy.
Employees in the Community
We offer company-sponsored activities and programs to help individual employees and work teams engage with their communities in support of causes like bridging the digital divide and narrowing the homework gap, social equality, education, the environment, disaster relief, veterans, first responders and active military.
Helping our employees support the causes they believe in boosts employee satisfaction and creates a happier and healthier workplace. Internal research shows employees who participate in our community engagement programs are more likely to recommend AT&T as a great place to work, feel empowered to make a difference at work and believe they will stay with AT&T long-term.
In addition to our annual Employee Giving Campaign, we organized individual fundraising efforts, such as support for India COVID-19 relief, humanitarian relief efforts in Afghanistan, Project HOPE and the AT&T Employee Relief Fund. In 2021, we continued to support social equality by activating a Stop Asian Hate fundraiser supporting organizations such as the Centers for Asian American Media, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Inc. and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
AT&T Believes is our companywide, localized effort to create positive change in our communities. AT&T Believes harnesses our employees’ generosity, supports it with company resources and joins with municipalities and external partners to make a stronger impact on local communities and society at large. AT&T Believes is now uplifting communities across more than 40 markets globally. In the U.S., this includes Atlanta, the California Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, Seattle and more. In 2021, we launched AT&T Believes in Spain and Belgium, adding to our international presence.
This footprint puts AT&T Believes in position to be an important part of AT&T’s commitment to address the digital divide. We know that closing the digital divide and narrowing the homework gap takes deep, local commitment to improve digital access and adoption. AT&T Believes markets are providing philanthropic support to organizations across the country that are focused on supporting students and their digital learning or literacy needs. In addition, our employee volunteers are taking an active role at AT&T Connected Learning Centers, delivering digital tutoring, digital mentoring and digital literacy programs for students and families to help them succeed.
AT&T Connected Learning Centers
The AT&T Connected Learning program helps students, parents and educators overcome barriers inside and outside the classroom. It’s part of AT&T’s companywide 3-year, $2 billion commitment to address the digital divide, which includes the launch of more than 20 AT&T Connected Learning Centers in traditionally underserved neighborhoods where residents face barriers to connectivity.
Through our AT&T Connected Learning Centers, we’re working hand in hand with local organizations and non-profits to provide essential internet, devices and educational resources to students in underserved communities. The centers offer students and families access to high-speed AT&T Fiber internet and Wi-Fi, new Dell computers, and engaging education and digital literacy content from collaborators such as Khan Academy and the Public Library Association.
AT&T Believes Employee Volunteerism
In 2021, we continued our virtual volunteerism programs with online volunteer and student mentoring opportunities. Additionally, we launched AT&T Believes At RetailSM to provide our frontline employees with volunteering opportunities at AT&T stores.
Coinciding with the launch of the AT&T Connected Learning Centers, we rolled out a new suite of volunteer programs in 2021 to engage employees in AT&T’s work to bridge the digital divide and close the homework gap. These programs, delivered through a mix of online and in-person formats, connect AT&T employees directly with underserved learners as they provide vital support in the following areas:
- Digital Tutoring: We expanded our work with UPchieve, a non-profit that connects high school students to free online tutors, to include students at AT&T Connected Learning Centers. UPchieve was a member of the 2019 AT&T Aspire Accelerator class, and AT&T employees have been volunteering with the organization since 2020.
- Digital Mentoring: We curated a select offering for students at AT&T Connected Learning Centers, adding to more than a decade of employee-student mentoring programs offered by AT&T. The content features a customized career readiness and academic success program from iCouldBe and a series of high-energy career exposure events from The Diversity Org.
- Digital Literacy: In partnership with the Public Library Association, AT&T employee volunteers teach digital literacy workshops for newly connected parents and families, helping them build the skills and confidence to navigate distance learning and participate effectively and safely in today’s digital world. We are working to bring these workshops to AT&T Connected Learning Centers and other community organizations across the country.
We encourage our employees to get involved in their community through our enterprisewide Community Impact Award, which honored 4 employees in 2021 who embody the AT&T corporate value “Make a Difference.” In 2021, we introduced the AT&T Focus Award to recognize an employee who gave their time to an area related to a key company business imperative. Our inaugural focus area was the Digital Divide.
We encourage employees to log their volunteer hours, allowing us to applaud their commitment through programs such as the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – recognition by the president of the United States of individuals who have dedicated at least 100 hours to their communities during the year. In 2021, AT&T recognized 1,273 employees as PVSA recipients for their 2020 volunteer time. We also recognized 22 employees internationally who volunteered 100 hours or more in 2020.
When disaster strikes, our company and employees demonstrate our corporate value “Be There” by assisting victims and affected communities through disaster response activities, corporate giving, volunteerism and support for impacted coworkers. AT&T is committed to working with strategic non-profit partners to provide solutions across all phases of the disaster lifecycle, including resiliency, preparedness and long-term recovery.
We’ve set a 2030 goal to help 1 million people prepare for and recover from the impacts of disasters. In 2021, we delivered connectivity solutions, humanitarian relief and resiliency and recovery resources, supporting over 200,000 individuals impacted by Winter Storm Uri, the historic California wildfires and the 3rd busiest hurricane season on record. Additionally, recognizing that these disasters have contributed to a mental health crisis among our nation’s first responder community, we established the FirstNet Health & Wellness Coalition to coordinate first responder holistic health and wellness support. AT&T is also partnering with The Quell Foundation to provide more resources to first responders who struggle with mental health.
Corporate Giving And Employee Support
In 2021, our corporate disaster relief giving totaled more than $1.2 million, providing support to national organizations including the American Red Cross, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, Austin Disaster Relief Network, California Fire Foundation, Greater Houston Community Foundation, Information Tech Disaster Relief Center, Louisiana Department of Education, North Texas Food Bank, Project HOPE, Salvation Army, San Antonio Food Bank, SBP (formerly St. Bernard Project), Rio Grande Valley Food Bank, Télécoms sans Frontières and many local non-profits providing relief.
Our employees gave their time to support disaster relief efforts across the country via in-person and virtual volunteering. Throughout the year, employees assembled hygiene kits, distributed bottled water in communities recovering from disasters and served meals to first responders and front-line workers. Additionally, AT&T TechDev engineers joined SBP on a pro bono technology project to build Equip: Disaster Prepare & Recover, a free mobile app to help communities prepare for and quickly recover from disasters.
To learn more about our disaster response efforts in support of our network operations and first responders, visit our Network Quality & Reliability issue brief.
Through the many programs and initiatives outlined above, we strive to be responsible and supportive corporate citizens in our communities. In the case that a community expresses concerns about AT&T programs or activities, the concern or grievance is collected through our state External & Legislative Affairs teams and our Office of the President and reported to the appropriate department for resolution.
More Social Issue Briefs
Accessibility Issue Brief Digital Divide Issue Brief Human Rights Issue Brief Media Pluralism, Ethics & Journalistic Integrity Issue Brief Our Workforce Issue Brief Responsible Marketing Issue Brief Responsible Use of Products & Services Issue Brief Safeguarding Children Issue Brief