AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.


Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Community engagement & philanthropy

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Community engagement & philanthropy



Our Position


We invest our company’s resources and knowledge to advance access to education and training, improve lives and strengthen communities around the world. 


2019 Key Performance Indicators

2 of columns
Total amount contributed or directed through corporate-, employee-, and AT&T Foundation-giving programs
Community Support & Safety programs
Human & Health Services programs
Arts, Media & Culture programs
Number of hours volunteered through employee volunteer programs
Percentage of employees that participate in volunteer programs¹
Total amount associated with volunteerism²
Total amount of employee donations³
nearly $29.6M
Average employee giving per employee donor³
nearly $29.6M$344


1 Inclusive of AT&T Communications, WarnerMedia and Xandr. 

2 The value of volunteer time was calculated in coordination with True Impact, considered a leader in volunteer-hour valuation. 2018 enhancements to our volunteer reporting systems continue to boost the accuracy of our data.

3 Inclusive of AT&T Communications and Xandr. 




Our Action

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 success in school, provide job skills training, drive innovation, support a well-educated and future-ready workforce, empower women and often 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. 

Please see our Building Digital Skills issue brief for more information on how we invest in education and job training to help develop a skilled and diverse workforce that can better prepare our company – and our country – for the future.

Philanthropy at AT&T

Philanthropic giving at AT&T includes both corporate contributions, as approved by the AT&T Contributions Council (Council), and grants, as approved by the AT&T Foundation. In 2019, AT&T companies and the AT&T Foundation contributed over $143M to philanthropic organizations, which includes $107M cash contributions and $36.9M in-kind giving. Oversight for Council contributions is provided by the Public Policy and Corporate Reputation committee of the AT&T Board of Directors, and the AT&T Foundation Board provides oversight for AT&T Foundation grants. Priority funding areas for both the Council and the Foundation include: education; community support and safety; health and human services; and arts, media and culture.

Generally, we fund programs that are designed to impact and/or serve predominantly underserved, underrepresented and low-income communities. Qualifying organizations include:

  • 501(c)(3) public charities,
  • Government instrumentalities (for charitable purposes) and
  • Organizations with philanthropic or social-purpose programs or efforts, whether organized as a 501(c)(3) charity or other non-profit entity.

Charitable organizations are invited to apply for philanthropic funding through AT&T corporate and foundation grant managers or our state External & Legislative Affairs (E&LA) teams. Organizations must detail how and where the funds will be used in their program plan and the number of individuals that will be served by the funding. 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/or projects that are national or regional in scope – particularly those that are based in, or strongly impact, 1 or more of the 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 and
  • The extent to which the contribution can generate awareness for AT&T priorities and extend the impact of our work.

For more information about governance of our philanthropy, see our philanthropy policy.

Employees in the Community

Our employees reflect our corporate culture, and their engagement is a key component of our approach to corporate community engagement efforts. Through a wide variety of corporate community engagement opportunities, employees can give time, money or other personal commitments to their communities. We offer company-sponsored activities and support to help individuals and teams with their community engagement efforts. 

Through our “Together” platform, all types of community engagement activities and communications are aligned under a single identity and used to engage and empower employees to make a positive impact in their community. In 2019, more than 51,000 employees visited the Together website to participate in efforts supporting education, the environment, disaster relief, veterans, first responders, active military, community well-being and digital responsibility.

In 2019, AT&T launched our first enterprise-wide recognition program for employees’ volunteer efforts, modeled after WarnerMedia’s Richard D. Parson’s Community Impact Award. This honor is given to employees who embody the AT&T corporate value “Make a Difference.” This year, we received more than 630 nominations for the award. We announced 23 finalists and selected our 6 winners based on the 49,000 votes cast by employees across the globe. Our finalists and winners received Charity Rewards totaling $145,000 from the AT&T Foundation, directed to non-profits of their choice. Our 6 winners also traveled to AT&T Headquarters in Dallas to meet with Chairman Randall Stephenson and Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer Charlene Lake. Our winners were honored at a reception hosted by our Chairman and attended by our senior leaders from across the business.

AT&T employees demonstrate a strong sense of community and want to get involved. By helping our employees support the causes they believe in, we can boost employee satisfaction and create a happier and healthier workplace. Internal research shows employees who participate in our community engagement programs have higher employee engagement scores and employee Net Promoter Scores. They are more likely to recommend AT&T as a great place to work, feel more empowered to make a difference at work, and say they will stay with AT&T long term. We regularly deepen our understanding of these measurement tools, building engagement models designed to yield the most positive impacts for both our employees and our communities.

The AT&T Community Engagement team offers a variety of company-coordinated volunteer events for employees throughout the year. We also work with business units across the company to design custom volunteer experiences that make a positive social impact. In 2019, more than 30,000 AT&T employees volunteered more than 1.41 million hours of time in community outreach activities – valued at more than $37.4 million. 2 2 The value of volunteer time was calculated in coordination with True Impact, considered a leader in volunteer-hour valuation. 2018 enhancements to our volunteer reporting systems continue to boost the accuracy of our data.  Of these total volunteer hours, we estimate that 175,000 hours were completed during paid working hours – valued at more than $4.25 million.

Our major volunteer activations in 2019 include the following:

  • In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, AT&T volunteers across 5 cities spent the day serving the community in partnership with United Way Worldwide and local United Way chapters. Across these 5 locations, volunteers packed healthy snack bags, assembled personal care kits and painted an interior space for families living in a transitional home.
  • Our Community Engagement team celebrated National Volunteer Month in April with 45 volunteer events across the U.S. Highlights included large-scale school beautification projects with City Year Care Force for employees across 5 cities, the Revolution Day of Service, and an Earth Day-related school learning garden project event with non-profit partner Out Teach.
  • Our annual Employee Group Day of Service engaged more than 450 volunteers (from 6 countries and 32 states in the U.S.) from 18 AT&T employee groups. Participants volunteered 1,300 hours to benefit the following organizations: Genesis Women’s Shelter, The Bridge, VETCO, Family Gateway and Incarnation House.
  • The AT&T Business Summit kicked off with a volunteer opportunity for conference attendees and employees to serve the needs of the Dallas local homeless community by packing winter survival kits, making no-sew blankets and assembling new shelter resident kits.

At AT&T, we see a high volume of volunteer requests from employees. Through our volunteer placement concierge resource, we’ve built relationships with national non-profit organizations that can help identify volunteer opportunities that can be scaled depending on the number of participants. We also launched a volunteer leadership toolkit, a comprehensive resource with step-by-step instructions for employees who want to lead their peers in a volunteer project on behalf of AT&T. 

We encourage employees to track and log their volunteer hours, allowing us to applaud their commitment through programs such as the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – a recognition by the President of the United States of America of individuals who have dedicated at least 100 hours to their communities over the course of a year. In 2019, more than 4,149 AT&T employees were recognized with the PVSA. 

In Latin America, employees participate in renovation projects at local schools and community organizations through a volunteerism initiative called Piedra, Papel, Tijera. These projects are also documented and produced for broadcast as an original television series to build awareness for the organizations and people who benefit from the volunteer projects. In 2019, the 10th season of the original series by the same name, Piedra, Papel, Tijera, reached millions of viewers in 10 countries while engaging more than 1,450 employees, who volunteered nearly 14,000 hours. Since the program’s 2009 inception, nearly 300 projects have been completed in 13 countries, amassing approximately 130,000 hours of volunteering.

Employee Giving

Another way our employees can connect to charities is through their generosity. In 2019, more than 81,000 AT&T employees donated nearly $29.6 million to more than 27,000 charities. 

The annual AT&T Employee Pledge Campaign encourages employees to pledge contributions to their favorite non-profits. In 2019, more than 77,000 employees pledged to give $25.5 million in 2020. 

Through our Charity Rewards program, employees can recommend a non-profit to receive an AT&T Foundation grant. Employees receive Charity Rewards for various reasons such as pledging funds or volunteering with a non-profit. As part of the annual Employee Pledge Campaign, AT&T issued Charity Rewards to employees who pledged an annual gift of at least $50 for half the value of their total pledge (up to $250). As part of our 2019 National Volunteer Month celebration, we also offered a $50 Charity Reward to employees who logged at least 1 hour of volunteer time in April, resulting in nearly 15,000 employees participating and more than $519,000 in incremental Foundation support going to the community. In total, employees directed $4.7 million in AT&T Foundation grants through the Charity Rewards program alone in 2019. 

Grassroots Community Engagement

AT&T BelievesSM is a company-wide, 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. We’re focusing on needs such as building job skills, homelessness, access to education and careers, as well as digital safety. 

AT&T Believes is now lifting communities across 37 cities (and counting), including Atlanta, the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, Seattle and more. Through these initiatives, we are making a difference for our employees, customers, neighbors and friends who live and work in these communities. In addition to pushing economic growth and innovation in our communities, the initiative is re-energizing other facets of our community engagement and diversity programming. In 2019, nearly 10,000 AT&T employees volunteered more than 72,000 hours to non-profit organizations through the AT&T Believes initiative. More than $16 million have been publicly committed to the initiative around the country. Highlights include:

  • Believe Los AngelesSM is collaborating with non-profit organizations like the Los Angeles Community College District to offer students – approximately 80% of whom are from underserved communities" posttext="California Department of Education (CDE) Data Reporting Office"id="4" type="span"/> – the tools, skills and education needed to work in the entertainment and digital industries. 
  • Through public education and advocacy, Believe PhoenixSM is working to address the growing problem of food insecurity that affects 1 in 5 Arizona children." posttext="Feeding America" id="5" type="span"/> AT&T, together with our employees, retirees and the AT&T Foundation, has harvested food, prepared and delivered meals, and donated more than $200,000 to local non-profit food outreach programs. posttext= 6 6
  • Approximately, 300,000 Michigan kids live in low-opportunity neighborhoods. posttext="The Food Trust" id="7" type="span"/> Believe DetroitSM is helping connect youth with opportunities to change the trajectory of their lives. In collaboration with 16 non-profit organizations, we’ve provided job training, educational opportunities and meals to more than 5,000 recipients. 

And since community needs don’t stop at the U.S. border, we want to help address local issues everywhere we do business. In 2020, we plan to expand the AT&T Believes movement internationally – in the U.K., Ireland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and India.

Disaster Response

When disaster strikes, our company and our employees live the “Be There” value by assisting victims and affected communities through disaster response activities, corporate giving, volunteerism and support for our impacted coworkers. AT&T is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program, which helps ensure the Red Cross is on site immediately following a disaster and has the resources to assist those in need.

Corporate Giving

In 2019, our corporate and foundation disaster relief giving totaled more than $2.5 million and provided support for organizations such as the American Red Cross, Alliance Dayton Foundation, Arbor Day Foundation, Arkansas Hunger Relief, California Firefighters Association, Hispanic Federation, Télécoms sans Frontières (TSF), SBP, and the Salvation Army in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas to support communities devastated by natural disasters.

Employee Support & Volunteerism

Our employees also gave their time in support of disaster response and recovery efforts across the country. Throughout the year, employees volunteered at evacuation centers, where they manned mobile device phone charging stations and distributed bottled water. They also served meals to Camp Fire refugees. AT&T employees have been active in rebuilding homes with non-profit SBP in communities impacted by disasters, including the Houston, Panama City and San Juan, Puerto Rico areas.

The AT&T Employee Relief Fund helps provide financial support for our employees in times of unforeseen need. Funded by employee donations and matching grants from the AT&T Foundation, the 501(c)(3) public charity helps colleagues experiencing challenges beyond their control – including natural disasters, house fires or unexpected family death. In 2019, AT&T employee donations and matching grants from the AT&T Foundation provided $270,000 in relief funding to nearly 320 employees recovering from hardship. Additionally, the AT&T Pioneers Disaster Relief Fund granted more than $6,000 to 15 employees and retirees impacted by disasters.

In addition to monetary grants, in 2019, more than 500 disaster relief kits containing needed supplies were created by employees for employees to help colleagues in future need. Of the kits created, 150 disaster relief kits were shared with disaster impacted employees to help in their recovery.

To learn more about our Disaster Response efforts, visit our Network Quality & Reliability issue brief. 

Community Collaboration

Through the many programs and initiatives outlined above, we work to be good corporate citizens in our communities. We know strong communities make our company stronger. In the case that a community expresses concerns about AT&T programs or activities, they are collected through our state E&LA teams and our Office of the President, and are reported to the appropriate business unit for resolution.