General Motors Co. in Detroit has released its 2021 social impact report, which showed it provided $86.7 million in cash and in-kind donations to nonprofits working to help create inclusive solutions to social issues around the world.
This includes $46 million in grantmaking to support a portfolio of 364 U.S.-based nonprofit projects anticipated to impact over 3 million individuals. Over the last five years, GM has made philanthropic contributions totaling $143 million toward STEM education, vehicle and road safety, community development, climate equity, and in the company’s home communities.
It is helping youth from diverse communities develop a STEM identity and foundation in an effort to increase presence, persistence and achievement in STEM. Through investments in immersive learning, computational thinking, artificial intelligence and the digitization of education, GM is committed to equipping students from all backgrounds with future industry-relevant skills, accelerating the path to an equitable STEM talent pipeline.
In 2021, GM engaged with STEM-focused nonprofits across the U.S. in an effort to help increase the number of students who earn a STEM degree that matches the market needs and increase the presence, achievement, and persistence for underrepresented minorities in STEM fields to help increase the supply of qualified teachers trained in STEM-related subjects. In total, $54M granted since 2017 to advance STEM education.
Also in 2021, GM launched Periscope, a new safety brand that showcases a holistic approach to safety through a human lens. Not defined by features, this approach brings together research, technology, and advocacy for the company’ vision of a future with zero crashes. A hallmark of Periscope is GM’s work with nonprofits to help educate and promote the safety of drivers, passengers, children, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The past year also brought unique challenges after pandemic lockdowns ended in 2020. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, traffic deaths surged as more drivers engaged in unsafe behavior like speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These statistics are proof points for GM to continue to invest in nonprofits to help increase usage of seat belts and safety restraints, decrease impaired and distracted driving, and increase awareness of effective road safety practices.
GM focused its community development efforts last year around three themes: jobs, resources and places. It focused on equipping individuals with the essential skills to gain and maintain employment or to sustain small businesses through the unique challenges of the past year. It also supports programs that empower individuals with the tools to advance economically in healthy and sustainable communities that positively impact their well-being.
It engaged with dozens of nonprofits to increase the number of individuals with marketable technical and vocational skills, decrease the number of individuals facing economic barriers, and increase the number of residents positively impacted by innovative community improvements.
As GM shifts its focus from internal combustion to electric vehicles, it established a Climate Equity Fund to provide philanthropic support to nonprofits working to advance climate equity. In its first year, the fund awarded grants to nonprofits in an effort to increase the number of people qualified for clean energy jobs, increase awareness and access to sustainable transportation solutions including EVs and charging infrastructure, and increase access to community-level programs that mitigate the effects of climate change, assist with climate-adaptation, and community resilience.
With support from GM’s Inclusion Advisory Board, made up of internal and external leaders, the company was challenged to think about the future we’re creating as a company and how it will create long-term, sustainable impact.
It launched the Justice and Inclusion Fund in 2020 which allowed the company to purposefully expand its giving to impactful organizations that play an active role in dismantling equity barriers and providing access to opportunities for traditionally marginalized communities.
Through this giving, the company aims to increase resources that contribute to the health and well-being of communities, increase youth literacy rates and representation within the classroom, and increase opportunities that create equitable and fair living and working conditions Increase voter turnout and representation within public administration.
As the longtime home to GM’s headquarters, the company says Detroit’s continued renaissance remains a priority. In 2021, GM committed $50 million to Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park nonprofit programs by 2025.
It has aligned specific areas of focus to address the needs of Detroit and its residents. Last year, it funded 53 projects that will impact 173,000 individuals. Portfolio highlights include 1.25 million pounds of fresh and shelf-stable food provided to families; 129 individuals to enroll in paid training, internship, and full-time employment opportunities; and $150,000 in grants to be awarded to 10 local small businesses.
The GM Student Corps is a paid summer internship program for high school students in under-resourced Michigan communities that offers community service, life-skills training, college readiness, and team building. This program has engaged 1,570 high school and 124 college students since 2013. New for this year, GM Student Corps alumni will now have access to continued professional development, mentorship, recognition, and continued connections with GM professionals.