For more than a century, FirstEnergy has committed to improving the quality of life where our customers and employees live and work. In support of this effort, the FirstEnergy Foundation invests in nonprofit organizations to enable positive, sustainable changes that strengthen the communities we serve.
The Foundation’s priorities range from supporting key safety initiatives and promoting workforce and economic development to improving social and cultural aspects of our region. As an overarching giving priority in line with our companywide focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the Foundation also supports organizations and initiatives that serve diverse populations and enhance inclusion.
To invest in transformative organizations that enhance the vitality, sustainability and diversity of the communities we serve.
In 2020, the FirstEnergy Foundation established Investing with Purpose, a program developed in response to ongoing racial and social injustices impacting our nation, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which created health, financial and educational hardships for some customers across FirstEnergy's service territory. This philanthropic program focuses on supporting organizations that advance health and safety, workforce development, education, and social justice initiatives across FirstEnergy's service territory.
Once all grants are awarded, the $7 million investment represents an additional commitment on top of the company's annual Foundation and Corporate giving, which averages approximately $10 million per year. For a full list of Investing With Purpose grant recipients, visit the FirstEnergy Foundation on the company's website.
Our corporate giving strategy focuses on initiatives that parallel our business interests, while helping our communities and the people who live in them achieve greater success.
We are committed to building productive relationships to address areas of need in our communities. Whether directed to the United Way or local foodbanks, our corporate contributions and philanthropic outreach support organizations and projects dedicated to improving the environmental, economic, social, educational and cultural aspects of our communities.
Our employees donate their time and talents in our communities—from volunteering at local food pantries and building affordable, energy-efficient homes to raising funds for quality health and social services organizations.
We are committed to supporting our employees’ efforts through a robust Employee Volunteer Program, which includes:
Our company leadership is also invested in donating their time to advance the well-being of our communities. In the fall of 2020, we launched Powering our Communities with Purpose with Business Volunteers Unlimited, a nonprofit that helps connect business professionals with nonprofit organizations in northeast Ohio. We’ve set a goal for 75% senior leadership participation on nonprofit boards and 25% executive team involvement on diverse or multicultural nonprofit boards by 2025.
We support the long-term economic health of the communities we serve through development initiatives that create jobs, support local suppliers and attract new businesses throughout our service area.
Our strategy is built on developing and maintaining relationships with economic development partners at state, regional, national and international levels. Coupled with our economic development expertise, these relationships help us to retain and attract businesses to our service territory, encourage investment in the areas we serve and provide value-added services and support to help our communities thrive.
Our Economic Development team’s services include providing key economic indicator data to our regional partners and conducting local demographic research and economic impact studies. We also offer relocation services to companies considering moving to our region, promote urban revitalization and workforce development, and sponsor community readiness programs.
In 2020, FirstEnergy launched a new economic development website and sponsored webinars on the economic impact of the pandemic, focusing on how businesses in our service area can encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment as part of their overall economic development efforts. We are building on our strong economic development track record, as we strive to create $25 billion in cumulative economic impact across our service area from 2020 to 2025.