(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Polaroid Corporation - Waltham, MA
Twenty-five years ago, the Polaroid Foundation was established with a mission to support non-profit organizations that provide services to those less advantaged. Beginning in 1997, Polaroid refocused that mission to include services which promote life skills development to those less advantaged. Geographically, the Polaroid Foundation concentrates its grants in Massachusetts, especially in those communities where Polaroid has its facilities. To evaluate submitted proposals, the Polaroid Foundation set up committees for culture, education, community, environment, and the New Bedford area. After the 1997 mission revision, the Polaroid Foundation regrouped its committees to include one for Greater Boston.
The Polaroid Foundation operates on an annual budget of approximately $2 million which is provided by Polaroid. After an initial screening by the Polaroid Foundation for proper grant application requirements, the proposals are distributed to the appropriate committees. These committees of self-invested employee-owners decide which proposals should be funded.
In 1993, the Polaroid Foundation established an Environmental Committee because of Polaroid's values and potential impact on the environment. This would assure that environmentally-related proposals would receive priority when evaluated against criteria developed for this purpose. The Environmental Committee develops its own evaluation criteria based on outreach, education, organization stability, and program characteristics.
The Polaroid Foundation is one of many ways in which Polaroid demonstrates its involvement in the surrounding communities. The philanthropic activity promotes the well-being of the local area and its citizens; reinforces the support of the community; and allows Polaroid employees to select which community activities to support. Environmental grants totaling more than $130,000 have been awarded over the last four years, ranging in amounts from $1,000 to $7,950.