Employee Volunteerism and Giving

Disney provides opportunities for Cast Members and their families to give their time and resources to the community in which they work and live. Disney Cast Members are active VoluntEARS (our employee volunteer program), and donate and raise funds for a number of important causes.

Disney VoluntEARS

Disney supports employee volunteerism with a paid staff to organize and manage volunteer projects at our sites around the world. During 2008 alone, Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 495,000 hours of volunteer service. Since the program's inception 26 years ago, VoluntEARS in more than 42 countries have donated some 5 million hours of service.

To support and encourage volunteer efforts, Disney maintains the following:

  • EARS to You, This program provides an opportunity for Cast Members and employees to earn financial support from Disney for charities to which they volunteer their time.
  • Employee team-building events through volunteerism.
  • Self-service website that matches employee skills and interests with volunteer opportunities.
  • Annual awards program recognizing employee volunteer service.

VoluntEARS activities span a range of service issues and types, in many cases supporting the same charitable causes to which Disney provides financial support. VoluntEARS give thousands of hours every year working with and helping children, collecting and delivering toys, preserving the environment and supporting arts and culture.

Awards and Celebrations

  • Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the VoluntEARS program, Disney business units came together during April 2008 to demonstrate the importance of volunteerism. That month more than 25,000 VoluntEARS participated in 650 projects in 37 countries.
  • In 2008, the VoluntEARS program was recognized with the Points of Light/HandsOn Network's Award for Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs.
  • In April 2008, The Wonder of Reading, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring in children the love of reading, presented its Visionary Partner Award to Disney for our work in renovating elementary school libraries and funding a family reading education program.

Cast Member and Employee Fundraising and Donations

The Disney Tri-Team received the Spirit Award at the 2008 Nautica Malibu Triathlon and raised $240,000 for Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Our Cast Members and employees engage in direct giving and fundraising, supported by the company. Through community funds and campaigns, Cast Members and employees donated and raised more than $8.8 million in 2008. These activities not only contribute much-needed support to the community, but also help build teamwork and a culture of charitable giving within Disney.

Disney employees give to many worthy causes with Disney's support. Examples include:

  • Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund
    Active in the Southern California and New York City areas, this employee-driven fund accepts donations from Cast Members and employees for the purpose of supporting local charitable organizations. Disney covers the administrative costs to ensure that 100% of the donations are invested in the community.
  • Disney Tri-Team
    For the past seven years, a large group of employees have come together as the Disney Tri-Team to train and to participate in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. In 2008, the team received the Spirit Award and won the Entertainment Industry Challenge by raising $240,000 for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Since its inception, the team has raised more than $1 million for various charities.