Since the earliest days of The Walt Disney Company, we've aimed to be a positive and productive member of the communities in which we live and work. Walt Disney himself frequently visited children in hospitals and guided the company's resources and talent toward supporting organizations that help children in need. Disney also has a long tradition of supporting the arts, providing support to institutions and organizations that develop the next generation of artists, and encouraging the arts among youth and communities. The needs of children and the importance of the arts are key components of our charitable initiatives.
Responsibility and Impact
The Disney community is truly global. Our brands and products are recognized around the world. We have Cast Members and employees in 42 countries and large resorts on three continents.
In our local communities, Disney has a large impact as a business, as an employer and as a corporate citizen. In addition to charitable giving, Disney supports local economies by contributing significant tax revenue and by consuming local goods and services. As an employer, we hire, train and support a workforce and its families. Our employees are active citizens, who show their care for the communities in which they live and work through civic engagement, volunteerism and tax contributions. The company encourages their good deeds through its Disney VoluntEARS program.
As a global media company, we have on-air, online and print media platforms that are used for public service. Our beloved characters have become ambassadors of key community initiatives, and our television and studio talent frequently help build awareness of social issues. The power of the Disney brands, the broad reach of our media outlets and the appeal of our talent put us in a unique position to promote worthy causes.
All of the Disney business segments have a significant economic impact in the communities in which they operate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts segment. Our business conducts periodic economic impact studies to understand our contribution to local communities through direct and indirect employment, taxation and other factors. We share key findings from these studies in local community reports.
For more information about the impacts our sites have on the local community, please see our Suite of Reports.
Community Outreach and Collaboration
We strive to be an engaged and active member of our local communities. Toward this end, Disney and its Cast Members and employees support many outreach initiatives, participate in Chambers of Commerce and collaborate with local government and civic leaders. Many of our Cast Members, including senior leaders, serve on the boards of directors of local and national nonprofit organizations. Organizations served include children's hospitals, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and certain global organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Starlight Children's Foundation.
Disney also provides expertise to develop solutions to key challenges in the public sphere. Disney Imagineers are active in creating new visions for the use of public spaces such as children’s hospitals and schools. In 2008, Walt Disney Imagineering lent its creative expertise to the U.S. government and the Trust for the National Mall to improve the visitor experience at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Disney Imagineers reviewed potential improvements to facilities, horticulture and movement of people.
To support public diplomacy efforts, Disney created a video entitled "Welcome: Portraits of America" that was given to the US government to create a more welcoming experience for travelers to the country. The video is currently shown at U.S. embassies, consulates and airports and aboard some flights arriving in the country. Disney has also lent expertise to address queue management, customer service and signage for government agencies that serve the public.