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Social Responsibility

The Hunger Project, children waiting in lineTaking Corporate Social Responsibility to a new level

Among other distinctions, JMJ is the longest-duration corporate sponsor of The Hunger Project and was the largest corporate sponsor of the organization in the U.S. last year. What sets JMJ apart is its special brand of Corporate Social Responsibility—a good case study for other organizations of how to offer much more than charity by engaging the entire company, worldwide, in a great cause.

In late 2008, the employees of JMJ Associates committed to underwriting the funding of a THP epicenter in Ghana (at a cost of $100,000 per year for five years). This epicenter, which is named Osonson, is located in the Manya Krobo District in the Eastern region of Ghana. Through this epicenter JMJ are supporting approximately 10,000 villagers to move from abject poverty to self-reliance over a five-year period.

Rather than just write a check for the money, the JMJ Board wanted the greater JMJ community to be part of this commitment and actually be the ones to fund it. The five Board members have guaranteed the annual lump sum personally. Any money raised by the JMJ global community is put against the annual $100,000 commitment. Teams of employees across the company create a variety of ways to raise money. This approach has given JMJ a way to pitch in as a team across the world, enjoy being together and appreciate what colleagues were doing in other locations.

Far-flung fundraisers have included a silent auction and a special concert by a JMJ rock band at Stubbs Barbecue in Austin, a book fair held at JMJ’s London office park, a contingent from the UK undertook a fund-raising run – dressed as a chicken, chick, egg and fox – up Mt. Snowdon, the UK’s third tallest peak, selling fortune cookies at the Saturday market in Singapore, an art show and wine tasting in Perth, Australia. JMJ also supported the first World Hunger Day, which took place in London in January and culminated in a gala concert featuring a host of international stars including Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole.

JMJ’s engagement with The Hunger Project extends well beyond the epicenter strategy. The company provides office space for THP in its London office, but more importantly, executive management is actively engaged in assisting THP expand its awareness in the United Kingdom and other countries. JMJ’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Britton, has joined the THP-UK Board of Trustees.

“What I love about JMJ’s approach,” said Tim Holder, Country Director for The Hunger Project in the U.K., “is that they actually take part in the solution. Yes, they do give money. Yes, they are contributing to the epicenter and that is absolutely wonderful. But they take a step closer and actually show how they can use their skills and networks to make this cause live within their organization, live within their business, and live within their network and their clients.”

To learn more on how JMJ thinks about and involves itself in Social Responsibilty, check out our Social Responsibility area under the Careers section, here.