2012 Nonprofit PR Awards: Social Responsibility

Winner: Office Depot Foundation and JKG Group — Office Depot Foundation National Backpack Program

Marking its 10-year anniversary as an iconic corporate social responsibility program, the National Backpack Program has helped more than 2.5 million children in that time span. In 2011, partnerships were key in distributing 350,000 foundation-designed sackpacks via 25 back-to-school celebrations across the U.S. The effort involved agreements with eight national nonprofit organizations, including a new partner, Samaritan’s Feet International, which extended the reach of the program to 47 additional U.S. cities and several countries overseas.

Office Depot Foundation’s first integration of Twitter and Facebook into the mix helped generate even more awareness of the campaign. “We made a special effort to engage program participants in this way and have seen the numbers of our fans and followers — as well as our conversations with them— grow substantially,” says Mary Wong, president, Office Depot Foundation. In addition, a comprehensive media relations effort generated more than 730 placements in print, broadcast and online platforms, accounting for more than 1 billion impressions with an estimated media value of $45.3 million. —SVC

Honorable Mentions:

American Cleaning Institute – For Better Living:
ACI 2011 Sustainability: The ACI’s first-ever report to enhance the credibility of the cleaning products industry as a green leader was covered by green bloggers and highlighted at a number of national and international conferences.

The Fahad Al Salem Center for Dialogue and Edelman – The Fahad Center for Dialogue Among Civilizations’ Inaugural Forum: The Fahad Center’s event during 2011’s historic Arab Spring featured 10 former presidents, four former prime ministers, two Nobel Prize laureates—and, not surprisingly, attracted a bevy of global media coverage.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization – We Honor Veterans:
An informational Web portal, seminars for hospice providers and a social media community for partners helped raise awareness of the hospice community’s commitment to serving veterans.