Focus on One Thing and Do it Transparently

For Nancy Tully, vice president, senior business leader for MasterCard Worldwide/Global Technology & Operations, the challenges of working on Project Math, which stressed the value of math education,
were overcome by two best practices that she would recommend to other companies wishing to implement a similar community relations initiative:

•    Don’t spread yourself too thin: “We had been broadly spreading our philanthropic efforts in the community. Instead of spreading our efforts like peanut butter, we wanted to focus our efforts on one thing in the community.”
•    Be transparent—and generous—when explaining a change in policy with your philanthropic partners. Because Project Math required a great deal of funding to get off the ground, it was necessary for MasterCard to redirect its funding from certain efforts and initiatives to Project Math. “We had to go to our partners and explain to them what our new strategy was going to be,” says Tully. But MasterCard didn’t want to leave their partners in the lurch either. “We told them we would work with them to introduce them to other companies [that had grants for their charities.”]

Contact: Nancy Tully, nancy_tully@mastercard.com