A good start in life—it's what we want for our children, it's what we wish we had if we didn't have it, it's what we're eternally grateful for if we did have it. As a financial services company, PNC instinctively understands the connection between a child's early years and financial success later in life. So when it came time to launch a CSR initiative in 2004, PNC couldn't have chosen a more apt name and cause than "Grow Up Great."
PNC has invested $350 million in Grow Up Great, a multi-year, bilingual initiative that provides leadership, advocacy, funding, tools and volunteers to help parents, caregivers and communities prepare young children for success in school and life. The Harvard Business Review has noted admiringly how PNC has "pruned its disparate CSR programs" and zeroed in on early education with Grow Up Great. In so doing, PNC has made its community involvement easily identifiable to its own employees, which may be the most important element of any CSR initiative. Case in point: PNC employees have volunteered more than 650,000 hours and donated more than 933,000 classroom items as part of Grow Up Great.
Since 2004, Grow Up Great has distributed more than $121 million in grants that help young children prepare for school by focusing on readiness in vocabulary development, math, science, financial education and the arts. Through these grants to nonprofit organizations, the program has impacted approximately 3 million children throughout 19 states and the District of Columbia.