There is hardly anyone who is not familiar with the Walt Disney Company or its creations. One way or another, Disney has managed to gain a firm foothold in households around the world. Who here is not familiar with Mickey Mouse or Disney’s adaptations of the fairy tales that transfixed the children in us? However, entertainment and media productions are not the only good things to come out of Disney.
The Walt Disney Company has also invested in and launched several initiatives for the disadvantaged and weaker communities across the globe. The media giant has a well organised structure that strategically implements social initiatives that transcends borders. Disney’s CSR activities have always been two trains of thought – providing much-needed comfort to children under medical care and investing in youth transformative programmes.
Other corporate houses can learn a lot from Disney’s approach to CSR. A comprehensive walk-through of Disney’s CSR programmes can perhaps shed more light in this regard.
The mega-corporation has a well-oiled CSR team that lives, eats and breathes together with the sole purpose of managing activities and providing a guiding light for all its programmes. It collaborates with many other global organizations for planning and coordination to ensure seam-less delivery of the Disney experience.
The most pressing issue today is the COVID-19 pandemic that has derailed our lives. Disney provided nearly $27 million worth of aid in all forms globally. The company played on its strengths and brought out fun and engaging content to entertain millions and also provided crucial and timely information to many.
With travel restrictions in place, Disney worked tirelessly to get around such hurdles and granted wishes virtually wherever and whenever possible. In collaboration with the Make-A-Wish foundation, Disney’s CSR team reached out to millions of children whose wishes were on hold due to the pandemic.
Last year, Disney increased its commitment in organizations that supported under-represented communities. It contributed $5 million to such causes, with a special focus on black communities. This year, Disney’s CSR teams are keeping a close account of its social initiatives, keeping in line with the company’s goal to ensure 50% of all donations go to organizations serving marginalized communities.
Back in 2018, Disney pledged $100 million to transform hospital stays for children. In accordance to the goal, it works ceaselessly to ensure treasurable moments and experiences that go a long way in providing comfort to children when they need it the most. No stone is left unturned in order to fulfil every eligible wish of children with critical illnesses.
Disney has always worked to provide easier access and opportunities to underprivileged youth. The global pandemic forced Disney to re-assess its goals and find innovative ways to accomplish them. Since then, it has invested its efforts in introducing virtual programmes for the youth where possible.
A brief look at Disney’s CSR programmes and its organizational set up while impressive, holds several lessons for communities and organizations around the world. A kind gesture goes a long way. A kind gesture that enables the receiver to reciprocate it, will go even further.