Supporting our Communities and People
We have a robust history of community involvement and believe that our obligations extend beyond the medicines we make. We seek to be a responsible employer and business partner. In addition, our company and our employees volunteer their time and skills to dozens of causes and charitable programs, strengthening the communities where we live and work.
We invest in our communities in a variety of ways, through cash contributions, product donations, and other in-kind donations. In 2008, our total giving was about $350 million. About 80 percent of that amount was in the form of product donations. In October 2008, Forbes ranked Lilly among America's five most generous companies, based on donations as a percentage of operating income.
We focus our community investments on programs that improve patient outcomes, especially in Lilly's therapeutic areas of interest; enhance the quality of life in communities in which Lilly has a presence; and improve educational opportunities, with a priority on science and health.
As we move forward, our goal is to more closely align our investments with our business objectives in order to drive better results for our communities, for our patients, and for our company. We plan to demonstrate our leadership by using our resources and our expertise to make a meaningful, measurable, and sustainable difference.
One of our goals is to improve access to medicines, and our emphasis has been on diseases where we have industry-leading therapies and historic expertise, including diabetes, depression, and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Over the last few years, for example, we have committed $135 million in cash, medicines, and technology toward the fight against MDR-TB We also support programs that improve patient outcomes, such as scholarships, award recognitions, and tools for healthy living.
When disasters strike, Lilly responds with cash and product contributions to help people in desperate situations. In 2008, for example, Lilly gave $1.1 million in cash and products to victims of two major Asian disasters: the powerful earthquake that destroyed areas in the Sichuan Province of China, and the devastating cyclone that ravaged the southern coastal region of Myanmar. In China, Lilly provided $990,000 of insulin.
We are especially proud of our corporate volunteer programs, which harness the power of our employees within their communities. Our Global Day of Service, which we launched as an annual event in 2008, ranks among the largest single-day, volunteer initiatives of any company in the U.S. In 2009, more than 20,000 employees from over 50 global locations volunteered in their communities.