In the summer leading up to ESPN’s 40th anniversary in September 2019, ESPN created “40,000 Acts of Service” to inspire employees to give back to sports fans through volunteer engagement. The initiative celebrated the company’s past and future, all while reaching its collective goal of community service.
To do this, ESPN:
- Created an internal site where employees could log their service
- Provided a toolkit to help arrange projects at team meetings
- Created competitive incentives, in keeping with ESPN’s culture as a sports organization
Employees quickly got to work, logging acts that included everything from picking up litter, coaching T-ball, buying ice cream for fire fighters and taking an elderly neighbor’s trash out. Compared to the same four-month period the previous year, employee engagement rose 115% during this stretch thanks to the participation in 40,000 Acts of Service.