Archive for November, 2009

Commitment to the Environment

Monday, 30 November, 2009

Since 2002, Amway Japan has been promoting the spirit of environmental stewardship towards an improved quality of life for this and future generations.

For 2009, Amway Japan held coastal-area cleanup activities at 22 different sites.  The cleanup activities also include environmental education and refuse-content analysis all aimed at increasing awareness of the problem of refuse in the coastal areas.  The personal commitment to stewardship? A total 5000 Amway Japan employees and distributors volunteered for this activity so far this year! Amazing!

Even better, since 2002, Amway Japan has held cleanup activities at 133 sites with 44,083 employee and distributor volunteers.  Thanks for caring!

The season for action

Wednesday, 25 November, 2009

This holiday week kicks off an uptick in volunteering that lasts through Christmas. It is amazing how the holidays trigger generosity in people, not only for their families but for those in need.

We've learned to be ready to respond to requests from departments and employees looking for some way to connect. There is a lot of willingness, but people often don't know what to do.

Over the years, we have created a "menu" of volunteer and giving opportunities in our local community. I'm attaching it not as a recruitment for the blog readers, but to stimulate your ideas on the kinds of projects that might be happening in your local community.

Please share what kinds of things YOU are doing. Amway employees participate in …


Campau Park Santa’s Secret Workshop
Witness the joy of giving by helping hundreds of smiling students at Campau Park Elementary shop and wrap gifts for their families. Join staff, students and fellow employees for this rewarding holiday experience.

Kids Food Basket
Help provide take home meals to hungry school children in the Greater Grand Rapids Area by volunteering to package meals and deliver them to local schools for the holiday break.

Salvation Army Christmas Toy Giveaway
Be one of Santa’s helpers at the Salvation Army Toy Shop. Volunteers sort toys, arrange the store and participate in a massive toy giveaway. Individuals are also needed to distribute food certificates to those who have signed up to receive holiday assistance.

Southeast Academic Center Santa’s Secret Workshop
Witness the joy of giving by helping 100+ smiling students at Southeast Academic Center shop and wrap gifts for their families. Join staff, students and fellow employees for this rewarding holiday experience.

St. John’s Home
Make the season a little bit brighter for homes of 8-10 children from St. John’s. Each home provides residential therapy and shelter for children and teens.

Special Olympics
Support Special Olympics during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season by volunteering to help with gift wrapping at Breton Village Shopping Center.

United Way Adopt-A-Family
Many departments find the best way to infuse a little holiday spirit into the office is by adopting a family in need. Agencies will match departments with a family that has a list of needs for food, clothing and personal items. See first hand what a big difference a little generosity can make – especially when your whole team works together.

Celebrations in Taiwan

Friday, 20 November, 2009

As a follow-up to our story about the junior high schools Amway is supporting in Taiwan, we received an update from Julie Wu in our Taipei office. They hosted a group of 30 students from the Luye Junior High School in the nation’s capital on November 1.

In addition to the tours and educational programs, the students performed at an event for Amway distributors in Taipei. Below are a couple of pictures of the students in full traditional dress. Quite a performance!

Thailand -Amway Libraries

Wednesday, 18 November, 2009

Together with Amway distributors, Amway Thailand actively supports corporate social responsibility programs. One of their key initiatives is the One by One: World of Wisdom effort that builds Amway libraries for children in remote schools.

Amway Thailand put their hearts in to motion and set out to provide Thai children with few educational resources the opportunity to tap into the joy of reading books which can be the doorways to Wisdom, Opportunities and the World.  These doorways can ultimately lead to an improved quality of life and stronger self-sufficiency when the children reach adulthood.

Distributors are able to donate books at each of the 43 Amway Shops in Thailand.  Visually challenged children are able to share in the joy and the experience of the libraries that offer books on tape that have been recorded by participating Amway distributors.

To date, Amway distributors and employees have shared nearly 8,400 hours of their time and talents through the One by One World of Wisdom effort which has reached more than  42,000 Thai Children!

Transferring leadership skills

Friday, 13 November, 2009

Want to expand your leadership skills where it really makes a difference? Consider getting involved on a nonprofit board.

For the last five years, we have been introducing Amway executives to the world of nonprofit board service, and continue to be amazed at the process … and the outcomes.

These seasoned business leaders are not always familiar with nonprofit structures and social systems. Nonprofits are under constant pressure to secure funding, as well as serve their clients in the best and most effective manner. They often do so with a volunteer workforce and a shoestring budget that is dependent on multiple funding sources. Working with nonprofit organizations at the leadership level stretches executives to think in new ways and understand the interconnected systems of community social structures.

Yet business executives bring a lot to the table. It is often their strategic, creative and communication skills that help nonprofit organizations think in a new way that increases efficiency and deepens community impact. We see a lot of our executives move into larger leadership roles in a very short time. They begin chairing committees, planning events, participating in strategic planning, and often becoming chair of the board.

We hear so many stories of Amway leaders emerging as leaders in community organizations. One of our executives helped to align the logistical operations of an organization and build alliances with other similar service providers. Another led a fundraising event that resulted in the biggest fundraiser the organization had ever held. One executive recently opened her home to invite prospective donors and raise visibility of the organization she is involved with.

There is a lot of value for board members too – networking, skill building, and exposure to areas you might not experience in your business role. They continue to sign up to get involved. Currently we have more than a third of our executives serving on local nonprofit boards, and all of our senior executives are on at least one board.

Community leadership is not seen as a mandate, but instead it has become a part of our culture and a way to deepen volunteer opportunities. Our senior leadership leads by example. Our president co-chairs a coalition to support early childhood development, and our chairman recently led a campaign to build a new hospital. Both serve on numerous boards and often schedule their international travel and business meetings around their community commitments.

I suspect that there are a lot of Amway Independent Business Owners volunteering and serving in community leadership roles as well. (If you have a story, please share!)

It’s a natural extension of generous giving and volunteering, and one of the best ways to stretch you as a leader.

Global Corporate Philanthropy Report – World Federation of Direct Selling Associations

Thursday, 12 November, 2009

The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) where Amway President Doug DeVos currently serves as Vice Chairman, has published its second comprehensive survey of the direct selling industry corporate philanthropy activities on a global scale.

The corporate philanthropy report was unveiled at the WFDSA CEO Council meeting on September 30, 2009 in New York, New York. Simple, direct and concise, the report is based upon input from 71 companies worldwide.

Titled “Global Philanthropy Report of the Direct Selling Industry” the 23-page report reveals how companies and direct sellers give back to communities and people around the globe including the origins of our giving, how we give, what we give, and who benefits from our giving. Key findings of the report include two in five companies (38%) started philanthropy activities when the company was founded and many of these activities reflect the values of the founders. Member companies of WFDSA reported global corporate contributions of US $336 million to charitable causes in 2008.

Learning from the United Way campaign

Friday, 6 November, 2009

We’re on a bit of a high after this year’s United Way campaign at our headquarters, and I think we learned a lot about how people respond to a call for support.

Amway has held a United Way campaign for many years. It’s always a challenge to make it fresh and new, especially when we are racing around during the campaign getting all of the logistics taken care of.

This year, we hit on the right formula. Employees gave more than they have in ten years, and participation was at an all-time high.

I think it is worth sharing our approach this year. It certainly reflects the culture of Amway people, but it also reflects principles of engagement that can be applied to an Amway business.

We developed three overall strategies to engage employees. First was empowering and celebrating our volunteer coordinators. We trained a person in each department, and then gave them a lot of time and attention to make sure they were able to run successful “mini-campaigns.”

We’ve always had coordinators, but they often get lumped together and treated like a group rather than individuals. But it is so important to identify their individual needs and goals. Some are covering hundreds of manufacturing workers. Others support a small group of office staff. Some organize fundraisers and others collect envelopes.

Our entire corporate citizenship team split up the 83 coordinators so each of us had around 10-15 of them. This gave us the ability to make calls, give theme encouragement, answer questions and make suggestions.

The second strategy was emphasizing the need. We realized that people were overwhelmed with news about the economy, job losses and long lines at the food banks. Instead of adding to the negatives, we focused our communications on the difference a donation makes.

United Way has amazing statistics like $1 per week provides a cane for a client who is blind” or “$5 per week sends an at-risk child to day camp for a week” We posted these statistics around the company and through all of the traditional employee communications channels.

Finally, we set clear expectations and a direct call to action. For the first time in many years, we set a dollar amount goal and stuck thermometers at all the entrance gates, so people knew how close we were getting to the goal each day as they drove into work. It’s a little old fashioned, but it gets the message across. Our communications didn’t just talk about participation in the campaign, it asked people to give.

This call to action seemed to be a crucial point. I’m amazed at how some people do not respond unless they are asked directly. You can give them all the tools, but unless you find a way to close the deal, those tools are easily dismissed.

When we put all these strategies together, there was a real energy this year. Our participation rates were higher than they have ever been. Departments ran silent auctions and bake sales and food drives. More than 230 volunteers turned out for a community-wide Day of Caring. And we blew through our goals.

Not everyone participated, and not every action we took brought results, but the principles were solid. And I think they can apply to the Amway business. You’ve got to empower individual people with a caring touch. You’ve got to help them understand the impact of their efforts. And you’ve got to explicitly ask them to engage.

Thanks to our employees and thanks to United Way for making a much-needed difference in our communities!

Update on Ronaldinho and the Goal by Goal Campaign

Tuesday, 3 November, 2009

As the global spokesperson for the Amway One by One Campaign for Children, Ronaldinho earns $10,000 USD for children’s charities for each goal he scores through NUTRILITE’s Goal by Goal program during the 2009/2010 season.  We are happy to share that AC Milan forward Ronaldinho has scored two goals so far during the 2009/2010 season, which has contributed $20,000 USD to the AC Milan Foundation!

What does this mean?  The proceeds have been earmarked to build a sports center for children near the city of L’Aquila, which was devastated by a massive earthquake hit this past spring.  The ground breaking ceremony and placing of the cornerstone of the sports center was celebrated this past month.

Ronaldinho scored the first goal during AC Milan’s 1-1 draw on October 4 and the second goal during AC Milan’s 2-1 win on October 18.  When you’re cheering for AC Milan and Ronaldinho, you’re cheering for kids in need.