Use Social Impact Programming to Build a Company Culture

Those who grow up in Chicago, especially if they have connections to the advertising industry, know the story of Leo Burnett

In the midst of the Great Depression, the advertiser who created the Jolly Green Giant and Tony the Tiger — among other notable characters, opened his doors for the first time, setting out a bowl of apples. It was a powerful symbol of hospitality and generosity. In 2016, Leo Burnett Chicago decided to pay homage to that message by designating the company's 81st Anniversary as “Give Back Day.” 

The goal was simple: to give back to the Chicago community. 

Designating each floor of the office as a volunteer station, employees were able to choose the projects that most appealed to them. By day's end, the group impacted 10,000 local children and families by putting together essential care packages for local homeless families, designing motivational sport cups for Chicago-area Special Olympic athletes, tying fleece blankets for young cancer patients, and many other activities.

Since then, Leo Burnett employees have continued group or company-wide initiatives.

In 2017, a group of volunteers refurbished the Off the Street Club, an after school program for children in West Garfield Park, overhauling the game room, creating a reading area for children, deep cleaning the art and storage areas, landscaping outdoor areas, and much more.