Today, IPG Mediabrands’ global media agency network UM is launching its third Impact Day around the world, closing 100-plus offices in 50 countries to give staff the chance to help others.
Last year, more than 80 offices shuttered their doors, up from 60 the year before, and now, the effort is bigger than ever, even though it’s virtual for the first time.
Throughout the day, UM employees around the world will share their Impact Day content and the projects they’re volunteering on using hashtags #UMBetterWorld and #UMImpactDay.
In 2016, UM’s New York office launched Moments Matter to allow employees to take the day to volunteer their time and resources to philanthropic efforts. The effort was then expanded globally and renamed in 2018 to Better World, serving as an umbrella brand for acts of volunteer community service undertaken by UM staffers in their communities.
"Our Better World team has carefully pivoted Impact Day into a virtual experience to ensure safety for our employees while still empowering them to make an impact in their communities," said Eileen Kiernan, global CEO of UM, in a statement.
She added: "Our activities this year are focused around the most relevant issues we are facing as a global community, and we look forward to taking action. With arms virtually locked and eyes forward, we will build a better tomorrow, today."
This year, UM is focusing on three core pillars for its Impact Day activities: People, pandemic and planet.
Some projects in which UM employees can participate in across EMEA, APAC, LATAM and North America include: supporting and promoting black-owned businesses and mentoring the Class of 2020 black graduates in the states; creating personal hygiene kits for the homeless in Greece; raising money through home exercise for people with disabilities in Mexico; supporting young people of the LGBTQ+ community in association with Le Refuge in France; and more.
"Impact Day has become an integral part of the DNA at UM, bonding employees to each other, to the agency and to their communities," said Anthony Hello, senior VP and Better World global chair at UM, in a statement.
"At this moment in culture, as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and issues around social inequity and racial justice around the world, caring for our communities is more essential than ever," added Hello. "The question I hear from my colleagues every day is, ‘How can I help?’ The answer is that we can continue to give back – safely, resiliently and with an eye to justice."