2012: Rackspace Community Initiative 2017-04-16T09:32:27+00:00

This entry was shortlisted in the 2012 Peer Award “Philanthropy” category

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Community Spirit Is Alive And Kicking At Rackspace
how to engage with the community: Rack Gives Back

Overview
Community spirit is alive and kicking at Rackspace. However it’s easy to get swamped with opportunity to give back and so we put in place a clear plan for what we call our ‘Rack Gives Back’ initiatives to help focus attention and give clarity.
Rack Gives Back is one aspect of our culture that helps define Rackspace and what we’re about. It’s run by Rackers to make a difference. We’re not just an IT Hosting company; we’re defined by Fanatical Support extending from our customers through Rackers and out into the community.

Impact
We raised over £6k for our charity partner – the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation since launch of the partnership in June.
We raised £5k for November.
We made a substantial collection for Crisis at Christmas (recorded as their largest corporate donation a few years ago – and we usually match that quantity).
Our main fundraising is linked to our Charity of the Year. Rackers helped to compile our shortlist and then voted for their favourite. We kept the choices to small charities where we felt we could really make a difference (often locally) and also where Rackers were already actively involved.

Innovation
It has always been in our culture to raise the bar and be extraordinary! While other companies might be content with a cake sale, we prefer to notch things up a gear and ‘virtually’ row the English channel or see how many Rackers we can squash inside our Mini Cooper (17 would you believe!).
We have a team of volunteers who are committed to the Rack Gives Programme to help run our activities e.g. partnership with the Tree Foundation where we plant a tree for every server we put online. Rackers volunteer to help plant trees.[/one_half_last]

Insight
It has always been difficult to get Rackers to commit to projects – we are a very busy company with everyone under a great deal of pressure, so when something has to give, it would likely be participation in fund-raising activities that get in the way of the working day. With hindsight, it might be beneficial to have the Rack Gives Back elements of a Racker’s role incorporated into their annual objectives.
We also don’t utilise enough the 20 hours per year given to each Racker for volunteering opportunities. We plan to get innovative on this in 2012.

Inspiration
Rack Gives Back is one aspect of our culture that helps define Rackspace and what we’re about. It’s run by Rackers to make a difference. We’re not just an IT Hosting company; we’re defined by Fanatical Support extending from our customers through Rackers and out into the community.
Rack Gives Back also includes community work. This year we’ve helped with tree maintenance through the International Tree Foundation. For every server we Rack, we plant a tree. This initiative started back in 2006 and since then Rackspace has donated and planted over 15,000 trees.[/one_half_last]

The Speaker
Matthew Johns; Product Marketing Manager