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IBM On Demand Community Launched Today -- In the Triangle Area and 74 Other Sites Worldwide


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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - 18 Nov 2003: At an event today on IBM's main campus in RTP that drew an estimated 500 employees, the company introduced a first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage and sustain corporate philanthropy through volunteerism.

The program, entitled IBM On Demand Community, will arm employees with valuable IBM technology tools targeted for non-profit community organizations and schools in the Triangle Area and 90 other locations around the world. The Triangle Area is IBM's largest location in the world, with approximately 13,500 employees.

This new initiative transforms all models of corporate volunteerism by providing IBM here and elsewhere with over 140 technology assets and other innovative resources, strategies, programs and tutorials they can access online and share with the agencies where they volunteer.

In addition, IBM will increase the value of technology grants and cash awards to eligible organizations where employees utilize the new on demand tools.

"What sets this initiative apart from other corporate volunteer programs is its scale and size," commented Barry Eveland, IBM's Senior State Executive for North Carolina. "IBM On Demand Community enables us to engage thousands of employees on a worldwide basis, and give them resources that will transform the schools and community agencies where they donate their time. We're taking community service to a whole new level."

IBM On Demand Community includes a rich portfolio of proven technology solutions for schools and not-for-profits, plus online training and support materials for IBM volunteers. These will enrich their community and link IBM's spirit of volunteerism to its e-business on demand business strategy.

"If a teacher needs better strategies for using the Internet to advance learning, an IBM volunteer can provide it -- on demand," Eveland explained. "If an executive at a local charity wants to improve services and outcomes through technology, an IBMer on their board of directors can help guide the process with an on demand solution."

The global scale of this initiative makes it a new paradigm when it comes to effective volunteerism. IBMers from Raleigh to Durham to Cary to Charlotte to New York City, London, Argentina and Japan -- indeed anywhere IBM does business -- now have access to the same tools and resources, with the potential to provide the same impact to their local schools and charitable organizations.

Also attending the event at IBM today were: Dr. Mike Ward, N.C. State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Ann Denlinger, Durham Schools Superintendent, and Bill Bell, Mayor of Durham and a retired IBM engineer.

"With the help of IBM volunteers, schools and not-for-profit agencies get the full weight of IBM's technology leadership," Dr. Ward commented. "One of the themes of this new initiative is 'Share What You Know.' Most people want to help, but some don't know how to translate their talents and skills into useful information for children in schools, or the staff at local agencies. IBM On Demand Community shows them how."

IBM On Demand Community builds on a deep tradition of community service at IBM. Last year, IBM employees donated over four million volunteer hours.

Here's How IBM On Demand Community Works
IBMers in the Triangle Area and around the world now have access to an IBM intranet site that serves as home base for IBM On Demand Community. When they register at the website, they have immediate access to a full range of technology solutions. These solutions continue IBM's commitment to advancing achievement in schools, closing the digital divide, and improving business strategies and outcomes for not-for-profits through technology.

Resources on the web site will also enable employees to assess their skills, and take online training to improve their volunteer ability. Employees can even tailor their volunteer choice, depending on how much time they have to give--with solutions geared to those who wish to volunteer once a week or once a year.

Example: A Triangle Area IBMer who wants to volunteer in her child's classroom will find eight technology solutions on the site. They include dynamic classroom activities, science presentations, mentoring a student, leading change in schools, helping teachers with technology, and more. The same process holds true for employees who volunteer at not-for profit organizations. They may use solutions that include valuable technology planning and assessments, and award-winning software for senior organizations to help them with vision and other disabilities better navigate the web.

If the employee uses the solutions and becomes a regular school volunteer, IBM will provide increased levels of technology or cash awards to the school. An individual is eligible for $3,500 in technology or $1,000 in cash donated to the organization a year.

IBM is holding launch events for the new initiative at 90 company sites this week in North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa and in Asian/Pacific countries. By mid-2004, all of the technology solutions and assets associated with IBM on Demand Community will be available in 10 languages. IBM expects more than 25,00 employees to participate as on demand volunteers over the next two years.

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