Serving Our Communities

Grainger’s culture of service extends into the local communities where our team members live and work. Our partnerships, products, and people enable us to provide vital resources to advance the lives of those around us. Our community investments reflect the nature of our business, and our commitments are focused where we make the most of our resources. We focus on disaster preparedness and response, education and workforce development, and local civic and community engagement.


Matching Gifts Program

The Grainger Matching Charitable Gifts Program aims to amplify our U.S. team members’ personal community support. Through the program, the company offers a 3:1 match of eligible team member contributions (up to $2,500 annually) to qualifying organizations.

The program places Grainger in an elite group of U.S. companies that match team members’ contributions at this rate. Our intention is to encourage our team members to engage with the eligible non-profit organizations that matter most to them in their community.

Community Grant Program

The Company is proud to participate with The Grainger Foundation in the Grainger Community Grant program to help address local community needs throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Under the Program, Grainger’s Branch/Operations Managers and Distribution Center Directors identify charitable organizations in their local communities and make grant recommendations to The Grainger Foundation ranging from $5,000 up to $10,000. As a result of recommendations submitted throughout 2016, The Grainger Foundation made more than 1,100 grants totaling $6.6 million to a wide variety of organizations in the areas of health and human services, food banks, civic, disaster relief, and education.

The Grainger Foundation, an independent private foundation, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, the Company’s founder.

Accelerating our Community Engagement through Partner Collaboration

We are only one organization, and we cannot solve the challenges we face in education, community engagement and disaster relief in isolation. To address the challenges we face in our focus areas, it is important that we look outside of our own operations and resources.

For example, for the last three years, we have received a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for our practices, policies and procedures pertinent to our LGBTQ team members. One of the practices that has contributed to our success was the development of our Equality Alliance Business Resource Group (BRG) in 2013. Our partner, the American Red Cross, saw an opportunity to embrace great diversity among their own team members. We met with the Red Cross to share best practices integral to the success of our BRG, which they used to develop the first Red Cross LGBTQ Business Resource Group.


Community Engagement Survey    Our team members’ commitment to their communities is a key ingredient in the success of our community affairs program. As the program develops and grows with our team, we wanted to better understand how connected our team members are to the partners and programs we offer. To do so, we sent a community engagement survey to 2,100 U.S. team members in various areas within the organization. Nearly 600 team members responded to the survey (approximately 33 percent of recipients).

The survey was designed to uncover how and when our team members become engaged in their local communities. The questions ranged from high-level: How important is it to your engagement that Grainger offers volunteer opportunities? to specific: If we offered a company-wide service event, would you participate?

The results were overwhelmingly positive, and we have started to shape our strategy and programs in accordance with our findings. For example, 67 percent of team members agreed that they preferred to volunteer in small and large groups organized by a fellow Grainger team member. With that in mind, we organized on-site volunteer events with our partner, the American Red Cross, to pack comfort kits for survivors of home fires in honor of National Preparedness Month. In addition, our Veterans and Military Partners BRG also recruited volunteers to pack comfort kits for disabled veterans to recognize Veteran’s Day. The kits included basic necessities such as toiletries, wash cloths and more. Together with our Red Cross partners, 60 members of the Grainger team packed 800 comfort kits in 120 minutes.

Grainger Around the Globe

Mexico    Grainger Mexico gave back to the community in a big way in 2016. Through their community affairs program, they support the elderly, at-risk children, childhood cancer, children with autism and refugees. Team Mexico generously donated $16 million pesos to local nonprofit organizations in cash and product, inspired 40 team members to participate in a blood drive, contributed 253.5 volunteer hours and supported over 288 members of their community. Team members also continued with internal recycling, waste reduction and energy saving programs.

Also in 2016, Grainger Mexico formed a Women’s BRG of 18 team members empowering women inside and outside the organization.

Grainger Mexico was recognized for the second year in a row by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy as a recipient of the 2016 Empresa Socialmente Responsable Award. This group annually recognizes companies that demonstrate excellence in social responsibility and have a commitment to team members, investors, customers and their local communities.

Canada    Acklands-Grainger is a national founding partner of Ready When the Time Comes®, a disaster preparedness program administered by the Canadian Red Cross. The program prepares employees of organizations to mobilize as a community-based volunteer force when large-scale disasters strike. Grainger’s Canadian business is also actively engaged in Aboriginal development, through its work with the Canadian Council on Aboriginal Business, and supplier diversity, with its support of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council. Acklands-Grainger is in the early stages of developing a third pillar of its community investment efforts—focused on skilled trades development.

United Kingdom    Team Cromwell supported several charitable causes in 2016. The world distribution centre showed their support for a loved colleague suffering from a brain tumor by raising over £345. In addition, a group of keen cyclists undertook a 100km bike ride and successfully raised more than £2357 in memory of a dear friend who was lost to the same condition. Additional charities supported during the year included Children in Need, Sports Relief and Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children, nationally raising over £2,500.

China    Grainger China focused on drives and donations in their local community in 2016. Team China collected over 17 boxes of clothing and office supplies, which will be distributed to need-based organizations supporting children and adults. This donation represents the 7th round of donations organized over the past 4 years.

Europe    In 2016, Fabory team members in the Netherlands volunteered at Amarant, an organization that provides guidance and living accommodation to people who are mentally challenged or have autism. The walls of the public areas of their home received a fresh coat of paint.

The Fabory team once again supported COCOCI, an organization that supports poor, sick or abandoned children and teenagers. They were able to put a smile on the faces of numerous children in Cameroon when the children were given toys to play with. Fabory continued to support the European chapters of the Red Cross by giving team members the option to make a donation rather than receive a company Christmas gift.

FORWARD: What’s Coming in Our 2017 Report

•  Inaugural volunteer event at the National Sales and Service Meeting portion of our 2017 Grainger Show
•  Increase the engagement with and use of our technology-based tools for tracking and adjusting our programs
•  Implement an organization-wide Grainger month of service to celebrate our 90th anniversary as an organization