Encouraging Community Service Where Our Employees and Customers Live and Work

Service is the rent we pay for living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time." -- Marian Wright Edelman At American Express, service has been a hallmark of our company throughout its 160-year history. This service ethos comes to life every time we help a customer – whether with a simple, everyday request or in an emergency situation. We show the same care and commitment to service in our communities.


We encourage good citizenship by supporting organizations that cultivate meaningful opportunities for civic engagement by our employees and members of the community, whether as volunteers, donors, voters or patrons.


We also serve our communities by supporting immediate and long-term relief and recovery efforts to help victims of natural disasters. Funding also goes to support preparedness programs that allow relief agencies to be better equipped in responding to emergencies as they occur.



Supported programs encourage community service and civic participation, and deliver measurable outcomes that have a lasting impact on communities through one or more of the following:


  • Building the capacity of nonprofits by assisting them in developing, engaging and retaining community members as volunteers.
  • Encouraging citizens to play an active role in civic processes (e.g., voting).
  • Engaging community members and American Express employees in ongoing service. This may involve a variety of activities from promoting individual philanthropy, volunteerism or participation in local civic organizations.

Recent Grants


American Red Cross of Greater New York, New York, NY
Support funds the expansion of the Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC) program that is designed to engage local community and business groups and mobilizes them as a community-based volunteer force that is called upon when disaster strikes.


Ashoka, Washington, DC
Support funds the Serve2Gether Consulting Social Innovators program which matches up to twenty high-performing social enterprises in Argentina, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. with teams of American Express employees who provide marketing and strategy consulting to strengthen these organizations.


Give2Asia, San Francisco, CA

Support funds the expansion of Second Harvest Japan's emergency food programs which provide a food safety net for over 8,000 people in Tohoku who were affected by the tsunami in 2010 and where the poverty rate is much higher than the national average.


Points of Light Foundation, Atlanta, GA

Support funds volunteer activities organized by Points of Light's global network of volunteer centers. This program is designed to drive American Express employee volunteering in key company locations in Asia, Europe and the Americas.


Project Sunshine, Multiple Locations, U.S.

Support for the organization's efforts to engage volunteers to provide its free educational, recreational, and social programs to children facing medical challenges and their families. In key U.S. employee centers - Florida, Central Arizona, New York City and Utah - American Express volunteers assemble activity kits which are distributed to the pediatric patients at local hospitals.


Terrence Higgins Trust, London, UK

Support funds the organization's efforts to recruit and engage diverse communities of volunteers who help deliver its wide range of health care and HIV services programming to over 100,000 community members each year.


United Way of New York City, New York, NY

Support funds BoardServeNYC, a program that provides comprehensive board service training and placement services to committed New Yorkers seeking to contribute their skills, expertise, and access to resources to strengthen nonprofit organizations in New York City.

Click here for more information about other initiatives within this theme.