Creating the Foundation for Building Tomorrow’s Leaders: KPMG’s Family for Literacy

KPMG is committed to developing the leaders of the future through investments in programs that promote lifelong learning -- both for students and those advanced in their careers.  The most critical building block for continuous learning is literacy, a skill acquired during the earliest years of a child’s education.

But for children in low-income communities, the major barrier to literacy is access to books. In fact, two-thirds of children from low-income families lack access to books. Studies confirm that the number of books in the home directly predict reading achievement. Children who grow up with books in their homes reach a higher level of education than those who do not.

Working in cooperation with First Book, our organization has sought to address this issue by getting new books into the hands of children who need them most through KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL) program. KPMG people, spouses, family members, and alumni, relish the opportunity to volunteer their time to read to children, raise funds, and distribute new books to children.

We’ve integrated KFFL across many areas of our business to bolster the success of our efforts.

  • Marketing -  We developed “Blue for Books,” tying KFFL to KPMG’s sponsorship of Stacy Lewis, Phil Mickelson, and Mariah Stackhouse. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from sales of their blue KPMG golf hats fund children’s books (each hat = 3 books). Our “Inspiring Win” program also donates 5,000 books and refurbishes a school library in a low-income community whenever these golfers win a tournament.
  • Client engagement – Clients and prospective clients whose philanthropy is also focused on education participate in KFFL book distributions alongside of us.
  • Recruiting – Every KPMG intern participates in the planning and execution of a KFFL project, and some continue to participate by starting KFFL chapters on their campuses or through our relationships with organizations like Beta Alpha Psi.
  • Inclusion and diversity – Our Diversity Networks identify specific books, develop lesson plans, and deliver books to students at Title I schools. Recognizing the lack of diversity in children’s literature, KPMG sponsored the publication of a children’s book about a disabled man in Ghana for First Book’s “Stories for All” project.
  • Employee engagement – KFFL is unique in that it invites employees’ family members to volunteer with them. This has increased employee pride and retention.

But we recognize there’s much more to do, so we look for new ways to advance our efforts. We recently announced a sponsorship of the WE organization, which will galvanize youth to get involved with combatting childhood illiteracy in their communities. We look forward to continuing to make an impact in this critical area and helping develop the leaders of the future.

Bracken, Meghan
National Director, Corporate Citizenship, KPMG