2016 Best Community Improvement Program Finalists

D.C. United

Extreme inequality of opportunity exists for school children in Washington, D.C. As the city’s major league soccer team, D.C. United has an interest in growing the sport of soccer and creating a vibrant, healthy community.

To help end this inequality of opportunity, D.C. United partners with local nonprofit DC SCORES on its local, free, school-based soccer leagues for low income children.  The partnership leverages each organization's core expertise—specifically D.C. United’s soccer resources and expertise as well as DC Scores’ operational capability and deep community ties.  

In the first year of the partnership, they increased their reach from a few hundred to more than 2,000 children. DC SCORES and D.C. United have done more together in the first months of this partnership than either could do alone.  

The Dow Chemical Company

The Dow Chemical Company believes in building community strength through quality housing. The company’s 34 year strategic partnership with Habitat for Humanity has positively impacted more than 50,000 families in more than 30 countries.

Dow is committed to applying its science and engineering expertise to create sustainable solutions to global challenges. Because of the company’s expertise in building and construction materials, it was natural for Dow to grow its relationship with Habitat, which builds, renovates, and repairs homes in partnership with people worldwide using volunteer labor and donations.

Dow and Habitat share a vision of a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to live. Through the partnership, Dow has donated more than $77 million in cash and in-kind donations, and its employees have volunteered hundreds of thousands of hours building homes for families. 

The Wonderful Company

In the farming community of Lost Hills, California, 50% of households have at least one person that works at The Wonderful Company’s pistachios plant 13 miles away. Lacking basic infrastructure like streetlights and sidewalks, The Wonderful Company saw an opportunity to impact more than its employees but an entire community.

Working closely with community members, The Wonderful Company created a strategy to revitalize Lost Hills.  The company created a Community Advisory Board and the first town council to help determine how the company should invest.  It’s in-house capital improvements team led the town’s infrastructure improvements including building parks, streets, driveways, sidewalks, and bus shelters.

With an overall investment of more than $15 million, The Wonderful Company helped restore a strong sense of community pride in Lost Hills. The transformation of Lost Hills demonstrates the positive impact a business can have on a community by investing resources and fully engaging with residents.