Celanese employees have a great spirit of volunteerism and community support. The annual Greater Dallas United Way fund raiser, Global Impact Week, and efforts in support of Habitat for Humanity, Make a Wish Foundation, and Junior Achievement to name a few are driven by employees in support of our community and those in need. Last year we estimate Celanese employees, suppliers and the corporation provided over $1.5 million dollars and 20,000 hours to community support around the world. We’re definitely making a difference and having a great time in the process.

But imagine for a moment if we can build an employee effort where our investments go directly to the charities we believe in and are supporting, that we have away to match personal contributions, or provide donations in response to employee volunteer hours. Imagine we create a scholarship endowment to help children of employees, or we provide opportunities for employees to do volunteer work with local NGO’s in a developing part of the world. Well we can do all of these things and will as the Celanese Foundation.

This year we are launching the Celanese Foundation in Dallas. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that acts itself as a charity. Contributions the company makes or we as employees make to it are considered a charitable donation as long as the funds distributed go toward qualified charities. The foundation can be set up with a cash account and with an endowment. The endowment is designed to preserve investments by limiting withdrawals to 5% of its value per year in support of things like scholarships. While the cash account is used to fund our annual support of charities. The company has put $500,000 into the Foundation to get it started and we are depositing $50,000 per month into the account to build it. So we’re ready we just need a process. Here’s how that works.

Soon we will be forming the Foundation Contributions Committee in Dallas. This group will develop processes to evaluate opportunities for our support. Sounds like fun but it is a lot of hard work. Reaching out to employees, interviewing charities, and debating those areas we should support. They will host annual foundation fairs where local charities can come and share their cause and needs with us in an open fun environment. They will represent all of us in preparing an annual budget for charity work, continually interact with us and those in need. And in future years this group will help roll out the foundation to other sites, set up a scholarship endowment and a matching contributions program.

To kick this off we will hold our first Celanese Foundation Fund Raiser in the Fall. Like United Way fundraisers of prior years all of the money we raise will go to local United Way member agencies. But it will go directly to the charity, all of it, no handling fee, no middle men, just Celanese. How cool is that. Every dollar contributed will be matched dollar for dollar by Celanese. In addition Celanese will kick in another matching dollar to provide the Foundation seed money to be used as you and the Contributions Committee sees fit in support of local charities and employee volunteer efforts.  Last year employees contributed $300k to the United Way and the company match elevated that to $450k. I expect this year with the new level of company match we can press $1 million. We can do a lot of good with a million dollars. In October the foundation will host the 2013 United Way Golf Tournament. All of the money raised in this event will go to the United Way and we hope that will be close to $600,000.

In the weeks ahead you’ll hear more about the Foundation and efforts to kick it off this year.

Thank you for your spirit and service in support of Celanese and our communities around the world. It’s my hope the Foundation will be a positive force and honorably reflect your passion and purpose.

Power to the People.

Mark