The corporate website of Sapient states: ‘As
a global company, Sapient takes its responsibility as a global citizen to
heart. We view the giving of our time, resources, and money not as something we
have to do, but something we need to do as fellow beings on this planet. To us,
there is no more important, nobler obligation.’

Across its globally dispersed locations,
Sapient’s people are involved with various charitable causes including AID
Gurgaon, Butterflies, The Children’s Inn, Daily Food Bank, The National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, Sketch, and
Teach India. As part of Sapient’s global CSR programme — Sapient Gives Back,
each Sapient person can spend an entire working day in a year volunteering for
community service.

The US-based outsourcing services company
founded by Jerry Greenberg and J. Stuart Moore today has morphed into a
marketing, business and technology consulting firm with a market capitalization
of over $1.41 billion (http://in.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SAPE). The company
operates three divisions: SapientNitro, Sapient Global Markets, and Sapient
Government Services.

Sapient is associated with four charitable
organizations: Millennium Promise, Children’s Inn (at NIH), AEIOU
(Communication Shutdown), and One Hen.


Millennium
Villages Project

Jeffrey D. Sachs, author of The End of Poverty (2005) and
co-founder, Millennium Promise, outlined the grand thought: ‘Our generation can
be the first in history to end extreme poverty. That’s our good fortune, our
challenge, and our responsibility.’

Non-profit organization Millennium Promise
is so modelled as to redefine the approach to ending extreme poverty by
building sustainable communities. Its flagship initiative, Millennium Villages Project
(MVP), is aimed at helping some of the poorest rural African communities move
from hunger to self-sufficiency by the year 2015. Currently reaching more than
500,000 people in village clusters across 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa,
the MVP is the flagship initiative of Millennium Promise and the Earth
Institute, Columbia University.

Over the first three years, Millennium
Promise claims that villages under the project have experienced successes such
as: a 50 per cent reduction in malaria prevalence, a tripling of the share of
people with access to improved water, more than 80 per cent of children
benefiting from school meals, and more than a 40 per cent increase in child
births delivered by skilled attendants. (Millennium Promise, ‘Harvests of
Development’, 2010) Its eventual success hinges on the extent to which it
delivers practical – and affordable – solutions that simultaneously address
interconnected challenges such as health and nutrition, education, agriculture
and environment, infrastructure, gender equality and business development. As a
long-time sponsor of Millennium Promise, Sapient is among the top five
corporate partners helping Millennium Promise achieve its goals and eradicate
extreme poverty, one village at a time.

Children’s
Inn (at NIH)
Sick children and their families stay and
recuperate at The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These
children receive groundbreaking medical treatments at NIH, the world’s leading
biomedical research centre. Since it opened its doors in 1990, the Inn has been
open every day of the year, 24 hours a day, and has served about 10,000 sick
children. The founders of the Inn describe it as a residential ‘place like home’
for sick children and their families.

Sapient Government Services is a key
supporter of The Children’s Inn, providing hands-on services and time as well
as financial support by sponsoring numerous fundraising events including the
Children’s Inn Annual Gala ‘A Night for the Children’. Sapient’s involvement
includes holding numerous concerts for the children and their families,
featuring Sapient’s own people in the Jam Band, serving dinner, and raising
money through a company-wide tennis tournament.

AEIOU
(Communication Shutdown)
To encourage empathy for people with autism
and to raise funds and awareness, Communication Shutdown was conceived by
SapientNitro Australia while working with the Australia-based AEIOU Foundation,
a non-profit organization that provides therapy for children with autism.
Keeping in mind that social communication is one of the biggest challenges for
people with autism, Communication Shutdown challenged social media users to go
without Facebook and Twitter just for one day. As social media is not bound by
geography, AEIOU partnered with autism organizations in over 40 countries to
help drive the campaign.

Communication Shutdown asked social media
users to make a donation and receive a charity app, or CHAPP, that signalled
their support and intention to opt out of Facebook and Twitter on one day, which
was 1 November 2010. The awareness message directly reached over 6 million
people on Facebook and Twitter. The campaign will be an annual event.



One
Hen
SapientNitro developed the website
OneHen.org to support the launch of the children’s book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith
Milway. It’s the story of Kojo, an African boy from a village in Ghana, who
receives a small loan to buy a hen and step by step comes out of the circle of
poverty, becoming an entrepreneur and eventually a provider, creating
opportunities for others. By using small loans to grow a business that changes
his life, he teaches young readers about the power of microfinance.

The message is brought home through
interactive games, stories, photos, and videos that let children play, learn,
and participate in Kojo’s story. Perhaps the most helpful feature of OneHen.org
is its ability to take visitors beyond book-bound lessons and actually
implement action-oriented plans. Opportunity International, a non-profit micro-lender
based in Illinois, and one of the site’s founding sponsors, backs kids’
simulated microloans and makes them count in real life towards microfinance
projects around the world.

Since its launch in May 2008, the website
has generated over $50,000 and received distinctive awards for its creativity
and innovative use of technology to benefit society.

Prayaas
and silent auction
In India—a strategic Sapient hub, with at
least 6,000 of its about 9,000-strong workforce housed here—Sapient has been
associated with Literacy India’s Pathshala (Gurgaon, National Capital Region), Shristi
Special Academy (Bengaluru), and Parikrma Humanity Foundation (Bengaluru), and Infant
Jesus Charity Home (Bengaluru).

At Sapient India, there is a special team
called Prayaas that provides a forum where people can support the causes they
care about. There is also a unique programme called the Sapient ‘Silent Auction’,
held every alternate year. This is a community fundraiser programme that
enables people to offer innovative services or products at a cost, which is
open for a silent bid by others in the company. The items up on auction can
range from a dance performance by the India Leadership team to someone’s
personal art collection. The highest bid wins the service or product. A ‘loud
auction’ follows this programme where the company bids for the most creative
services or products. The amount collected by selling the services/products
offered by people is donated to NGOs identified by the people of Sapient. In
2010 they raised close to Rs 10 lakh from the auction. Sapient contributed
another Rs 5 lakh to the kitty.

Picture: Team Udaan at Orchid Garden. The team is a group of 20 committed people from
Sapient’s Gurgaon and Noida offices who have worked closely with
Literacy India, which runs ‘Orchid Garden’ – a school for the underprivileged
in Sun City, Gurgaon