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From the 1st Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Matter to a Million: small loans fuel big dreams

Finalist in Business-NGO

About this entry

Poverty is real for too many people around the world, leaving those who need it most without access to the skills, technology or capital they need to turn their dreams of self-reliance into reality. From HP's roots as a start up more than 75 years ago, we know what it takes to launch and grow a business.

That's why in 2014, the HP Company Foundation partnered with Kiva to create Matter to a Million – committing $7 million to the five-year program in its boldest and most ambitious effort to date. Through the program, each year HP employees receive a $25 dollar credit to loan to Kiva borrowers of their choice.

The HP Foundation, which was established following the separation of Hewlett-Packard Company into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise in October 2015, has continued to provide every HP1 employee with a free $25 credit to lend to a Kiva borrower. Matter to a Million has struck a chord with employees by providing them with a unique and inspiring opportunity to put a personal stake in someone's future, helping to build a world where everyone has the chance to succeed.

Now in its third year, the goal is to get as many HP employees as possible involved in the program to help those in need around the world raise themselves up and create a better life.

1 HP Inc. employee

Why does this entry deserve to win?

With more than 50,000 employees around the world, HP Inc. devised a simple strategy for Matter to a Million: to inspire as many employees as possible to redeem their $25 loans and play a personal role in helping someone in need make a better life. Two campaigns are run each year: one in the spring and one in the fall. With employees spread across six continents, the program's successful implementation relies on an engaging communication plan and the commitment of more than 220 HP employee volunteers, known as Lending Leaders.

As advocates for the program, Lending Leaders are pivotal to its success. They work tirelessly, alongside their day job, to raise the visibility of Matter to a Million and keep campaign momentum going. Supported by the program team, Lending Leaders draw on a range of resources including presentations, posters and video to help them inspire colleagues to make their loan, and creativity is encouraged. Lending Leaders post updates in the Matter to a Million community page on HP's internal social media channel, ConnectHP; host information tables; talk with colleagues about the program and present at team meetings. They have also translated posters into their local language and produced fun videos to help spread the word.

Each campaign is officially launched with an email from HP's Chief Human Resources Officer, and HP Foundation Board member, Tracy Keogh, with supporting communications on HP's internal online newsportal, The Daily Inc. A leaderboard, showing participation numbers and dollars loaned by business unit and region, is updated daily on The Daily Inc. creating an atmosphere of healthy competition across the company. Employees can also keep up to date with their borrower's progress by visiting the Kiva website during and after the campaign, giving them a personal connection with the borrower they are funding.

To celebrate HP's status as a new company, the spring 2016 Matter to a Million campaign offered employees two exciting new ways to engage with the program and receive additional $25 loan credits - team lending and using social networks. Employees participated enthusiastically in both opportunities.

By teaming up with colleagues to give a combined loan to one borrower, employees' loans made an even bigger impact. Once the team had made its loan, each member received an additional $25 credit to loan again in their team or individually.

Employees were also encouraged to use their social networks to let friends, family and colleagues know about their actions to help end global poverty and to create a social buzz around the program. In order to receive the extra loan credit, employees posted details about their loan on the social media channel of their choice including at least one of the specially created campaign hashtags: #hpinspiresgiving #myloanmatters.

At the close of the campaign, results were widely celebrated in internal media with particular recognition extended to Lending Leaders for their critical work.


In the first two years of the program, HP1 employees loaned over $9.8 million to Kiva borrowers all over the world enabling people like Maria from the Dominican Republic to make a better life.

Maria used her portion of a $3,725 loan made to the Emmanuel 1 & 2 group to invest in her grocery business. Thanks to support from over 40 HP employees, she can buy fruit and vegetables such as avocado, bananas, oranges and mangoes as well as other products such as meat, rice, bean, flour and sugar to sell. Maria is a shining example of the positive impact of the program having successfully repaid 18 previous loans to grow her business.

Employee support for Matter to a Million shows no signs of waning. More than a third of employees2 participated in the spring 2016 campaign making loans totaling more than $680,000. The new lending opportunities were actively taken up by employees: more than 4,000 loaned as part of a team and over 2,000 social media posts were made, a record number appearing on HP's internal social media channel.

Matter to a Million is a powerful example of the way HP employees help make life better for everyone everywhere - with some very tangible results.

1 HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees | 2 HP Inc. employees


Entrant Company / Organization Name

HP Foundation, Kiva, HP employees


Entry Credits