Community Impact & Philanthropy
With more than 40,000 restaurants, we have a unique connection with communities the world over. We believe that comes with a responsibility to help support the people within them.
It’s a responsibility we take seriously ‒ because we know when our communities thrive, so does our business. By thinking globally and acting locally, we are better equipped to effectively support our customers, our employees and the communities we are all part of.
Throughout significant world events, McDonald’s has repeatedly served as a critical resource – showing up during times of need and helping support the most vulnerable people.
Our business thrives when our communities thrive.
- In 2023, McDonald’s Corporation donated $500,000 to earthquake relief efforts in Turkey, including contributions to Save the Children, World Central Kitchen and local nonprofits. On a local level, McDonald’s Turkey provided 100,000 free meals to those impacted and partnered with local organizations to charter buses to transport people to our restaurants where they could collect those meals.
- Made a two-year, $5 million commitment to the Obama Presidential Center in our HQ’s hometown of Chicago to support global programming and initiatives between 2022 and 2023.
- Launched a Chicago-based investment strategy supporting local communities including a $3.5 million investment with 40 local nonprofit organizations.
- Donated over $5 million in 2022 in employee assistance and international relief support efforts led by the Red Cross in Ukraine and across Europe.
- Joined the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) to proactively support U.S. and global disaster relief efforts with an annual pledge of $1 million. This contribution ensures McDonald’s is supporting the needs of emerging disasters, even before they occur.
- The U.S. business provided over $850,000 in community grants and sponsorships in the U.S. Additionally, in the U.S., one penny from every Happy Meal at participating McDonald’s was donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), totaling $5.9 million.
- Established a signature partnership with the Smithsonian Institution to become a founding $1 million donor in support of the building of the National Museum of the American Latino.
See our latest Purpose & Impact Report (PDF – 7 MB) for our 2022 progress and performance.
With our scale, diversity and legacy, we aim to build strong and inclusive connections that deliver on the needs of our communities. We remain focused on partnering with key organizations that share our values, harnessing our size and influence to maximize collective impact while strengthening relationships with the communities we serve.
Our Community Impact & Philanthropy strategy focuses on three key areas:
- Families and Their Well-Being, including our support of Ronald McDonald House Charities
- Support During Times of Need
- Philanthropic Investments and Opportunity Employment
The Development of Our Strategy
We have established impactful relationships with community-based organizations. These relationships provide us with direct insights into the issues and challenges facing our communities – where Franchisees are both neighbors and business owners.
After listening to and learning from our communities and the McDonald’s System over the past several years, we strengthened our holistic Community Impact strategy in 2021 to consolidate and enhance McDonald’s community support efforts. Together, we continue to create opportunities that encourage Company employees, Franchisees and their employees, and customers to get involved in meaningful campaigns and volunteering.
Supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)
Our Community Impact & Philanthropy strategy includes McDonald’s continued support of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The McDonald’s community – our employees, customers, Franchisees and suppliers – donates time, funds and in-kind services. Additionally, in the U.S., one penny from every Happy Meal at participating McDonald’s was donated to RMHC, totaling $5.9 million. Find out more on our dedicated RMHC page.
Whether it’s supporting charitable efforts or supporting communities impacted by hardship and disaster, we know collaboration is key to making a substantial impact on those who need it most.
McDonald’s helps strengthen vulnerable populations across the globe through community preparedness and capacity-building programs. Recognizing that disaster can strike at any moment, we remain responsive to evolving global circumstances so we can proactively deliver aid where needed. When it comes to providing support during a humanitarian crisis, we primarily work through our long-standing partnership with the American Red Cross. McDonald’s supports the Red Cross by helping prepare to meet the needs of people affected by disasters, both big and small, across the U.S. and around the world.
Locally Driven Needs
As well as providing timely support in times of crisis and following disasters, we also develop programs designed to deliver longer-term community support. Our established community programs, scale and expertise help us support the locally relevant needs of Franchisees and individuals around the world. Through focused grants and volunteer support, we help combat localized social issues.
We are also committed to addressing pressing needs in Chicago where our headquarters are located. We take a multifaceted approach, combining philanthropic investments in local community organizations, employee volunteerism and senior leadership engagement.
We want to create meaningful opportunities and convenient resources for the McDonald’s System to participate in supporting local communities.
McDonald’s is a part of many communities around the world, and we believe we have a responsibility to support local people. It’s a responsibility we take seriously ‒ because we know when our communities thrive, so does our business. By thinking globally and acting locally, we are better equipped to provide effective support for our customers, for our employees and for the communities we are all part of.
Youth Opportunity Program
Launched in 2018, the Youth Opportunity program was created by McDonald’s with one objective in mind: reduce barriers to employment for young people. Youth Opportunity helps participants overcome these barriers through preemployment job readiness training, employment opportunities and workplace development programs. To bring the vision of Youth Opportunity to life, McDonald’s utilizes several partnerships across the globe.
Our goal is to impact 2 million young people by 2025, in partnership with the International Youth Foundation (IYF), which has three decades of experience in youth development around the world.
Our Global Volunteer Program, which was formalized in 2019, matches employee time with community need. Through the program, individuals volunteer for various causes related to four priority areas while also addressing the unique needs of their communities.
Giving back has been a celebrated part of McDonald’s culture since we opened our first restaurant. All around the world, Company employees, Franchisees and their employees, and suppliers volunteer their time, skills and energy to support local communities through our Global Volunteer Program. We provide a volunteer framework and offer resources to make it easy to give back.
At the beginning of 2022, we launched an internal community platform that organizes employees’ philanthropic investments. In particular, the platform collates gift matching options and volunteer activities in one central location, helping employees create, manage and report on volunteer events and donate to causes they care about. This is just one way we are putting our values into action and building on our culture of giving, where everyone feels valued and supported.
Also in 2022, we launched our Global Volunteer Month. This event, that ran through September 2022, created an additional opportunity for our employees around the world to get involved in their communities, giving back by volunteering their time to support important causes.
Food and Supplies Donation
Our long-term objective is to ensure, as much as possible, that our safe and quality food doesn’t go to waste, with surplus instead being redirected to help feed people and communities across the globe. Doing the right thing takes commitment and partnership, so we’re working with our restaurants and supply chain to donate meals and excess ingredients to families in need. This is supported by our Global Food Disposition Policy.
As a global corporation, we have more than 40,000 restaurants in over 100 markets. This means donating food or supplies isn’t always straightforward. Our Franchisees, suppliers and distribution centers around the world have always given back to their communities and implemented measures to avoid food waste. Additionally, with guidance from partners like Food Donation Connection (FDC), The Global Food Banking Network (GFN) and Feeding America, we have worked to reduce food going to waste, and instead have been redistributed to people who need it in thousands of local communities around the world.
Find out more about our efforts to reduce food loss and waste across our value chain on our Packaging, Toys & Waste page.