With more than 39,000 restaurants, we have a unique connection with communities the world over. We believe that comes with a responsibility to help support people.
Our business thrives when our communities thrive. With our size and scale, we’re uniquely positioned to give back to the communities we serve in meaningful ways. We think globally and act locally to better connect with our customers, employees and society to help meet their needs.
Many significant world events and fundamental shifts in society over the past years have further proven the importance of food security and health and safety for communities. Throughout it all, we’ve been able to serve as a critical resource – showing up during times of need and helping feed and support the most vulnerable people in our communities – elderly and isolated neighbors, families and children.
Donated $5 million in 2022 to our Employee Assistance Fund and support relief efforts led by the International Red Cross in response to recent developments in Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Europe.
Continued to partner with our crew, Franchisees, suppliers, producers and farmers to serve food in our communities, offering free “Thank You Meals” to healthcare workers and first responders.
Continued the five-year, $100 million commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) that we set in 2020 to help RMHC continue increasing access to medical care for children around the world.
Established a partnership with the Obama Foundation to support the Obama Presidential Center in our shared hometown, as well as its global programming and local Chicago initiatives by making a two-year, $5 million commitment (2022‒2023).
By serving our communities around the world, we can create a lasting positive impact. With our scale, diversity and legacy, we aim to build strong and inclusive connections that deliver on the needs of our communities.
We have established impactful relationships with community-based organizations, and these relationships help 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.
Part of that strategy includes McDonald’s continued support of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), founded in 1974. As a close partner, McDonald’s donates time, funds and in-kind services to help RMHC Chapters around the world. We have also created a new centralized McDonald’s Community Fund to provide additional governance to our other philanthropic investments and to support both planned and emerging needs.
We remain focused on partnering with key organizations that share our values, combining our size and scale to maximize collective impact while strengthening our relationships with the communities we serve.
Our Community Impact efforts focus on four key areas:
- Community Support & Crisis Response: Establishing relationships with community-based organizations around the world, including RMHC and the Red Cross, helping to provide emergency relief when it’s needed most.
- Volunteerism: Creating meaningful opportunities and convenient resources for the McDonald’s System to participate in volunteer efforts in their local communities.
- Youth Opportunity Program: Reducing barriers to employment for young people through pre-employment job-readiness training, employment opportunities and workplace development programs.
- Food & Supplies Donation: Providing essential resources to the people who need them most in communities around the globe.
Community Support & Crisis Response
Whether it’s by supporting charitable efforts or lifting up communities impacted by hardship and disaster, we know that collaboration is key to making a substantial impact on those who need it most.
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 joined its Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) with a pledge of $1 million for 2022. By making a proactive donation, McDonald’s is helping ensure the Red Cross is prepared to meet the needs of people affected by disasters big and small across the U.S. and around the world.
McDonald’s donation will help ensure the Red Cross is ready to respond when needed and will help strengthen vulnerable populations across the globe through community preparedness and capacity-building programs. The collaboration also enables McDonald’s to get Red Cross resources and information to employees who are impacted by disasters as quickly as possible.
In 2021, McDonald’s and its employees contributed more than $800,000 to the Red Cross to support disaster relief and humanitarian crisis around the globe. “We are so grateful for McDonald’s Corporation’s generous support in 2021,” said Anne McKeough, Chief Development Officer for the American Red Cross. “Last year, the Red Cross was needed more than ever as we responded to a historic number of large disasters while continuing to support families impacted by home fires and other crises. I’d like to thank McDonald’s Corporation for their continued generosity as we bring help and hope to those impacted by disasters across the country and around the world.”
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 focused on our four impact areas and offer a variety of resources to make it easy to give back.
At the beginning of 2022, we launched an internal community platform that organizes philanthropic investments 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.
Youth Opportunity Program
Since the Youth Opportunity program launch in 2018, approximately 1.3 million young people have participated in training programs and/or been hired in McDonald’s or participating Franchisee restaurants.1
This Program was created by McDonald’s with one objective in mind: reducing barriers to employment for young people. The Youth Opportunity initiative helps participants overcome these barriers through pre-employment job-readiness training, employment opportunities and workplace development programs. 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.
Donating Excess Food
Our long-term objective is to ensure our quality and safe food is used to its full potential, starting with helping 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, supported by our Global Food Disposition Policy, to help ensure food is not wasted in our restaurants or supply chain facilities.
In 2021, we continued to expand methods for recovering surplus food ingredients, so that items like dairy, pork and poultry could be donated directly to charities located in the U.S.
Find out more about our efforts to reduce food loss and waste across our value chain on our Packaging, Toys & Waste page.
By the end of 2025, reduce barriers to employment for 2 million young people.
Since July 2018, approximately 1.3 million young people have participated in training programs and/or been hired in McDonald’s or participating Franchisee restaurants.1
One of the most significant impacts McDonald’s can make is to bring forth local investments in new and existing jobs in the areas we serve. In 2020, McDonald’s capital investments, which include capital expenditures and taxes paid, amounted to approximately $3 billion. These funds go toward reinvestment in our existing restaurants, as well as the creation and construction of new restaurant locations, which ultimately help to build stronger communities and job opportunities around the world.
|Year||Capital Expenditures||Income Taxes Paid|
Our Global Volunteer Program, launched in 2019, matches employee time with community need. Through the program, individuals have been volunteering for a variety of causes related to our four impact areas while also addressing the unique needs of their communities.
For example, throughout 2021, McDonald’s UK & Ireland gave back to its communities in a variety of ways, including litter picking events, RMHC fundraising, supporting local charities and volunteering to coach youth sports. In Australia, McDonald’s is a founding partner of Clean Up Australia Day and has been on a journey to clean up local communities for more than 30 years.
In Chicago, nearly 80 McDonald’s volunteers provided vaccination support to the American Red Cross over four days in April 2021 at a local COVID-19 vaccination site.
Given the continued need to pivot to virtual programming, we also offered and promoted an extensive list of virtual volunteer opportunities for our employees. In the U.S., employees participated in virtual career panels and résumé/ job application workshops to benefit youth-serving organizations a part of the Youth Opportunity program. Additionally, in January 2021, McDonald’s volunteers hosted a Virtual Story Time with RMHC, where they recorded themselves reading Happy Meal Readers Books in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. The videos were sent to more than 260 RMHC Chapters around the world for families to watch when they have downtime.
McDonald’s Global Volunteer Awards
In celebration of International Volunteer Day, in December 2021, McDonald’s relaunched its Global Volunteer Awards to recognize employees of McDonald’s, its Franchisees and its suppliers who give back to their communities as volunteers in one of our four impact areas. Nominations were submitted from around the world and four winners were selected, each receiving a $25,000 grant for the charity they support through volunteering.
Read about our latest Global Volunteer Award winners.
Educating and Developing Young People Around the World
As COVID-19 continued to impact the education and development of young people around the world, McDonald’s focused on helping overcome new barriers created by the pandemic through the Youth Opportunity program.
Life Skills Training – McDonald’s works with IYF and nine local community-based organizations in Chicago and Washington, D.C. to deliver the Passport to Success life skills training program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, McDonald’s supported and extended IYF’s development of a digital, game-based life skills curriculum called Passport to Success Explorer to external organizations in the U.S. and around the globe. Partner organizations include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. and some secondary school systems in parts of Latin America. McDonald’s and IYF are continuing to extend this digital curriculum to interested organizations with the goal of reaching up to 100,000 young people in diverse communities.
Jordan: Hiring and Training 500 Young People – A McDonald’s Franchisee who owns and operates restaurants in Jordan partnered with nonprofit Dar Abu Abdullah to train and hire 500 young people from families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.K.: Virtual Work Experience – McDonald’s UK & Ireland offered a Virtual Work Experience program with partner Youth Employment UK during a time when work experience was inaccessible to many young people.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Express Online Courses – Franchisee Arcos Dorados, which operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, launched an initiative aiming to improve the personal and professional skills of young people. In celebration of International Youth Day, the free offering from Hamburger University consists of express online courses that teach entrepreneurship, customer service, emotional intelligence, and health and well-being. With each completed module, participants receive a certificate that endorses their training and skills and supports early career development.
Community Support and Crisis Response
McDonald’s is a part of communities around the world, and we believe we have a responsibility to support local people. We take that seriously ‒ because we know that when our communities thrive, so does our business. By thinking globally, and acting locally, we connect closely with our customers to provide support for them, for our employees and for the communities that we are all part of.
Ukraine: Supporting Communities in Times of Need – To help support communities based in Ukraine during the humanitarian crisis, McDonald’s quickly mobilized to set up ways for the McDonald’s System to get involved, in ways both big and small. A new online Community Giving portal was established in 2022 with the goal of supporting people and communities during times of need. This site offers users the chance to:
- Donate to Employee Assistance fund – Distributed donations among our Ukrainian employees impacted by the closure of McDonald’s restaurants and offices during this crisis. These funds helped to provide for evacuation costs and long-term expected expenses related to medical, housing or other needs.
- Donate to the Red Cross – With funds providing critical aid for individuals and families coping with the conflict, and helping the most vital humanitarian needs including food, shelter, critical care items and first aid.
- Donate to RMHC – To help support displaced ill and injured children and their families.
Germany: Natural Disaster Response – After the devastating floods in Germany in 2021, McDonald’s quickly moved to provide emergency financial aid to restaurant and Corporate employees whose lives were impacted by the floods. McDonald’s restaurants supplied food and water to first responders and displaced locals. Additionally, we launched a fundraising campaign to help rebuild two care homes that were destroyed in the floods.
The Philippines: Supporting Virtual Schooling – To help teachers with virtual schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, in September 2021, McDonald’s Philippines transformed empty party rooms into more than 220 McClassrooms, providing quiet work areas with free Wi-Fi and McCafé coffees.
Canada: Raising Funds for the Red Cross – As a member of the Canadian Red Cross’ Disaster Response Alliance, McDonald’s Canada helps support Red Cross emergency preparedness and response when it is needed most. The Company made a $75,000 donation to the Red Cross’ British Columbia Floods and Extreme Weather Appeal. In addition, all B.C. Franchisees temporarily reallocated funds from their coin boxes in Drive-Thrus and at front counters to the Canadian Red Cross.
Supporting Local Community Programs Around the World
Our established community programs, scale and expertise help us to support Franchisees and individuals in need around the world. Through our focus on education, volunteerism and crisis response, we help to combat localized social issues, as well as effectively respond to global challenges like COVID-19.
We are proud to build and maintain strong relationships with local communities around the world. In the U.S., by coordinating focused financial, volunteer and in-kind support, we are able to support nonprofit organizations to deliver positive impacts in their communities. In 2021, the U.S. business provided over $1.4 million in grants and sponsorships, and since 2015 contributions have totaled over $15 million. Additionally, more than $13.1 million worth of food donations were delivered to local charities and communities around the U.S. from McDonald’s USA distribution centers and its suppliers in 2021.
Throughout 2021, we donated $20 million to RMHC as part of our five-year, $100 million commitment (2020–2025). Through a social media campaign designed to raise awareness, we donated $100 in the name of each participant that posted supportive videos to their Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or Facebook using #HereForRMHC.
In addition, together with our Franchisees in the U.S., we donated $250,000 to Reach Higher’s Emergency Grants Relief Fund to support first-generation, low-income students and students of color who are on the path to obtaining a degree.
McDonald’s partnered with the McLendon Foundation to support the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative with a $1 million donation. The initiative gives diverse college graduates a head start in their careers by offering practical experiences and opportunities to network, and instills the values of integrity, education, leadership and mentorship.
McDonald’s established a partnership with the Obama Foundation to support the Obama Presidential Center, its global programming and local Chicago initiatives by making a two-year, $5 million commitment (2022–2023). Our goal for this partnership is to help transform communities by inspiring, empowering and connecting individuals, and to support the development of a central hub for civic engagement and leadership at the Obama Presidential Center.
McDonald’s also matches funds raised by Company staff up to $5,000 ($10,000 for a Vice President or above or a Board member). Since 2015, over $3 million has been matched by the Company. We also offer a payroll-giving program so that employees can donate to RMHC in a tax-efficient way.
Encouraging Kids’ Football
The U.K. – McDonald’s U.K. supports more than 5,000 football clubs across the country, providing 250,000 kits, rewarding volunteers and holding community football days. We are partners of each of the four Football Associations in the U.K. (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), and have worked with them for the past 16 years. We plan to introduce a new, participation-based program that aims to provide 5 million hours of football training for children across the U.K. by the end of 2022.
Czech Republic – Established in 1992 by McDonald’s Czech Republic, the McDonald’s Cup is the largest football tournament for school pupils aged 6–11 in the country. More than 50,000 children from over half of the country’s primary schools participate in the McDonald’s Cup every year.
Supporting Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continued, we remained focused on working with Franchisees around the world to adapt to the challenges they faced. We continued to serve customers where it was safe to do so, and in many cases, were able to support our restaurants as they shifted to Drive-Thru, delivery and takeout meals.
Helping Communities Access the Support They Needed
The McDonald’s System stepped up to help support communities around the globe to meet their basic needs. For example:
- The U.S. – In 2021, McDonald’s USA and its suppliers in the U.S. donated over 10.1 million pounds of food from suppliers and distribution centers – worth more than $13.1 million – to support local charities and communities.
- Australia – In 2021, McDonald’s Australia donated the equivalent of 458,700 meals and 870 kg of grocery items as part of a long-standing partnership with local foodbanks.
- Belarus – Supported the local community by providing 30,000 meals to ambulance crews. The team donated $67,000 to long-time charity partner Belarusian Children’s Hospice, an organization that provides free palliative care to children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.
- Greece – Provided over 3,000 free meals to police officers, as well as tens of thousands of food items and Happy Meal toys to the Municipality of Athens and a local food bank to support families.
- Philippines – Opened up kitchens to help feed those in need. As of April 2022, McDonald’s Philippine’s Kindness Kitchen project has raised over $467,000 and provided more than 700,000 meals for medical frontliners in hospitals and vaccination centers, as well as marginalized communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with volunteer staff delivering food to those most in need.
- Israel – Donated more than 250,000 meals to hospital staff around the country and served hot meals to other local charities as needed. In addition, the team supported hospitals financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, donating 3 million NIS (roughly US$880,000).
- Serbia – Donated thousands of meals to medical staff, local clinics, emergency centers and the Red Cross Belgrade. The team also donated to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce to help procure food and necessities for retirees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Romania – Donated over 14,000 meals to the SMURD Foundation (first responders ‒ firefighters, ambulance staff, doctors and emergency services assistants).
The COVID-19 pandemic called on us to deepen our commitment to communities. We leveraged our supply chain to get more quality food to our NGO partners to help feed communities and ensure as little as possible went to waste.
As a global corporation, we have more than 39,000 restaurants in over 100 markets. This means that donating food or supplies isn’t straightforward. Our Franchisees, suppliers and distribution centers around the world have always given back to their communities and implemented measures to avoid food waste. However, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the guidance of existing and new partners like Food Donation Connection (FDC), The Global Foodbanking Network (GFN) and Feeding America, we have made sure that millions of pounds of stranded food have not gone to waste. Instead, that food has helped to feed people who need it in thousands of local communities around the world.
1This figure is based on actual and, in some cases, extrapolated data for the following participating markets: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. McDonald’s collects data from McOpCo and participating Franchisees, but extrapolates where it does not have access to the underlying data globally.