How Discovery Empowers Employees In Times Of Disaster

When disaster strikes, Discovery, Inc. responds. Learn more about how the global media company powers its employee disaster giving program from Discovery’s Laurel Schepp.


Laurel Schepp

Senior Manager, Government Relations & Social Good, Discovery, Inc.

Who She Is:

As Manager of Corporate Relations, Laurel leads community outreach and philanthropic employee engagement for Discovery, Inc., a global media company reaching 3 billion viewers across more than 220 countries and territories. With over 7,000 employees worldwide, Laurel infuses purpose into Discovery’s culture, overseeing Discovery’s volunteer efforts, pro bono work, disaster relief, charitable giving, and other opportunities for employees to meaningfully give back and be active participants in their communities.

Q: Discovery and its employees are extremely generous in times of crisis. Within hours of hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey, for example, you had ready-to-go options for employee disaster giving. At one point, Discovery offered matches for employee disaster giving to as many as six different disaster relief funds. Why is this level of flexibility important to Discovery Impact?

 
A: A sense of purpose is engrained in the DNA of Discovery, and we have an employee population that is passionate about helping others and giving back. As such, it’s important that we’re able to be responsive and timely in moments of global crisis, and provide a way for our employees to act and make an impact and amplify their generosity and efforts. We’re in a unique time of back-to-back disasters and tragedies, but are grateful for the flexibility to quickly turn on giving and matching campaigns with GlobalGiving.

Q: What strategies does your team rely on to effectively help survivors and meet the disaster relief expectations of your customers and employees?

 
A: We have a multifaceted disaster relief strategy. First, we use the power of our employees around the world to contribute to relief efforts and unlock matching funds to amplify their efforts. Second, we use the breadth of our reach as a media company to activate our viewers and fans to give in the wake of disasters by running disaster relief public service announcements, launching text-to-donate campaigns, and featuring in-program, digital, and social messages. Third, we partner with rebuilding organizations to send employees and on-air talent to disaster-stricken areas to help communities physically rebuild their homes and lives.

Q: Your employees have expressed immense gratitude and pride in your employee giving program. “I am extremely proud to work for an organization like Discovery, Inc. [that] supports and encourages their employees to contribute to creating positive changes around the world,” one of your employees told GlobalGiving. What do you think makes your program so successful?

 
A: In my job, I work on a daily basis to provide opportunities for employees to make a difference in their communities, so comments like these are music to my ears! We pride ourselves on being a purpose-driven company, and that culture of giving back is championed from senior management on down. Our employees want to work for a company that stands for something bigger, and they are committed to making our initiatives successful and meaningful for the community.

Q: Discovery Impact has a mission to celebrate, support, and sustain people, animals, and the Earth’s natural beauty. How do you select which partners and activities to engage with in order to fulfill the mission?

 
A: We partner with organizations around our key Discovery Impact initiatives, including Impact Day, our annual day of employee volunteerism; Creating Change, our pro bono program; and Dollars for Doers, our initiative that rewards employees’ personal volunteer efforts with nonprofit donations. We look for partners that align with our mission and businesses, and that give back to the communities where we live and work.

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Featured Photo: Through a direct donation and 1:1 employee match, Discovery and its employees donated nearly $300,000 to relief efforts after a 7.8M earthquake struck Nepal in 2015. Photo by Mandy Glinsbockel for Aura Freedom International.

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