2023 Best Social Service Initiative
Lowe’s teamed with the Points of Light Foundation to create Lowe’s Hometowns, a five-year, $100 million investment in the communities Lowe’s serves, and represents Lowe’s largest-ever commitment of its kind.
The primary goal of the program was to identify and fund 100 projects around the United States that were nominated in their hometowns by Lowe’s customers. Lowe’s sought to reach 100 nonprofits with a $10 million investment in 2022. Lowe’s invited people nationwide to nominate a deserving project at a worthy organization in their hometown.
Nearly 1,500 applications were received and reviewed by Points of Light, which recommended 200 finalists for vetting. Applications were rigorously reviewed on multiple criteria until the list was reduced to 100 applications.
Once grantees were selected, Points of Light supported both Lowe’s and the nonprofits by acting as an informed intermediary with an empathetic approach to the needs of each community. Additional support was provided through processing grants as a fiscal agent, providing training and project management consulting to grantees, and gathering and reporting program impact data.
In 2022, 100 community-nominated impact projects were selected, spanning 40 states and Washington, D.C. Lowe’s helped restore and revitalize spaces that serve as the hubs and heartbeats of communities, including 31 community centers, 17 shelters, 10 parks or outdoor spaces, nine safe or affordable housing accommodations, nine schools, seven gardens, five animal services buildings, four playgrounds, three first responder facilities, three food pantries and two cultural preservation projects.
Lowe’s Hometowns generated more than 1.1 billion earned media impressions, with 635 total media placements and a 100% positive sentiment for the duration of the program. Lowe’s also partnered with influencers to visit their local projects and share the impact on their respective hometowns. Enabling authentic, local voices to tell the stories of projects helped demonstrate Lowe’s commitment to supporting communities, generating 132,000 impressions and an average engagement rate of 2.71%
In the first year of the five-year program, Lowe’s was able to invest $10 million in 100 community projects and engage 1,883 Lowe’s employees in 10,569 volunteer hours. Additionally, it’s estimated that 1.4 million individuals will see meaningful impact and benefit from these projects within one year of completion.