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Positively Impacting 1B Lives

We have reached more than 70 percent of the goal we set in 2015 to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025.*

Powering an Inclusive Future for All

Cisco invests in individuals and communities.

A total of 716 million people were positively impacted through our social impact grants and signature programs between FY16–FY21.*

Helping nonprofits develop and scale tech solutions

Cisco and the Cisco Foundation's social impact grants to nonprofit organizations support early-phase, technology-based solutions that serve underrepresented and vulnerable populations.

Impact areas

Cisco's social impact grants are made in three focus areas and are key to meeting our goal to positively impact 1B people.

Cisco Crisis Response

We support programs and solutions focused on disaster relief, food insecurity, housing, and clean water.

Learning and digital skills development

Building digital skills, expanding access to quality education, and promoting STEM.

Economic empowerment

Investing in technology solutions that help underserved people gain financial independence.

How we measure impact

What we measure depends on what problems we are trying to solve. Here are some examples of the positive impacts within our social investment focus areas:

  • Increased access to critical resources such as water-quality solutions, housing, food, and humanitarian relief.
  • Increase in teacher capacity through better access to quality education resources and training, and improvements in student outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
  • Equitable access to financial services, employment and increased income via skills training for career development, and increased revenue and jobs created for entrepreneurs.

No one person, business, or community can shape the future alone. It is those connections, the collaboration, and a commitment to inclusive innovation that will lead us into this new era.

Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Cisco

Transforming food assistance through tech

Plentiful offers an online reservation system to access local food pantries.

Fostering access to math education

MIND Research Institute's program, ST Math, helps students learn through gamification.  Discover how Cisco helps MIND Research Institute make math education come alive for over 1.34 million students every year.

Creating inclusive access to opportunity

Opportunity International creates digital pathways for women's economic empowerment.

Cisco Networking Academy alum makes a difference

Networking Academy provides IT education to 3 million people a year. A total of 95 percent of students completing CCNA curriculum or higher say the program helped them obtain a job or educational opportunity.

Validating our impact

We are committed to validating our impact

We engaged global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLC, to conduct an independent limited assurance of our progress to date against our goal to positively impact 1B people by 2025 through our social impact grants and signature programs. Below are the parameters that were used to calculate our progress between FY16–FY21. The Ⓐ symbol indicates that a number has been assured by PwC.

Social impact grants

  • Number of unique people
  • Positive impact on individuals reached
  • Cisco has provided a meaningful contribution

Signature programs

  • Networking Academy students who completed a course
  • Unique participating Networking Academy instructors
  • Individuals who have used Packet Tracer three times in a quarter

What is not included

  • COVID-19 cash grants
  • Most disaster/humanitarian relief cash grants
  • Technology donations
  • University research cash grants
  • Cash grants related to Cisco's compliance with India’s Companies Act
  • Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge
  • Global Problem Solvers: The Series

*Some of our social impact grantees also receive funding from other organizations. Please see the details on the criteria for the number of people positively impacted between FY16–FY21 and the independent limited assurance report. To access the assurance report, download the PDF and open in Adobe® Acrobat® Reader to click-to-accept terms to access the full document.

ESG Reporting Hub and 2021 Cisco Purpose Report

Cisco is putting people, technology, and resources toward Powering an Inclusive Future for All, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Visit our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting Hub.