Western Union employees took part in a hackathon to create a new and innovative piece of software to raise money for the Western Union Foundation

Western Union hackathon creates positive change

Western Union hackathon creates positive change

Western Union sponsored an internal hackathon to raise money in support of the Western Union Foundation, whose latest project will establish a way for donors to make a direct donation to the Foundation online through the Western Union transactional site in the US.

"We are excited by the support and passion of Western Union employees, to help us further create positive change around the world," said Western Union.

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon brings computer programmers together for several days to improve upon or build a new software program, solve a problem, or develop new ideas. Corporate hackathons encourage employees to innovate, foster team building and provide opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

The Western Union hackathon leveraged its strengths and experience – that comes with pioneering new technologies and partnerships to pursue social good – to solve an issue that can enable long-term impact in communities around the world.

75 Western Union employees from offices around the world divided into 15 teams to begin a two-week hackathon, to help develop an online feature that will provide Western Union customers with the option to donate to the Western Union Foundation during their transaction online, starting with a pilot in the US, and engage customers with Western Union’s purpose of social responsibility for the long term. The winning team, selected largely based on customer experience of their model, is awarded a US$5,000 grant to a non-profit of their choice and are recognized by Western Union leadership.

The Hackathon presents a challenge for the Company’s talented employees to push their creativity and will result in what we hope will become an impactful initiative and engage Western Union customers, globally. The support demonstrates one of the many ways Western Union supports the Foundation and its mission.

Providing educational and employment opportunities 

The Western Union Foundation has a five-year goal is to equip 50,000 migrants, refugees, women and young people with 21st Century job skills by the year 2020. In many parts of the world, these groups are left out of educational and employment opportunities that can improve life – for themselves, their families and their communities.

"We believe that education is the surest pathway to economic opportunity – leading to improved job placements and increased earning potential. That’s why we collaborate with NGOs around the world to provide demand-driven skills training and workforce enablement programs for the people who need it most. We also offer a global scholarship program that helps put a post-secondary undergraduate education within reach for in-need students studying in the STEM fields and business. Separately, we support communities in crisis through disaster relief and humanitarian aid," comments the Western Union Foundation.

Western Union employees give their support

The Western Union Foundation receives support from Western Union and its employees. 235 employee ambassadors and 1,100 employee volunteers have so far given a total of 12,000 hours in support of the Foundation.

As well as supporting the hackathon, Western Union employees have the opportunity to volunteer for the Foundation and participate in initiatives such as WU Gives that empowers Western Union employees to nominate NGOs in their local region for Western Union Foundation funding. A team of employee volunteers reviews the nominations and selects a final list of NGOs to receive grants. 

"As Western Union employees, the Western Union Foundation is OUR foundation, and we’re proud of the work it does. We want to be involved – whether it’s giving money or volunteering – because it reflects who we are as a company," says Jodie Madden, Director of Retail Strategy, Innovation, Marketing Communications and Training, at Western Union.

Make a difference at Western Union

For a career where you can truly make a difference and positively impact people around the world, explore the many exciting global career opportunities available at Western Union.

Find out more

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