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Social Impact Strategy

Sustaining Communities

To help achieve our vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, our social impact strategy focuses on philanthropic investments that create inclusive and sustainable solutions to common social issues.

We’re working to expand access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities, provide safer transportation options and create avenues for everyone to thrive.

While our social investments in 2020 supported many COVID-related response and recovery programs, we maintained a robust portfolio of nearly $35 million in funding to 357 U.S.-based nonprofits. Together, these projects will impact an estimated 5 million individuals through a variety of support services.

Several of our nonprofit programs have a global impact, but the map to the right shows how charitable funds were distributed to projects across the U.S. in 2020. GM also provided in-kind assets to nonprofits valued at more than $9.8 million.

Our work puts people at the center and is structured under three focus areas in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Vehicle and
Road Safety
STEM Education Detroit

Corporate Giving
Heat Map
(U.S. Giving by State, 2020)

2020 Focus Area Funding

We prioritize programs that create equitable opportunities for minority populations. In 2020, more than 65% of our grant funding supported a variety of diverse communities.

Black/African American
Other underrepresented

For each of our three pillars, we employ a four-step social impact framework to determine areas where we have the most potential for impact:

Social Impact



Look at the landscape of a problem to understand root causes and existing pain points. Determine how GM as a business can uniquely contribute.


Assess and Align

Use a decision-making tool to determine what programs we will continue to support and scale, what new types of programs we will support and what programs no longer fit our priorities.



Identify specific social impact outcomes and solicit programs that will help us achieve those outcomes.


Measure and Evaluate

Quantify the impact of programs and map impact to each social outcome.

Potential partners also use this framework when applying for grants. Based on the pillar with which an organization is aligned, each applicant must explain the indicators and outcomes that their program will address. This alignment ensures our community investments are used to make quantifiable positive impacts in their respective focus areas.

How We Measure Progress

  • Increase in students who earn a degree in STEM that matches market needs.
  • Increase in presence, achievement and persistence for underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
  • Increase in supply of qualified teachers trained in STEM subjects.

Success: More students with employable labor skills for STEM careers.

  • Increase in seat belt and restraint usage.
  • Decrease in impaired and distracted driving.
  • Increase in awareness and knowledge of effective vehicle and road safety practices.

Success: Fewer vehicle-related injuries and deaths.

  • Increase the number of individuals with marketable technical and vocational skills.
  • Decrease the number of individuals facing economic barriers.
  • Increase the number of residents positively impacted by innovative community improvements.

Success: More individuals with improved economic opportunity.

Corporate Giving Heat Map
(U.S. Giving by State, 2020)
  • Michigan
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
2020 Focus Area Funding
STEM Detroit Community Development Vehicle & Road Safety
39% 34% 17% 10%