5 Companies That Get Corporate Philanthropy

Corporate philanthropy is always a tricky subject. While many rightfully see it as a way for companies to ingratiate themselves and score some cheap PR points, there’s no denying that some companies truly do some good and make a difference both locally and abroad. There are two main forms of corporate philanthropy, matching gift programs (when employers match employee donations) and volunteer grant programs (when businesses give money to nonprofits in exchange for employees working for them). Here are 5 companies that have managed to get everything about corporate philanthropy right:jonathan_offt_corporate_giving

  1. Apple: Surprising no one, Apple is both a leader in business as well as one of the leaders in corporate philanthropy. When Tim Cook became CEO he immediately implemented a gift matching program. In 2014 Apple announced that this program would be available in all countries where it had a presence and has so far donated over $50 million around the world. The company also has a volunteer grant program that donates $25 per hour of work at a volunteers chosen charity.
  2. Google: Again, this shouldn’t be surprise due to both Google’s massive funds as well as it’s position as a business leader around the world. Google, as befitting to the uniqueness of the company, has some pretty interesting philanthropic options. With employees volunteering over 80,000 hours last year and with a total of $21 million in matched donations over the years, Google has been on the forefront of corporate giving. Google also supports a large number of community programs spread across the country that touch on a number of different educational and electronic needs.
  3. Microsoft: Microsoft should be another company that is no surprise when it comes to corporate charity (after all, Bill and Melinda Gates did start the Gates Foundation). The company began its charitable matching program in 1983 and has donated over $1 billion to various causes around the world. Along with donating money, Microsoft also donates computers so that nonprofits don’t need to spend money on getting the most cutting-edge technology they can.
  4. PepsiCo: PepsiCo focuses on health, agriculture, and living charities due to its status as a food company (and the need to counter the bad press its brands frequently receive due to health concerns). The company also focuses on women’s empowerment and job preparedness and has a number of programs in developing countries such as India, Ghana, and even some US states. It also loved charities that focus on clean water technology and donates about $25 million a year through grants to various charitable causes.
  5. Shell: While this might come as a surprise, Shell is actually one of the most charitable businesses out there. Along with a gift matching program, the company donates money to schools aimed towards oil-based research and student programs. As of 2014, the company has created over 35,ooo jobs and raised over $5 billion on 4 continents.

While these aren’t the only companies out there doing good for society, these are just examples of how great corporate giving can be. If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Roger Goodell Made $35 Million This Year

The National Football League is one of the most profitable organizations in the country with revenues reaching around $10 billion every year. With legions of fans across the country and a promotional machine aimed at getting more and more money each year, it’s incredibly confusing as to how the NFL managed to secure nonprofit status for itself and the tax exemptions that go along with it. And yet, this is the case. An organization that is blatantly for profit and that has a horrible record with outreach and support of causes (unless they actually affect the NFL itself) has somehow managed to dupe the country into believing that it deserves nonprofit status and shouldn’t be taxed. Roger Goodell, the commissioner for the league, made $35 million this year and is still one of the highest paid executives of any type in the country, including for-profit businesses.nfl

While many involved in the NFL (as in the owners) might see Goodell’s pay and the nonprofit status as reasonable, it just simply isn’t the case. The NFL pulls in 10 billion tax-exempt dollars a year and those dollars deserve to be taxed. The passing of the NFL as a nonprofit organization is a joke. While the NFL might point to outreach efforts as a sign of how they deserve the status, the truth of the matter is that there is only outreach when PR is needed. Take, for example, Ray Rice and the slew of domestic assaults that the NFL has been dealing with since its inception. If you were to research all of the domestic assaults caused by players then you would see that they stretch back decades and that the outreach only started this year after Ray Rice was video taped knocking his fiance out. Even with the tape, the NFL fought and fought against admitting anything.

The outreach caused by the scandal was pathetic and barely deserves to be called that. Somehow Goodell has been able to survive this controversy and still make millions. Somehow the NFL has been able to continue to skate by as a tax-exempt nonprofit when the entire sport of football has been built around the ability to advertise frequently throughout the game. How anyone still thinks that it deserves nonprofit treatment is beyond me. Something needs to change.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Catholic Charities Choose Nun as New President

When one thinks of the Catholic church and the hierarchy that controls it, it’s easy to think of it as somewhat anti-woman. Between restrictions on birth control that harm women more than men (just look at what’s been happening in Ireland) to the fact that women are barred from becoming priests and leading congregations in prayer, the Catholic church has been pretty traditional and unmoving when it comes to women’s rights and what it thinks is acceptable. That being said, the Catholic church is changing and under the lead of the new Pope it has been seen as more liberal on a number of topics that people thought were untouchable ideology.

One of the most recent examples of this slow shift in priorities and in freedoms is the fact that the Catholic Charities USA organization based in Alexandria, Virginia elected a nun as it’s president for the first time in its 105 year existence. Sister Donna Markham, Ph.D. has taken over as president from Rev. Larry Snyder and begins her term on June 1st. Currently, Sister Markham is the president of the Behavioral Health Institute for Mercy Health in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is an Adrian Dominican sister and also has her doctorate in clinical psychology.

Catholic Charities USA is one of the largest charities in the United States and had $4.3 billion in revenue for 2013. Sister Markham is perfectly suited for the position of president and has years of experience to rely on when she begins her tenure. She was on the CCUSA board for two years previous to her appointment and was the president of the Southdown Institute in Ontario as well as being the Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation in Adrian, Michigan before her current occupation at Mercy Health. Her appointment to such a high-ranking position with a Catholic organization is another example of how the church is making strides to modernize and is recognizing that women deserve as many rights as men do.

If you’d like to read more, the list is here.

Nonprofit Grants Dream Wedding to Dying Woman

For most people facing a terminal illness, marriage and weddings are the furthest thing from their minds. Even those that do want to get married face the burden of wedding costs adding to their already expensive medical treatments; an option that is unsustainable and untenable for most people. However there is a nonprofit out there that caters directly to people in need and they work with people in the wedding industry to make sure that the weddings go off according to the clients dreams and for no cost to the newlyweds whatsoever. Wish Upon A Wedding partners with caterers, wedding planners, and everyone else involved in making these magical memories and provides beautiful and free weddings to people facing terminal illnesses or drastically life-changing events.

For Mark Zvonek and his wife Ana, the nonprofit changed their lives when it donated a full wedding to them. Both Mark and Ana weren’t even thinking about having a wedding to begin with. Ana has stage 4 colon cancer and between the bills and the treatments, neither her nor Mark had the energy or money for the wedding that she always dreamed about. Wish Upon A Wedding help Ana plan her dream wedding and then delivered the entire package to the couple for no cost at all. The nonprofit hired photographers as well as getting flower arrangements, musicians, invitations, and food for the couple as well as their family and friends. The nonprofit also managed to get a resort to host the wedding so that the happy couple could retire in splendor after their exhausting day.

So many people think that charity and philanthropy is all about giving money to those in need and that it. People don’t realize that giving people experiences and memories can be just as important as the physical things. Memories. photos, happiness, and laughter can be just as, if not more, important as pretty things.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.