Recently, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled a comprehensive list of Fortune 500 companies that have donated the most amount of funds to charities and various philanthropic causes last year.
Goldman, the fourth biggest corporate donor of 2015, is also guiding the market with regard to economic growth. According to a report conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the corporate giant gave $276.4 million in cash in 2015. This donated amount is 10% more than was the firm had given the previous year.
To compare, in 2014, the California based biotech company named Gilead Sciences gave the most monetary contributions. According to various reports, Gilead Sciences had contributed over $446.7 million to a plethora of causes. The other companies in the top five were not industry specific, with brands ranging from retail to international petroleum corporations. Within the top five in 2014 consisted of companies such as Walmart totaling $301 million, totaling $281.2 million, and ExxonMobil with $268 million.
Similar to Goldman Sachs, various other Fortune 500 corporations have reported that philanthropy and social responsibility programs helped their business expand and flourish in various internal areas. Specifically, these areas include employee satisfaction, increasing overall customer loyalty, and reducing issues or problems that could potentially become liabilities. The prime example of this particular success story is Walmart.
Walmart’s CEO, Douglas McMillon has guided the creation of the company’s charitable arm, the Walmart Foundation. The Walmart Foundation has unveiled a $100 million pledge to make retail jobs more attractive industry-wide by increasing wages and generating more flexible schedules for their employees across the board.
“We want to accelerate mobility of frontline retail workers not only within Walmart but in retail as a whole, and really elevate the role that retail can play in workforce in America and more broadly,” says Kathleen McLaughlin, who serves as both chief sustainability officer and president of the Walmart Foundation.
While some individuals may prefer to donate time or funds from an altruistic standpoint, it is still important to note that corporate giving as a percentage of pre-tax profits is slowly declining.
Check out the full list of The 20 Most Generous Companies of the Fortune 500 to see more about the non-profits and charities that benefited from $3.5 billion in donations last year.
International Volunteerism can be a very noble thing to do especially if you are doing it for the right reasons. The whole point behind international volunteerism is to help others, but unfortunately sometimes people get involved for other reasons such as to travel, to pass a class, to boost a resume, etc. Here are three guidelines that can help you make sure that your participation in international volunteerism is more helpful than harmful.
Be ethical in your choices
One of the first things you can do is study the organization you plan to get involved with. Inquire about how they plan to sustain your efforts long-term. Ask how they involve locals and community members as part of their volunteer efforts. Going off of that, find out how involved these communities are in terms of deciding what the volunteers should be helping with. Also find out how the organization spends your fees and allocates their resources. Do they hire locals for staff positions? How much do they spend on administration versus volunteer programs?
Don’t get involved in international volunteerism if you are expecting to change the world in one day. Change takes time, so be prepared to not see much of an impact from your efforts (unless you stay for years). Instead, you should focus on seeing your contribution as being part of long continuum of volunteers’ efforts and contributions. Even though you should be very aware of the bigger goal of the organization, don’t underestimate the power of small acts of kindness – a smile and a hug can go a long way. The key is to balance between the big picture and the immediate picture. And most importantly, always keep in mind that while you are playing an important role in a community, the future of those efforts are the community’s, not yours. The best you can do is assist them in improving whatever they want to improve.
Before traveling to any overseas community, make sure you take the time to learn about the specific place you will be visiting. Understanding a community in terms of their history and how they go to where they are now, will allow you to understand their needs and better help them. Studying their political and social contexts will also help you remain realistic of how far your efforts will be able to go. Being informed is great because it will allow you to remain open-minded, which is key to international volunteerism.
Google is a giant, casting its shadow over the lion’s share of Silicon Valley. Their reach enormous and influence considerable, Google hopes to show that they have heart to match their size. After recently acquiring a company belonging to board member, Diane Greene, for a massive sum, Diane elected to donate her entire share of the successful transaction to charity, and here’s why.
Bebop Technologies was to be a stealth startup before Google stepped in with a cool $380 million offer. Diane Greene, an already successful member of Google’s team, owner of Bebop Technologies, and member of the board walked away from this transaction after selling her 200,729 shares of stock with $148.6 million.
In a bold and generous move, Diane announced that she will be donating the entire sum to charity through a “donor advised fund.” While some analysts feel that this move is solely to avoid allegations of backroom dealings, Diane insists that she isn’t keeping a penny for herself. Naturally, such a large amount of money for donation must be spent wisely.
Google has grown from a familiar name to a tech giant, folding diverse and unique companies into its portfolio of properties. Bebop Technologies was a promising cloud computing company, looking to make their mark by innovating the way we compute. While we won’t be seeing any new products from Bebop Technologies, Google will surely benefit from this purchase.
At the end of the day, regardless of how they decide to benefit from their acquisition, those with the most to gain are those in need. That money could build an orphanage, rescue scores of animals, or open shelter for the homeless. With that kind of money, I see no reason why all three options can’t be explored.
Friendships bloom in the most unlikely of places. You can never predict when that perfect person is going to enter your life and change it for the better. Ales, a policeman, was going about his business as he would any normal day. A driver breaking the speed limit caught his attention, and after pulling him over, Ales was caught completely by surprise.
It began innocently enough. The driver, Powers, was sitting in his car as Ales approached. After writing him the ticket, Powers took the fine with a smile and asked him a question. Curious as to the state of Mississippi and her law enforcement officers, Powers asked how Ales had been doing after all the shootings. The two exchanged pleasantries, and Powers politely requested a few more seconds with the officer. Presenting him with a prayer bracelet, Powers smiled and continued on his way.
The two became fast friends after the incident. Ales wiped the ticket for his new found friend, and Powers donated what would have been spent on the fine to the Palmer Home for Children in north Mississippi. The media took their unlikely friendship and ran with it, making it an overnight viral sensation. Inspired by the traction their humble interaction motivated, the two opened a charity for the children of fallen police officers.
WeDo.Life has one mission, and that is to be a helping hand for families in the midst of tragedy. Though creating a working charity was more than the dynamic duo thought, initially hoping to just give the money to the organizations in-need, they have since cut the red tape. Though currently only accepting donations through their online platform, Powers and WeDo.Life hopes to soon be hosting events to raise awareness and garner attention. Turning a largely annoying and frustrating experience into the foundation of a charity that will help thousands of families, Powers and Ales are setting an example we all can follow.
To some, art is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether painting or sculpture, there has never been a piece of art without at least one admirer to take in the message. But what happens when you combine the act of selflessly benefitting others with the powerful, attention-grabbing
potential of art? In MacArthur Park, near Downtown Los Angeles, this very experiment is taking place.
There is a small lake at the center of macArthur Park. Not too extravagant, this small body of water has drawn crowds ever since its founding in the late 1800’s. In the years since, luxury hotels have sprouted all around its eight-acre wide expanse. Bringing yearly crowds by the thousands, the artists who chose MacArthur Park were promised a sizeable audience.
Over 2,500 vinyl spheres, resplendent in every color of the rainbow filled the waters of MacArthur Park. Each sphere, roughly between four and six feet in diameter, were hand painted by thousands of volunteers. The groundwork for this beautiful plan was laid by Portraits of Hope, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. Specializing in motivational art, Portraits of Hope have applied their vision to buildings, planes, blimps, tugboats and even New York City cabs. Beyond their artistic contributions, Portraits of Hope’s influence can be felt in over 80 hospitals, after-school programs and social service agencies; Their commitment to excellent community service only matched by their artistic vision.
Tapping into the tremendous resource that is community outreach, Portrait of Hope’s founders, Ed and Bernie Massey, were able to mitigate the staggering cost of this project. The $1.5 million dollar estimate would have been impossible to reach if not for the outpouring of generosity from local businesses and civilian volunteers. The “Spheres of MacArthur Park,” remains a beautiful testament to the power of community. These brightly colored reminders offer hope to those who doubt the generosity of our nation, and inspiration for dreamers with future projects in mind. For more on this topic, click here.
Not often do you see a comparison between gym workouts and clean water charities, but that’s exactly what the people at Iron Tribe Fitness have done.
In 2009, Co-Founder and business owner, Forrest Walden wanted to use the business to give back to those in need. He has a yearning desire to combine Nerverthirst and IronTribe Fitness as a joint effort to help bring clean water to over 700,000,00o people around the world who are denied access ti safe drinking water.
His idea: “WOD for Water” to bring together business and fundraising. WOD is a cross-fit term that means “workout of the day”.
In 2009, Forrest Walden hosted his first “WOD for Water” to help bring clean water to Haiti after devastating natural disasters struck the nation. It was a huge success and has become an annual fundraiser that has grown exponentially every year.
The ‘galloping nurse’ is making her return to eventing after 13 years, raising money for equine charities the Book and World Horse Welfare on August 18th at the West Wilts Equestrian Centre.
Jane Holderness-Roddam CBE, Olympic gold medallist and first woman to represent Britain in Olympic Eventing at the 1968 games in Mexico, will be riding veteran horse Tiger’s Eye II. Managing to study nursing while building a highly successful career in equestrianism that includes winning at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1968 and 1978 and the Burghley Horse Trials in 1976, gained Holderness-Roddam her nickname, and has since dedicated her life to helping horses.
Tiger’s Eye II, known in the stable as Bill, is 20 years old. Owned by Holderness-Roddam and Timothy Holderness-Roddam, the horse boasts an illustrious career rivaling that of the galloping nurse, competing in more than 120 national and international events and hosting a myriad of riders, including South African eventer Alex Peternell.
She credits Bill’s ability to compete at such an old age, when working equines around the world are lucky to reach a quarter of his age, to the excellent care he receives from his dedicated team. Holderness-Roddam hopes to highlight equines need for high-quality care while raising money for charities competing in mid-August, acknowledging that many communities across the world don’t have the same equine amenities available in the UK.
With the Brooke and World Horse Welfare tirelessly working to change communities limited access to veterinary medicines and training available around the world, the Brooke hopes to help two million horses, donkeys and mules by 2016. Serving as a dedicated trustee for both organizations, Holderness-Roddam is seen as a role model and inspiration to many in the equestrian community globally.
Petra Ingram, Brooke chief executive, expressed her gratitude towards Holderness-Roddam for going the “extra jump” to help raise funds for the organization, with World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Rory Owers acknowledging Jane’s pivotal role in developing the organization’s work in delivering lasting change across the full spectrum of the horse world.
“I, along with all at World Horse Welfare, will be cheering her on,” said Owers.
The country’s first official Boys’ Club was founded in 1876 by American railroad executive, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Edward Henry Harriman. Harriman, a New York state native, wanted to form an organization that would provide inner-city boys living in the Lower East Side area a safe and nurturing place where they can participate in more productive activities. The original Boys’ Club of New York clubhouse began with three boys but, within its first 5 years, attendance rose to 100 boys.
The core mission of BCNY has always been to provide the boys and young men of NYC a safe haven from the potential dangers found on the streets. Throughout the years, BCNY has expanded their range of programs far beyond their humble beginnings. The Boys’ Club of New York began simply as a refuge for young men, but it is now an organization that encourages the boys and young men it serves to continue to strive in the areas of scholarship, moral development and physical achievement. The nearly 3,500 boys who are members of BCNY are constantly challenged to reach their full potential and the organization works to offer hope for a better future by helping them acquire the skills necessary to make their goals a reality.
The Boys’ Club of New York now operates three clubhouses in New York City. The Harriman Clubhouse continues to serve the residents of the Lower East Side, while the Elbridge T. Gerry, Jr. Clubhouse serves the East Harlem community and the Marion McMahon Abbe Clubhouse serves the community of Flushing, Queens. The organization serves predominantly lower-income families, and provides its members with opportunities that they may otherwise not have access to. This includes services that address the social, health, emotional, creative, and educational needs of their members.
Getting involved with the Boys’ Club of New York is very easy as they have several opportunities to volunteer and become a part of their organization. Throughout the year, BCNY holds a variety of events that benefit the different services they provide. One such event will be a Golf Outing taking place June 16th. Donating to the Boys’ Club of New York is also easy. They accept donations through a secure and trusted system on their website, and also accept donations in the form of stocks and securities, tribute gifts, planned giving and direct payroll deduction.