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.
It can be quite overwhelming to look for new causes to support, let alone find an organization that happens to be aligned with your morals, missions and general way to approach fundraising. Although for some this is not necessarily a confusing or extensive process, for many, successfully narrowing down a philanthropic organization or charity that suits you can be a daunting task.
Recently, an organization named “GiveWell” is primarily focused on helping individual donors find and give funds to charitable or philanthropic organization that is essentially aligned with their set goals.
GiveWell’s and extensive case studies are also supported by statistics, quantitative data and other qualitative forms of research, making this process far easier for individual donors. According to recent research, individual donors actually give more to charitable causes than other foundations, corporations and companies combined.
Therefore, it is clear that giving or providing individual donors with the appropriate tools is vital for further growing and charitable giving across the country.
GiveWell basically emphasizes a dual focus track as an organization geared towards funding the best, most useful options. Their first goal is to research various programs that would allow victims of extreme poverty or devastating illness to find help in their respective areas.
The second portion of this dual-focus mindset is to then decipher which are the most effective, cost-efficient approaches to the specific issue at hand. Recently, the organization’s most recent research study, they found that providing families or individuals with bed nets is a far more effective option to reduce malaria than simply providing micro-loans as another option available.
After this process of thorough research has completed, GiveWell will then give their data to other third party organizations in order to holistically assess whether or not these proposed programs are well thought out and feasible for these organizations to implement. In addition to data analysis, GiveWell also reviews charity operations starting from reports and ranging to budget allocation, additional funding, etc.
A key driver in GiveWell’s mission is the ability for a philanthropic body or charity to be entirely transparent with their donors. The organization announces top charities they believe function most effectively in various areas such as money management and internal operations which make their mission not only uniquely planned, but also creates interesting fundraising campaigns.
Some major donors in the private sector also use GiveWell’s data as a basis to make large donations to specific charities the organization has approved.
Dustin Moshovitz, Facebook’s co-founder, has used research and data from GiveWell to decide which organizations exhibit transparency, along with finding the most productive ways to implement new programs. For the entire list of the top charities by GiveWell, please take a look at this link.
It can be quite daunting to choose a certain philanthropic cause or charity that highlights the mission of your brand, while also aligning these interests to cater to those who are affiliated with your company. The initial step in relation to effectively choosing the appropriate cause for your brand is to align your message with a train of thought or an idea which would deeply resonate with your base.
Throughout the process of crafting an effective charitable program, it is essential to utilize a social service organization to execute an ambitious philanthropic program. An established social service organization, that functions well as a philanthropic body with a proven history of efficiency is a fundamental way to successfully lay the framework of your campaign. There will be many to choose from, so take your time, and choose a partner whose mission and image fits with yours.
With this in mind, producing a written memorandum that details the parameters of your relationship is essential not only for business purposes, but also allows you to attain a better understanding of each party’s set goal in the deal. This contract, so to speak, allows for a full level of transparency between both your party and any partners that are willing to work towards a common goal that has been underlined previously.
In terms of further promotion of your charitable campaign, it is essential to further drive support from your employee or customer base in order to further create buzz about the cause or specific philanthropic goal you want to achieve. Therefore, ensuring your employees not only understand, but genuinely support the cause is absolutely vital for the overall growth of the project.
Evan Steed, one founder of both a business and philanthropic body, Meathead Movers based in San Luis Obispo, California is no stranger to understanding how to craft a great charitable idea and developing all its components to benefit all the partners involved.
Steed states that “It’s important that this is something that lights up your employees when they talk to their friends and family about it,” Steed says. The logic here is that if you choose a cause or charitable goal that is meaningful to your employees or staff members, this in turn creates a relationship which sparks loyalty between two essential parts of our campaign.
Although it is important to plan out your campaign thoroughly, a salient concept to remember is that regardless of how intensely you lay out the framework for this project, certain aspects will inevitably go wrong. With the freshness of a new project of this nature, there is always room to infinitely grow as a company, a charitable base and as employees participating in selfless work for others.
Since 1895, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been on a mission to not just protect our wildlife and wild space but to also continuously inspire the next generations to do so as well. The WCS’ mission began in the early 1900s with successfully protecting and helping the American bison recover on the Western Plains. Presently, the WCS oversees the management of five parks in New York City, including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium. The WCS also manages over 500 conservation projects across 60 countries and their parks educated millions of future conservationist yearly.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has been crucial in protecting some of the world’s most at-risk animals both in the United States and abroad. From gorillas in the Congo to the magnificent wildlife in the seas, the WCS has stayed true to their mission. The WCS does not just focus on helping wild animals, however. Much of their efforts go toward improving the conditions of humans as well by also improving the condition of our wildlife and wild spaces.
The WCS hosts many events that are both educational and fun. One event to look forward to this summer is the Cycle Adirondacks event. It is a one week bicycle tour of the Adirondacks taking place August 23 – 29th (2015). Cyclist will enjoy the over 400 miles of beautiful scapes that the Adirondacks has to offer along with various amenities provided by the WCS and the local areas. The price tag for this tour, billed as the best bike tour ever by the WCS, is $1,495 for riders and $995 for non-riders (not everyone has to bike, but everyone gets to enjoy the trip regardless). The fees go toward helping the Wildlife Conservation Society continue its mission by bringing you closer to nature and raising awareness of the need for conservation projects everywhere.