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Employee Volunteerism
8/1/2015 12:00 AM

CauseWorthy.org offers companies a new and innovative way to engage their workers in volunteer service projects.

Companies looking for ways to interest their employees in volunteer service have a new and innovative option that offers multiple ways to support worthy charitable projects. Launched in early June, CauseWorthy.org offers members of the public ways to provide cash and/or volunteer support to specific on-the-ground, start-to-finish humanitarian projects, and stay engaged and informed throughout the projects’ life cycle.

For companies looking to launch or expand employee volunteer programs, the site makes it easy for workers to lend their support in ways that best align with their skills, abilities and level of interest, said Emily Harris, co-founder of CauseWorthy.org, while also providing a level of transparency that many would-be donors and volunteers are craving.

“Many nonprofits need help getting the word out to larger audiences about their projects,” she said. “Meanwhile, there are many individuals who want to give to a cause or project but aren’t sure where exactly the money goes. This site addresses both of those problems.”

According to Harris and co-founder Paul George, the site was based on the cornerstone belief that everyone has something to give.

“We’re trying to create a community where everyone can contribute something—whether it’s money, skills or promoting and advocating through their networks,” George said.

According to Harris, the group works directly with corporations to garner sponsorships for the various projects featured on the site. Companies can use their sponsorships as a way to promote skills-based volunteer opportunities for their employees, and in return they get their logos and other pertinent information displayed directly on the project page, giving them the “benefit of branding to their customers and potential customers, showcasing their commitment to giving back,” the group said.

Many companies, if not most, will likely find something on the site that aligns with their giving areas and resonates with their employees. CauseWorthy.org funds projects in several areas, including education, health care, clean water, hunger relief, disaster relief and anti–human trafficking.

For each project featured on the site, users can view a list of the specific resources sought by the nonprofit—whether that’s cash donations, in-kind services like marketing and communications support, or hands-on construction skills to be put to use on the ground. Any resources raised through the site are provided in phases and documented via field reports to ensure they are indeed being used as intended.

According to Harris, the vetting process is extensive and aimed at providing accountability from beginning to end. When considering a project to feature on the site, the group looks at things like:

  • Whether the nonprofit’s budget for the past three years is transparent and publicly available.
  • The nonprofit’s relationship with the end user of funds.
  • What the resources will be used for, specifically and down to the dollar.
  • If any funds have been raised for the project so far and, if so, how much and through what channels.
  • What percentage of funds goes toward project costs versus labor.
  • Whether the organization has completed any similar projects in the past, and what were the outcomes.
  • How the project would improve the lives and health of the people being served by the organization.
  • And whether the organization is capable of, and agreed to, provide video reports and updates, both during and upon completion of the project, to be featured on the CauseWorthy.org site.

The field reports serve several purposes, George said. Primarily, they provide proof to supporters that their contributions are leading to real and measurable progress in the humanitarian cause they are championing. But they also serve to raise awareness and reinforce an emotional connection to the project for even those who are not yet invested but have shown an interest via the site. Anyone that has pledged any resources to a project receives updates, as do those who have promoted the project through Facebook, Twitter and other social media, which is easy to do from the homepage.

“Everyone involved gets a front-row seat to see the project taking shape,” George said.

Importantly, the site does not allow for the solicitation of funding and resources to cover organizational overhead—all donations are given directly to support the project itself, whether it’s digging a well to provide fresh drinking water, expanding a vaccination program in Africa or restoring deforested areas in South America. Projects must have a clearly defined beginning and end, yielding a measurable result that benefits a defined group of people.

According to the organization, this offers employees some assurance that their support is having a real and tangible impact on people’s lives—or just contributing generically to a cause.

For more information, visit www.causeworthy.org.

7/20/2015 12:00 AM

Kimberly-Clark’s philanthropy includes corporate giving and foundation grants in the areas of health and well-being, the environment and disaster relief.

OVERVIEW

Kimberly-Clark is a leading global manufacturer of personal care and paper-based consumer products. With its products lining shelves in about 175 countries, the company boasts such top-selling brands as Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend. Kimberly-Clark products hold number-one or number-two share positions in more than 80 countries worldwide. In 2013, the company reported sales of about $21.2 billion and employed roughly 42,500 workers.

GIVING

Kimberly-Clark’s philanthropy includes a mix of direct corporate contributions, foundation grants and employee volunteerism in support of a wide range of local, national and international nonprofit organizations.

The company’s giving falls under the following categories:

  • Providing essentials for a better life. Kimberly-Clark provides cash, in-kind and volunteer support to groups and projects that improve the culture, well-being and environment of its local communities. Some groups supported by the company in recent years include:
    • Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The company has long been a supporter of local BGCA chapters, which promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.
    • MedShare International. For more than a decade, Kimberly-Clark and MedShare International have partnered to bring critically needed medical supplies to health facilities around the world. Since Kimberly-Clark’s original grant to help launch MedShare in 1998, the company has funded the shipment of $18.5 million worth of supplies to 13 countries in Latin America. In addition, its employees have provided thousands of volunteer hours to help pack the shipping containers with life-saving medical equipment.
    • The United Way. As part of Kimberly-Clark’s annual employee fundraising campaigns, its employees have the opportunity to make a difference in their local communities by volunteering and contributing to United Way organizations coast to coast. Kimberly-Clark then matches employee pledges dollar for dollar. In the last decade, the company and its employees have contributed more than $60 million to local United Way affiliates.
    • Malaria No More. Since 2014, Kimberly-Clark has partnered with Malaria No More to fight malaria in areas most vulnerable to it. The company’s support will allow the organization to provide treatment to 200,000 people and educational efforts to reach an additional 15 million.
  • The environment. Kimberly-Clark supports numerous groups and projects focused on protecting natural resources and improving environmental sustainability, including:
    • The Forests Dialogue. Since 2010, the company has supported this initiative that brings together environmental groups, native peoples’ organizations and the forest industry to explore sustainable forest management issues. TFD’s work focuses on engaging stakeholders and helping them address important forestry topics such as plantation forestry, use of genetically modified trees, land-use planning impacts on forestry, working with native forest peoples, climate change and tropical rainforest protection.
    • The World Wildlife Fund. Kimberly-Clark supports the WWF’s Heart of Borneo and New Trees programs, which aim to protect the threatened tropical rainforest and to restore degraded tropical forests that are home to a significant portion of the world’s biodiversity.
    • The World Resources Institute. The company supports the WRI’s work on water scarcity, which involves designing tools to identify and evaluate water risk at a local level worldwide.
    • Water for People. The company funds a WFP initiative in Honduras that provides water and sanitation services to an entire community so that outside help is no longer needed.
  • Disaster relief. When disaster strikes throughout the United States and around the world, Kimberly-Clark and its employees respond with financial contributions, product donations, blood donations and volunteer time to ensure the needs of those affected by devastating disasters are met. As part of that commitment, the company in 2011 renewed its commitment to the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program with a pledge of $1.5 million to support local, national and international disaster preparedness and response programs.

In addition, the Kimberly-Clark Foundation supports a variety of programs, the most significant being its Bright Futures Scholarship Program, which awards college scholarships to children of Kimberly-Clark employees in the United States and Canada. Each scholarship is worth up to $20,000 ($5,000 per year for up to four years) for full-time students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at accredited colleges and universities.

Since its inception, the program has distributed more than $36 million in scholarships to more than 1,800 students.

The foundation also offers a matching gift program, which doubles the cash donations of Kimberly-Clark employees to eligible nonprofits, and a Dollars-for-Doers program, under which the foundation awards grants to charities where the company’s employees and their spouses volunteer.

Visit the company’s website for further information.

7/15/2015 12:00 AM

The Express Scripts Foundation supports nonprofits in the areas of health, education, military support, children and families, and disaster relief.

OVERVIEW

Fresh off a merger with rival Medco Health Solutions in 2012, Express Scripts now administers prescription drug benefits for tens of millions of clients in the United States and Canada. Plan members are served through a network of about 69,000 retail pharmacies and through a mail-order delivery system. Express Scripts also does claims processing for its insurer clients and provides disease management and consumer drug data analysis services to individual plan members. Last year, the company reported sales of just over $100 billion and employed about 29,500 workers.

GIVING

Express Scripts conducts most of its charitable giving through the Express Scripts Foundation, which works to enhance the quality of life in the communities in which Express Scripts employees live and work. The foundation awards grants to nonprofits focused on the following areas:

  • Enabling access to health and medical services. The foundation supports a variety of programs and events in this area, including:
    • Battling cancer. With a grant totaling $1.25 million from the Express Scripts Foundation, Saint Louis University is working to expand access to life-saving cancer treatments to black residents in the region. SLU is creating a new education, prevention and research center to improve cancer survival rates for St. Louis minorities.
    • Stroke screening. The foundation supports the American Heart Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Health Screening events each year, which provide information and tools to raise awareness of the risk of stroke. Residents receive health and dental screenings, HIV counseling and testing, instruction in basic CPR, and opportunities to talk to doctors and Express Scripts pharmacists through Ask-a-Doctor and Ask-a-Pharmacist workshops that coincide with the AHA events.
    • Healthy living. The foundation recently teamed with Beyond Housing to improve health outcomes for residents in the Normandy school district, a lower-income area in St. Louis County. Beyond Housing’s Healthy Community Fun Run/Walk and Health Festival jump-started a program to help residents learn about healthy living and the local resources available to them. It also provided screenings and other services in a convenient, no-cost setting.
  • Educating underserved youth. The foundation supports programs and initiatives to help educate underserved children and encourage the next generation of scientists, researchers, engineers and pharmacists. It does this through the following:
    • Enhancing science, technology, engineering and math education. Express Scripts is a founding partner of the STEMconnector, a consortium of industry leaders who provide information and resources for STEM education and workforce development. The foundation provides funding for STEM programs in several St. Louis–area schools, including the Our Lady of Guadalupe science fair and the Challenger Learning Center Rocket Club.
    • Bridging from high school to college. The Express Scripts Foundation supported the University of Missouri-St. Louis Bridge Program, aimed at engaging low-income middle and high school students in science and math activities. Through after-school clubs and summer activities for students and weekend programs for parents, Express Scripts employees shared their career paths and supported the students’ desire for successful college experiences.
    • Supporting pharmacy education. The foundation supports the BESt Summer Pharmacy Institute, a six-week program that prepares multicultural high school students for pharmacy school admission. The curriculum strengthens knowledge of chemistry and math, analytical reasoning and the pharmacy profession, while helping to boost ACT/SAT scores.
    • The company has also established a partnership with the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville School of Pharmacy to involve Express Scripts employees as preceptors to pharmacy students on rotation through internships at their St. Louis headquarters. The foundation has supported the pharmacy school’s Express Scripts Drug Information and Wellness Center on the SIUE campus, providing scholarly activities for pharmacy student training as well as medical literature analysis for staff and faculty. The center serves as a resource for local health care providers by offering the most current information about drug interactions, newly approved drugs, new formulations and indications, and treatment.

  • Providing services to U.S. military troops and their families. The foundation supports numerous charitable organizations that provide much-needed services to address the special challenges faced by military veterans and their families. Some examples of this include:
    • Comforting children of deployed military. The foundation, along with employees from Express Scripts sites around the country, helps provide comfort for children of deployed troops through Operation Kid Comfort, an initiative of the Armed Services YMCA that provides custom quilts and pillows for children who miss their moms or dads.
    • Celebrating physical fitness. The foundation and Express Scripts employees also support the National Veterans Golden Age Games, which give veterans over the age of 55 an opportunity to compete in 14 athletic events such as swimming and cycling. Express Scripts volunteers serve meals, greet participants at the airport, assist with registration and act as event timekeepers, helping to ensure the event runs smoothly.
  • Aiding children and families in need. Express Scripts supports initiatives that strengthen families and the communities where they live. Some programs supported by the company and its foundation include:
    • Operation Paintbrush. In Pueblo, Colo., the company supports Operation Paintbrush, a community effort to paint the homes of elderly, disabled and low-income city residents. Employees participate in this annual event and others that benefit local seniors.
    • Mentor St. Louis. Express Scripts participates in a monthly program through Mentor St. Louis, affiliated with the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club. Meeting with children monthly, volunteers—including some Express Scripts employees—work with children to improve their reading abilities and perform better in school, ultimately bolstering the young students’ sense of achievement and self-esteem.
    • Read, Right & Run. In recent years, Express Scripts has served as presenting sponsor for the GO! St. Louis Read, Right & Run Marathon, which encourages children to read 26 books, complete 26 good deeds for the community and run 26.2 miles over a six-month period. More than 19,000 children in elementary and middle schools participate in the program annually, fighting childhood obesity, developing reading skills and building character.
  • Responding to natural disasters. The company supports various disaster-relief agencies in response to disaster events. For example:
    • Wildfires in Colorado. Express Scripts and its employees supported the American Red Cross’ relief efforts when wildfires in 2012 destroyed nearly 350 homes, displacing 32,000 residents in Colorado Springs, Colo. The disaster also affected some employees of Express Scripts’ Pueblo facility.
    • Superstorm Sandy. The Express Scripts Foundation as well as Express Scripts employees gave generously in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Funds were donated to the American Red Cross to assist with relief efforts, and numerous Express Scripts employees gave their time, energy and resources to help neighbors in need.

For further information, visit the company’s website.

News Briefs
7/21/2015 12:00 AM

FedEx Corp. has awarded a $1 million grant to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support the hospital’s mission of finding cures and saving children.

FedEx Corp. has awarded a $1 million grant to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support the hospital’s mission of finding cures and saving children. The award, which was made in the name of 2014 FedExCup Champion Billy Horschel, is the first of a three-year commitment in which FedEx will donate $1 million each year on behalf of the reigning champion of the popular season-long FedExCup golf competition. The grant marks the latest in a history of support from the company to St. Jude. FedEx first became the title sponsor of the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament in 1986, and recently announced the extension of its title sponsorship through 2017.

News Briefs
7/16/2015 12:00 AM

Wells Fargo has awarded donations totaling $500,000 to seven local nonprofits to help strengthen and revitalize neighborhoods in Tucson, Ariz.

Wells Fargo has awarded donations totaling $500,000 to seven local nonprofits to help strengthen and revitalize neighborhoods in Tucson, Ariz., through the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program. Individual recipients were the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona; the Pima Council on Aging; Tucson Clean and Beautiful—Trees for Tucson; the Tucson Urban League; Old Pueblo Community Services; Our Family Services; and the Pima Community College Foundation. The grantees collectively provide support services for the homeless, neighborhood beautification and improvement, education and workforce programs, food access, and economic growth, the company said.

News Briefs
7/7/2015 12:00 AM

Sam’s Club has awarded $13.6 million in grants under its new Small Business Economic Mobility initiative, a five-year investment in small business growth.

Warehouse club retailer Sam’s Club has awarded $13.6 million in grants under its newly launched Small Business Economic Mobility initiative, a five-year investment in small business growth through increased access to capital and borrower education. The initiative will bring together expertise, business initiatives and philanthropic investments with the goal of helping small business owners in low-to-moderate-income communities to attain affordable loans and navigate the lending process. This initial round of grants went to eight national nonprofit organizations that provide access to capital and education to underserved U.S. small businesses including women, minorities and veterans, including Accion U.S. Network; the Association for Enterprise Opportunity; the Aspen Institute Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination; the Community Reinvestment Fund; the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders; the Opportunity Fund; and the Valley Economic Development Center.

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  • Meet the Editor

    Nicholas King
    Editor

    Nicholas King has served as editor of Corporate Philanthropy Report since 2007, and he continues to be impressed with the philanthropic efforts of the nation’s business sector.

    Drawing on an educational background in English and environmental policy, Nicholas began his journalism career in 2000 when he was brought on as editor of Environmental Laboratory Washington Report, a niche-market subscription-based newsletter serving the environmental testing industry. After seven years of honing his craft, Nicholas expanded his writing/editing portfolio to an entirely new field of interest - corporate philanthropy. As editor of Corporate Philanthropy Report, he stays abreast of the latest developments affecting corporate giving—and the charitable/nonprofit sector more broadly—providing his readers the “need to know” information vital for making the best use of their limited charitable dollars.

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