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7/27/2017 12:00 AM

The Ama OluKai Foundation supports nonprofit community groups focused on preserving Hawaiian culture and cultivating cultural heritage and the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii.


OluKai is a luxury lifestyle footwear brand that manufactures a line of shoes and sandals that evoke the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha. OluKai builds every pair of footwear with signature anatomically contoured footbeds to deliver what it says is the optimum balance of comfort and lasting support. Its products are known for handcrafted details inspired by island culture and are sold through an assortment of retailers as well as direct to consumers through the company’s website. The company is privately owned.


OluKai conducts its philanthropy through the Ama OluKai Foundation, which was founded in 2014 with the goal of preserving Hawaiian culture, and honoring those who cultivate cultural heritage and the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii.

The foundation works to preserve land and ocean, enhance local communities and maintain the Hawaiian culture and traditions. Organizations supported by the foundation to date include:

  • The Hawaiian Lifeguard Association. The HLA seeks to establish and maintain the highest standards of professional surf and open-water lifesaving. Their vision is to maximize the safety of the public in ocean and coastal waters throughout the state of Hawaii and provide public, professional and governmental education in the field of ocean safety. Every summer, the group conducts rigorous training competitions for over 200 Junior Lifeguards between the ages of 12 and 17. The focus is on ocean awareness, education, open-surf rescues, water rescues, first aid, CPR and critical problem-solving.
  • Huli. The foundation supports this nonprofit collective of ocean-based individuals who promote cultural awareness and environmental stewardship to next-generation students through innovative outdoor education programs and hands-on conservation work.
  • ‘Imiloa. Opened in 2006, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is a world-class museum and planetarium complex on the University of Hawaii Hilo campus. The center showcases scientific discoveries from the astronomical observatories on Mauna Kea, within the framework of native Hawaiian traditions of navigation and exploration.
  • Maui Cultural Lands. This Maui-based nonprofit land trust organization works to stabilize, protect and restore Hawaiian cultural resources. The vision of the MCL is to restore what is known as the Honokowai Valley to a state of balance, so that it can serve as a place to learn, to find peace and to honor ancestors.
  • Nā Kalai Wa‘a. Nā Kalai Wa‘a is an education-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the maintenance of cultural values and customs through the teaching and application of noninstrument navigation and open-ocean voyaging.
  • Nā Kama Kai. This organization works to empower youth by conducting ocean safety and conservation awareness clinics that service the Hawaiian community statewide via interactions with professional surfers, watermen, lifeguards, firefighters, marine scientists, cultural practitioners and ocean rescue instructors. These clinics provide a positive, nurturing and controlled environment enabling youth aged 2 to 17 to become confident in the ocean.
  • Papahana Kualoa. The foundation supports this nonprofit’s work to create quality education programs focused on Hawaii’s cultural and natural history, environmental restoration and economic sustainability practices on the island of Molokai.
  • The Polynesian Voyaging Society. Founded in 1973, the Polynesian Voyaging Society seeks to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging. The organization supports the spirit of exploration through educational experiences that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one another, and their natural and cultural environments.

In addition, OluKai is a member of the Conservation Alliance, which brings together a wide range of corporate partners to support nonprofits working to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.

Additional information is available on the company’s website.

7/10/2017 12:00 AM

Philip Morris International directs its philanthropy to the core areas of disaster relief, economic opportunity, education and women’s empowerment.


PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six of the world’s top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets outside of the United States. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the development and commercialization of what it calls reduced-risk products—that is, products such as e-cigarettes that present, are likely to present or have the potential to present less risk of harm to smokers than traditional cigarettes. The company reported sales of about $75 billion in 2016 and employed around 79,500 workers.


PMI’s philanthropy is firmly focused on causes and programs that aim to improve the livelihoods of the communities where it operates or sources tobacco. The company is committed to the development and growth of its local communities, and partners with an array of nonprofit and public-sector organizations to that end.

The company’s core giving areas are as follows:

  • Disaster relief and emergency preparedness. PMI helps communities around the world rebuild after natural disasters, delivering immediate help to those impacted while also working to help build resilience so that communities are better prepared for future emergencies. Some examples of the company’s disaster-related giving in recent years include:
    • Earthquake relief in Ecuador. PMI responded to the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador in April 2016, pledging $500,000 in disaster relief to assist with rescue and rebuilding efforts. In addition to PMI’s global contribution, several of its local affiliates also launched fundraising initiatives, furthering the company’s impact.
    • Helping drought victims in Ethiopia. In the wake of the extreme drought affecting East Africa in recent years, over 10 million people in Ethiopia have been in need of emergency food assistance. In response, PMI donated $500,000 in relief funds to the Ethiopian Red Cross, which is being used to feed children, breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women, as well as to improve hygiene and sanitation.
  • Economic opportunity. PMI supports programs that promote employment and income-generating activities for socially vulnerable individuals and communities. These programs focus on promoting employment and decent work to improve the financial and economic security, with the hope that access to training, economic resources and financial services will help them achieve long-term economic stability. Some examples of this include:
    • Teaching young farmers in Greece. In Thessaloniki, Greece, the company supports the American Farm School, an institute dedicated to teaching young farmers sustainable land management through the latest cultivation methods. The program includes 46 hours of training and education, and fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship among young farmers. Since 2014, over 500 tobacco growers have participated, thanks to PMI’s support.
    • Fostering innovation in Indonesia. The company is helping small and growing businesses in nine Indonesian cities become environmentally sustainable and socially responsible while remaining profitable and scalable. These efforts focus on sustainable/organic agriculture; nontimber forest products and certified wood; clean technologies; renewable energy; and waste utilization, management and recycling. Businesses qualify for the program by first submitting a business plan. The top 20 chosen are mentored, while the top 10 present their business plan before potential partners at a special Investors’ Forum.
  • Improving education in low-income communities. PMI strives to promote educational opportunities for underprivileged individuals and communities, with a special focus on farmers and farm workers’ families in tobacco-growing areas. The company supports programs that promote inclusive and equitable education for individuals and communities that are especially vulnerable, marginalized or subject to discrimination. Some examples of the company’s support in this area include:
    • Supporting migrant workers’ children in Mexico. PMI is working in cooperation with local nonprofits in the rural and mountainous zones of Nayarit, Mexico, to support children of tobacco workers who migrate with their families to the coastal zone at harvest time. The goal is to prevent and discourage child labor by providing these children with spaces where they can benefit from full-day activities. In addition, parents are offered training to learn about safe work practices, develop new skills and build up future opportunities. These child care centers give around 500 children access to balanced nutrition, computer and other educational classes, health care services and recreational activities. Since 2001, over 6,900 children have benefited from this program.
    • Empowering the elderly and disabled in Russia. In 16 regions in Russia, the company supports Status: Online, a program that provides training to the elderly and the disabled on computer, financial and legal literacy. By learning to use computers and navigate online situations, participants improve their social and economic well-being. Program activities include courses in computer, legal and financial literacy; training in employment search and starting small businesses; and a “train-the-trainer” component to pass on the knowledge. PMI has supported this program since 2013, and over 22,000 people attended classes since the beginning of the project.
    • After-school programs in India. PMI supports 15 after-school programs and in-school awareness campaigns in the tobacco-growing region of Vinukonda, India. The goal is to identify the most vulnerable children and provide support for them to stay in school, which is a vexing challenge in the region due to the high prevalence of seasonal, holiday and after-school child labor; low school enrollment and high school dropout rates; and frequent sickness due to water-borne disease and lack of clean drinking water. The company has also provided assistance to improve school infrastructure and strengthen community structures and local service providers.
  • Women’s empowerment. The company supports a number of initiatives to enhance the lives of women and girls to help them fully participate in society. PMI supports programs that enhance economic opportunities for women through vocational training and start-up grants. It also supports initiatives that empower women who are marginalized or victims of discrimination and violence so that they can take control of their own lives. Some examples of this include:
    • Supporting homeless mothers and abused women in Greece. The company supports the Praksis program in Athens, which helps women at risk, including those who are homeless or are victims of sexual, physical or verbal abuse. The program provides housing and support services that take the women out of harm’s way and help them to become self-sufficient. Praksis also offers relief for homeless single mothers through crisis intervention and support services, including bathing and laundry facilities, psychological and social support, clean clothes, rest facilities and food.
    • Encouraging women entrepreneurs in Indonesia. PMI supports a Community Learning Center in East and Central Java that helps women in farming families build their entrepreneurial skills. In addition, it supports a local after-school program that raises awareness on child-labor issues and ensures that children get proper education. PMI has supported this program since 2011, and in 2015 close to 250 women directly benefited from it.
    • Helping Brazilian and Indian women reach their potential. PMI has partnered with the Womanity Foundation to support its WomenChangeMakers fellowship program that identifies, supports and connects transformational social entrepreneurs across India and Brazil. The program aims at advancing women’s economic participation by supporting social entrepreneurship opportunities, boosting women’s social and political leadership and promoting their health and well-being. The WCM program helps fellows to scale up their enterprise; develop synergies with experts, strategic program partners and other stakeholders; and, if relevant, replicate their business model elsewhere.

Visit the company’s website for more information.

7/2/2017 12:00 AM

Companies looking to implement tech-focused pro bono projects with nonprofit partners should focus resources on the front end of the process to ensure success.

Companies looking to leverage the tech expertise of their staff to help their nonprofit partners would do well to focus resources on the front end of the process, experts say, to ensure the project’s success. According to Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald of the Taproot Foundation, tech-focused pro bono projects are too often limited in range or less successful than imagined, simply because the nonprofit and pro bono teams skimped on examining the needs of the organization in a holistic manner—when really, they should be looking at the big picture of how technology can help the organization succeed and grow.

“In the traditional way of doing this, we would look at a nonprofit’s tech-related needs—for example, a new website or donor database—and find the tech resources available and apply them,” she said. “Instead, we should be looking at the nonprofit’s overall challenges and letting pro bono tech teams find ways that tech can be applied to address them.”

Schwan-Rosenwald’s colleagues at the Taproot Foundation recently released a guide that walks nonprofits and pro bono teams through the process from start to finish. And the first step—what the foundation refers to as the Discover phase—is the most critical, she said.

“This is where you scope out the project and assess how tech can be used to address the various challenges facing the organization now and in the future,” she said.

The assessment looks at a series of core questions that lay out the nonprofit’s current and anticipated needs, as follows:

  • What is stopping you from doing what you want to do today? For example:
    • What do your day-to-day activities look like?
    • Describe the tools and processes you use to complete your daily activities.
    • What isn’t working as expected?
    • Do you have new, legacy or outdated systems? How do they interact?
    • Do you have staff who can address issues as they arise?
  • What do you want to be doing more of? For example:
    • Are there annoyances about your processes today that could benefit from being changed?
    • Are there repetitive activities that consume large portions of staff members’ time?
    • Do your people need new skills to be more effective in their roles?
    • Are any of your goals being hampered by limited resources?
    • Describe areas where you want to increase your reach or impact.
    • Are your processes getting stuck in multiple handoffs or waiting for responses/approvals?
  • What would you do with unlimited time and resources? For example:
    • How might you more effectively and efficiently meet your constituents’ needs?
    • How might you better engage with your stakeholders?
    • Describe what success looks like for your organization in five years.
    • If you could have three wishes about your organization’s operations and programs, what would they be?
    • Describe an organization you admire. What are they doing that you aren’t?

It’s important that the pro bono tech team is intricately involved with this part, as they will see possibilities that the nonprofit’s staff will miss, Schwan-Rosenwald said.

“They have the tech knowledge and expertise—not the nonprofit,” she said. “They will see all the ways in which technology can be applied to the organization’s challenges.”

It’s also important to utilize a pro bono consultant who also has the tech knowledge and expertise to identify possible projects and knows which tech staff will need to be engaged—and where to find them.

“By bringing on the initial consultant, the nonprofit has an advocate in sourcing the pro bono resources. While the nonprofit’s staff might have some tech expertise, it won’t be nearly as much as a consultant that has gained that knowledge through involvement in the field,” Schwan-Rosenwald said.

The next two phases of the process—Design and Implement—are fairly straightforward. The pro bono team creates a solution that meets the requirements gathered in the Discover phase. And then the design is turned into reality with the official launch of the solution.

Crucially, Schwan-Rosenwald said, this should be done using established best practices from the for-profit tech world. Too often, pro bono tech projects are bogged down due to some perceived differences between the social and for-profit sectors. But every organization shares common constraints—budget, resources, staffing and time. By honing in on the similarities between the sectors, companies and their pro bono tech teams can better leverage their strengths to build nonprofit capacity, Taproot said. Instead of investing energy in creating new processes, pro bono tech talent can be more efficient and effective when they draw from proven practices.

The final phase involves the long-term maintenance of the solution—that is, tracking metrics to make sure it is working as intended, and updating as needed to ensure it continues to address the organization’s challenges. If the solution is not working as intended, the nonprofit and pro bono team should revisit the Design phase and make necessary changes. If all is working as planned, the team might want to ask whether there are new organizational needs that may require different solutions—and kick off a new Discover phase.

To read the Taproot Foundation guide in full, go to

News Briefs
7/24/2017 12:00 AM

Millennial women are listening to their hearts and their social networks as they embrace new ways of giving, but baby boomer women are more strategic and satisfied.

Millennial women are listening to their hearts and their social networks as they embrace new ways of giving, but baby boomer women are more strategic and satisfied, according to a new study by Fidelity Charitable. According to the company, the Women and Giving study examines attitudes, strategies and priorities around giving across generations and gender. And the data show that different generations of women give in different ways. For example, millennial women are modernizing giving, updating the approach of their baby boomer predecessors, the study found. This generation is more likely to talk about their giving and encourage others to support the causes they care about. Millennial women also support a wider range of causes than baby boomers and are more likely than boomers to use new forms of giving, such as crowdfunding and giving circles. Baby boomer women, in contrast, are more strategic in their philanthropy, give to fewer causes and report higher satisfaction with their giving than millennials, with some 55 percent of millennial women saying they are satisfied and happy with their giving compared to 72 percent of baby boomer women. These differences suggest that a more focused approach to philanthropy could lead to a higher level of satisfaction among women donors over time, the study said.

News Briefs
7/22/2017 12:00 AM

The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity to support renovations of 100 veteran-owned homes.

The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity to support renovations of 100 veteran-owned homes in nearly 30 communities across the country. Local Habitat organizations will identify home improvement opportunities in their communities and lead the work with veterans and Wells Fargo volunteers to beautify homes by landscaping, painting and other improvements. Wells Fargo volunteers will work alongside veterans on projects such as painting, landscaping and other improvements that support sustainable housing. So far, Wells Fargo employees have volunteered more than 315,000 hours to build and improve more than 2,100 Habitat homes with low-income homeowners, seniors and veterans since 2010.

News Briefs
7/17/2017 12:00 AM

The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation and Calia by Carrie Underwood, a fitness and lifestyle brand, are partnering to fully fund girls team sports projects.

The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation and Calia by Carrie Underwood, a fitness and lifestyle brand, are partnering to fully fund girls team sports projects on the education crowdfunding platform Pledging a $200,000 commitment, together Calia by Carrie Underwood and the Dick’s Foundation will fund an estimated 100 teams across the country in the month of May. The pledge marks the third Sports Matter donation on behalf of Calia by Carrie Underwood and the Dick’s Foundation, as a part of its broader $500,000 commitment to support girls youth sports across the country. Two grants were previously awarded in 2016—$100,000 to Underwood’s alma mater, the Checotah, Okla., School District, for its girls athletic programs and $100,000 to the Aldine Independent School District’s girls athletic programs in Houston.


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  • Meet the Editor

    Nicholas King

    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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