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9/22/2017 12:00 AM

VCA’s giving is almost exclusively focused on animal welfare groups and pet adoption programs.

OVERVIEW

Launched in 1986 as a privately owned company with one animal hospital, VCA is now the largest family of animal care providers nationwide, operating over 800 hospitals in 43 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces and providing diagnostic services to more than 17,000 independent hospitals. The company and its main subsidiaries—VCA Animal Hospitals and VCA Canada—offer basic wellness checkups, dental care, neutering and spaying, vaccinations and specialty surgeries. And through its ANTECH Diagnostics subsidiary, it offers laboratory testing of blood, tissue and urine samples for thousands of other animal hospitals, clinics, universities and government agencies. In 2016, VCA posted sales of about $2.5 billion and employed roughly 14,700 workers.

GIVING

VCA offers a mix of direct corporate contributions and grants made through VCA Charities, the company’s foundation. In both cases, VCA’s giving is almost exclusively focused on animal welfare groups and pet adoption programs.

The company’s corporate giving programs are largely focused on pet adoptions and include:

  • Pet adoption support. The public can bring newly adopted pets to a VCA Animal Hospital and receive a free initial checkup right away. A VCA veterinarian will check the pet’s vital organs; look for fleas, ticks and external parasites; and provide the owners with guidance on raising the animal properly.
  • VCA Shelter Partnerships. VCA Animal Hospitals helps community animal shelters adopt their pets into good homes. VCA partners with dozens of animal shelter and rescue organizations across the country, providing exclusive medical, marketing and hospital network support. VCA provides complimentary follow-up health care for pet adopters, helps shelter pets find forever homes and supports the shelters’ local community outreach. In addition, every pet adopted from a shelter partner and seen at a VCA hospital can be eligible for a free initial exam and qualifies for a health guarantee that covers many common conditions—which helps in securing their adoption.

In the United States, VCA Charities supports 501(c)(3) organizations that directly help pets in need, as well as educational programs promoting veterinary medicine for the treatment and prevention of cruelty to animals.

Some nonprofits supported by the organization in recent years include:

  • The American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
  • Tower of Hope, which provides service dogs for combat veterans.
  • Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti.
  • The American Red Cross’s pet disaster relief program.

Other programs supported by VCA Charities include:

  • Pennies for Pets. Customers can round up their purchase at a participating VCA Animal Hospital to the nearest dollar to support VCA Charities and its programs and designated grant recipients.
  • Pet Food Pantry. Launched in 2010 in Venice, Calif., VCA Charities’ Pet Food Pantry provides pet food to the clients of food pantries. The goal is to ensure pets get the necessary proper nutrition to stay healthy.
  • ViDAS (International Veterinarians Dedicated to Animal Health). VCA Charities provides grants to send five veterinarians, residents or technicians to Playa del Carmen and Bacalar, Mexico, as part of a 30-member ViDAS delegation to provide primary care and control animal overpopulation through spaying and neutering.

And in Canada, VCA gives back to its communities through the Paw It Forward program. This initiative engages the entire community—VCA Canada and its clients, local supporting agencies and vendor partners—in helping people make pets’ lives better. Paw It Forward encompasses an extensive campaign of national, regional and local community endeavors, ranging from supporting local humane societies, rescue groups and SPCAs to enhancing awareness and learning of animal health and welfare issues to providing food for displaced pets across Canada to supporting and assisting local families and pets in need. All told, VCA Canada provides millions of dollars each year through Paw It Forward.

For more information, visit the company’s website.

9/8/2017 12:00 AM

Keystone targets its charitable giving in the areas of nourishment/hunger relief, community support and disaster relief.

OVERVIEW

Keystone Foods is one of the largest makers of hamburger patties and processed poultry in the world, with more than 40 distribution and processing facilities located throughout North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. As a subsidiary of Marfrig Global Foods, Keystone supplies hamburgers, chicken wings, chicken breast fillets and patties, fish patties and pork products to some 36,000 restaurants in a dozen countries.

GIVING

Keystone supports the communities where it operates through financial contributions, charitable event coordination, sponsorships and employee volunteerism. In 2014, the company launched an initiative to refocus its philanthropic efforts with the goal of making a greater difference in the communities around the world where it has a significant employee presence. That initiative, dubbed Keystone Cares, targets three key areas of giving:

  • Nourishing people. As noted by the company, approximately 842 million people do not eat enough to be healthy, and one in eight people go to bed hungry each night. As a leading global supplier of protein products, Keystone seeks to leverage its expertise to minimize hunger and food security concerns.
  • Local community support. Due to the geographic diversity of the company, Keystone focuses its community support at the local level to address local priorities and consider cultural differences.
  • Disaster relief. When significant disasters strike in areas where its facilities are located, Keystone contributes to relief efforts to help its employees and their communities tackle immediate challenges and long-term recovery.

Each Keystone facility is tasked with sponsoring projects that have a global impact—focusing on food and feeding people and local outreach—by supporting nonprofits in their respective communities on an ongoing basis or when disaster strikes.

Keystone’s employees also support local charitable groups through volunteerism. Some examples of the company’s volunteer support in recent years include:

  • Giving back to area firefighters. In North Baltimore, Ohio, Keystone contributed time, money and culinary expertise to prepare a dinner to thank area firefighters for all that they contribute to the community.
  • Adopting mothers in need. At Keystone Foods in Eufaula, Ala., the Keystone Women’s Inclusion Network partnered with Crowne Healthcare to sponsor an “Adopt a Mother” program. Employees filled 42 backpacks with personal care items and delivered them to deserving mothers on Mother’s Day. The K-WIN participants also visited with residents to brighten their day.
  • Delivering food and toys at the holidays. At Keystone’s headquarters in Pennsylvania, a campaign collected donated toys for children who might not otherwise receive gifts during the holidays. The program, sponsored by Toys for Tots, was accompanied by a canned food drive that provided more than 200 meals to needy families around Thanksgiving.
  • Helping children with special needs. Employees at Keystone’s Korea facility have a long-established relationship with a nonprofit facility focused on cancer care for children and accommodations for their parents. In recent years, employees have provided maintenance and cleaning services while also visiting with parents and children and providing gifts and food. Most recently, they have been involved with fundraising for a new hospital for children with cancer and related fundraising activities.

Additional information is available on the company’s website.

9/2/2017 12:00 AM

New research shows that companies are continuing to bolster their corporate social investments and adapt their business strategies to put purpose front of mind.

A new report issued by the CECP shows that leading companies are continuing to bolster their corporate social investments and adapt their business strategies to put purpose front of mind.

The group’s latest research, Investing in Society, draws on the CECP’s annual Giving in Numbers Survey, insight from more than 200 of the world’s largest companies and conversations with leading experts and on-the-ground practitioners. The report shows what actions companies are taking to identify and effectively meet stakeholder needs while also standing firm in their social commitments, even in light of the uncertain sociopolitical environment seen around the world today.

Some key trends identified in the report include:

  • Letting purpose drive results. According to the report, leading companies recognize that aligning with a social purpose is critical to energizing and reaching stakeholders, for more resilient markets and society. Companies that have tapped into purpose as an inspiration for their workforce are seeing the rewards, the CECP said, with 58 percent of companies with a clearly articulated and widely understood purpose seeing financial growth of more than 10 percent, and 85 percent of them reporting increased revenue between 2013 and 2016.
  • Focusing more on the long term. Top CEOs are taking a more balanced approach when it comes to strategy, putting greater emphasis on long-term sustainability instead of letting the immediate short-term goals of quarterly returns lead business decisions. According to the CECP, research increasingly shows that the focus on short-term performance can adversely affect a company’s ability to generate sustained value over the long term. Companies taking the long view—in terms of environmental and social performance as well as business/financial performance—are seeing financial results that back it up as a viable approach, the group said.
  • Enhancing employee engagement. Leading companies are refining and focusing their workplaces to create shared value for their employees, based on each employee’s skills and passions and how they fit in with the businesses’ needs. This translates into a more diverse set of volunteer programs or volunteer programs that are increasingly flexible to diverse employee passions, the CECP said. The organization’s data shows that corporate programs that allowed some level of work flexibility when engaging in volunteer opportunities were the most-offered programs in 2016: Some 61 percent of companies offered paid-time release and 60 percent offered flexible scheduling, a 5 percent increase since 2014.
  • Leveraging more assets. Companies are drawing from an increasingly diverse array of tools and resources to advance their social goals, the CECP said. Corporate societal investments have become more deeply integrated with core business strategies, and implemented by more business units, because a strong business case can be made for such investments.
  • Using advocacy as strategy. The data show that businesses are committed to their corporate societal investments, and continue to use their brands to advocate for social issues, the CECP said. As the 2017 Giving in Numbers Survey showed, the median total giving increased in 2016. Further, some 61 percent of companies report they are sticking to their public advocacy strategy, and more than 20 percent are advancing their strategy in response to public reaction to corporate leaders’ stance on social issues.

According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, about three-quarters of the general population believe companies can take actions to improve economic and social conditions in their communities. Investing in Society’s findings show that companies are up to meeting those expectations, the group said.

“CECP’s view is that the world’s leading corporations have emerged as a steadying presence and remain uniquely qualified to continue to drive progress, in spite of unpredictable global circumstances,” said Daryl Brewster, the group’s CEO.

To read the report in full, go to http://cecp.co.

News Briefs
9/20/2017 12:00 AM

The KeyBank Foundation has awarded JumpStart Inc. a $24 million grant for the KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program in communities across Ohio and upstate New York.

The KeyBank Foundation has awarded JumpStart Inc. a four-year, $24 million grant to fuel the KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program in communities across Ohio and upstate New York. The initiative is designed to stimulate economic growth and workforce development by fostering small-business success, the foundation said. The program will provide support and structure for individuals, entrepreneurs and small-business owners; create thousands of jobs; and prepare students for careers in the growing technology, service and manufacturing industries. The program is based on a five-pillar initiative funded by the KeyBank Foundation and implemented by JumpStart that will establish the KeyBank Center for Technology, Innovation and Inclusive Growth to serve individuals across Ohio; provide small-business technical assistance in Cleveland, and Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, N.Y.; offer technical assistance and grant/equity capital for technology startups and scaleups; and facilitate vocational education and workforce training for students in Cleveland.

News Briefs
9/17/2017 12:00 AM

Eli Lilly and Company has pledged $52 million to support life science research at Purdue University.

Eli Lilly and Company and Purdue University have launched a strategic collaboration to conduct life science research. The five-year agreement, where Lilly will provide up to $52 million, marks Purdue’s largest strategic collaboration with a single company, Lilly said. The initial research focus areas will include developing improved delivery of injectable medicines with the goals of reducing pain, decreasing the number of injections, and enabling better patient compliance and overall health; and developing predictive models for clinical success that reduce risks associated with investing in drug development and more effectively predict the outcome of new therapies in humans. The collaboration envisions expansion to other areas to further utilize the range of expertise at the two institutions.

News Briefs
9/12/2017 12:00 AM

The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, has announced it will change its name to UnidosUS.

The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, has announced it will change its name to UnidosUS. The announcement was made at the close of its annual conference, where thousands of national and community leaders gathered for this significant moment in the organization’s 49-year history. “Unidos” is the Spanish-language word for “united”; the new brand spotlights the organization’s commitment to uniting all communities across the United States, reflects its history and role in uniting diverse communities and reinforces Latinos’ role as a unifying force, the group said. UnidosUS’s mission remains the same—to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos. The organization will continue its research, policy analysis, and state and national advocacy efforts, as well as its program work in partnership with its powerful national affiliate network of nearly 300 community-based organizations.

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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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