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7/29/2014 12:00 AM

FedEx focuses its charitable giving on emergency response and disaster relief, child pedestrian safety and environmental sustainability.


FedEx and its various operating units, which include FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, provide a range of transportation, delivery and business services to retail and commercial clients around the world. FedEx Express is the world’s top express transportation provider, delivering about 3.5 million packages each day to more than 220 countries and territories via a network of about 2,000 FedEx Office stores. Goods are transported and delivered using a fleet of over 690 aircraft and more than 50,000 motor vehicles and trailers. The FedEx Ground unit provides small-package ground delivery in North America, while FedEx Freight handles larger shipments for commercial clients. In 2013, the company reported sales of about $44.2 billion and employed about 160,700 workers worldwide.


FedEx’s philanthropy is focused on three core giving areas: disaster relief, child pedestrian safety and environmental sustainability. In each of these, the company partners with leading national and international nonprofit organizations and provides a combination of cash, in-kind and volunteer support.

The company’s contributions to disaster relief groups and programs are multifaceted. The company has long offered up its nearly 700 planes, 75,000 trucks and extensive transportation and logistics network to deliver critical supplies, services and expertise to support victims of natural disasters the world over.

FedEx works with a number of international disaster response organizations that bring relief to victims, including the American Red Cross, Direct Relief International, Heart to Heart International and the Salvation Army. Each year, the company sets aside space for as much as four million pounds of disaster-related charitable shipping. The company also invests in preparedness initiatives for families and small businesses, and supports long-term recovery efforts in communities like New Orleans and Haiti that face rebuilding and recovery efforts that can last years.

FedEx also supports a range of groups and programs aimed at keeping child pedestrians safe through increasing awareness and knowledge of pedestrian safety as an issue, helping change unsafe child pedestrian behaviors and/or creating environmental improvements to keep child pedestrians safe in local communities.

In this area, FedEx works closely with global organizations to help prevent pedestrian-related injury and death and educate the public about road safety. Most significantly, the company works closely with Safe Kids Worldwide, an international organization devoted to preventing unintentional childhood injury, and Brake, a road safety group located in the United Kingdom.

The company’s work with Safe Kids Worldwide has included support of the Safe Kids Walk This Way program, which teaches safe behaviors to motorists and children and works to create safer, more pedestrian-friendly communities.

In addition, FedEx also partnered with Safe Kids Worldwide in establishing the Task Force grant program, which drew upon input from key community members to identify and improve a specific walking environment for child pedestrians — for example, installing speed bumps or adding countdown signals with child-friendly buttons to stoplights.

More recently, FedEx has supported the FedEx & Brake Road Safety Academy in the United Kingdom. The Academy trains individuals to deliver road-safety presentations to teenagers, parents and company drivers.

The company’s support for environmental initiatives falls under the enterprise-wide sustainability program, EarthSmart, which includes outreach efforts that focus on three areas:

  1. Sustainable transportation. The company supports programs that benefit the environment by reducing emissions and congestion, enhancing safety and expanding accessibility.
  2. Sustainable cities. This includes support for healthy, environmentally responsible urban environments through the conservation and restoration of parks and green space along with sustainable development practices.
  3. Sustainable ecosystems. The company supports programs that promote ecosystem viability through sustainable forestry, rehabilitating natural habitats impacted by disaster and improving disaster resilience.

In addition, FedEx has established several flagship charitable partnerships with leading nonprofit groups, including:

  • The United Way. The company’s support for the United Way dates back almost 40 years and encompasses several programs and initiatives, such as:
    • FedEx Cares Week. Each fall, FedEx employees participate in FedEx Cares Week, a week-long volunteer event that benefits local communities and the United Way. Throughout the week, communities across the country host days of service, allowing more than 2,100 FedEx employees to volunteer their time in support of projects ranging from refurbishing and beautifying local agencies, building playgrounds and painting child-care centers to sorting and organizing donated food items at local food banks. Events have been held in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, New York, Newark, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
    • Alternative Spring Break. For the past several years, FedEx has supported the United Way’s Alternative Spring Break program, which recruits, organizes and otherwise supports hundreds of young people to dedicate their Spring Breaks volunteering with charitable groups. Recent projects have included renovating affordable housing, improving child-care centers and building ramps to provide people with disabilities a safe means of leaving and returning to their homes in Detroit; helping rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in Hancock County, Miss.; and rebuilding homes in Lake Charles, La., that were destroyed by Hurricane Rita.
    • Loaned Executives. Every year, FedEx selects a group of employees to participate in the Loaned Executive program. The three-month program lets employees assist fundraising efforts at their local United Way. FedEx has “loaned” more than 650 employees since the program began.
  • ORBIS International. The company supports this group’s efforts to bring much-needed eye care to people worldwide who are suffering from preventable blindness. ORBIS operates the Flying Eye Hospital, a DC-10 aircraft that contains a teaching facility and ophthalmic surgery center. Volunteer pilots from FedEx fly the plane to remote locations across the globe, where medical teams perform surgeries, conduct training sessions and educate communities about blindness prevention and treatment. Since the Flying Eye Hospital took flight in 1982, more than 6.8 million people worldwide have been treated, 360,000 surgeries have been completed, and 195,000 eye care professionals have been trained aboard the hospital, FedEx said. The company supports the plane’s maintenance, making it possible for ORBIS to operate the current Flying Eye Hospital at nominal expense, and FedEx also provides complimentary transportation for critically needed medical supplies headed to ORBIS-hospital-based programs around the world.

Further information is available on the company’s website.

7/28/2014 12:00 AM

The Giving USA 2014 report on U.S. charitable donations shows overall giving totals grew in 2013 despite a 2 percent drop in corporate donations.

Total U.S. charitable giving from all sources grew by 4.4 percent in 2013, nearing its all-time peak seen just prior to the Great Recession—despite a contraction of corporate giving for the year. According to Giving USA 2014, the annual benchmark report on charitable giving compiled by the Giving USA Foundation and its partners at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, corporate donations dropped by 1.9 percent in 2013, a 3.2 percent decrease when adjusted for inflation. Fortunately for nonprofits, that drop was countered by moderate increases in giving from individuals (up 4.2 percent in current dollars), foundations (up 5.7 percent in current dollars) and bequests (up 8.7 percent in current dollars.)

Per the Giving USA 2014 data, corporations—which include businesses of all sizes—accounted for just about 5 percent of overall charitable giving in the United States for the year, which totaled nearly $335 billion. The drop in contributions followed a particularly strong year in 2012, when the sector increased its giving by almost 17 percent. And in fact, the report notes, giving by corporations has risen much faster than overall giving rates since the recession officially ended in 2009—at 19.4 percent for corporations versus 12.3 percent overall.

If anything, the numbers add clarity to the link between corporate profits and giving levels, said Gregg Carlson, chairman of the Giving USA Foundation, which publishes the report.

The decline “makes clear how closely linked economic factors are to giving. While the S&P 500 was strong in 2013, corporate profits slowed substantially compared with 2012,” Carlson said. “Corporate profits are directly linked with corporate giving.”

In regard to where the money is going—i.e., which types of groups are seeing donations rise—the Giving USA 2014 report shows that some sectors are attracting donors more than others, and it has a lot to do with the economic recovery taking shape.

“We see that giving to the arts, health, the environment and education has been consistently rising in the last three years,” said David King, chairman of The Giving Institute, the trade association that created Giving USA and its foundation.

“These types of organizations, perhaps with a slight exception for health, are those for which donors reduced their support during the recession when they tended to give to organizations serving what they may have perceived as more urgent needs, such as food pantries, homeless shelters and even international relief, but as the economy recovers, donors are restoring funding to those sectors in a strong way,” King said.

In another shift, donors appear to have soured somewhat on international affairs, as giving in that area dropped 6.7 percent—one of the few areas that saw a decline in 2013. According to the report, the drop is partly attributable to lower overall corporate giving (disaster relief is a favorite giving area for many companies). But another reason could be donors shifting their support to overseas organizations working in areas impacted by disasters—instead of donating to U.S.-based relief groups.

If the giving levels outlined in the Giving USA 2014 report hold steady—a possibility due to rising confidence in the nation’s economic outlook—total giving could recover to prior peak levels earlier than anticipated, according to Patrick Rooney of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“In recent years, our school has projected that giving could take several years to return to pre-recession highs, based on the contemporary rates of growth in giving,” Rooney said. “This year, we are more optimistic. If total giving continues to grow at the current inflation-adjusted, two-year average rate of 4.2 percent, we estimate it would take just one to two more years to reach or surpass the pre-recession peak.”

That would mean giving totals growing by about $15 billion a year by 2015 or 2016.

For more information, go to

7/15/2014 12:00 AM

Eastman Chemical Co. supports civics groups, education programs, health and human services, and arts and culture in the communities where the company operates.


Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. The company is a major producer of specialty fibers, rubbers and plastics that go into products ranging from food and medical packaging and film to toothbrushes and cigarette filters, to name a few. Other Eastman products make their way to end users in the transportation, building and construction industries. Serving customers in approximately 100 countries, Eastman posted revenues of approximately $9.4 billion in 2013 and employed about 14,000 people around the world.


Eastman’s philanthropy is conducted mainly through the Eastman Chemical Company Foundation, which was established in 1993 to support nonprofit organizations that create sustainable community improvement in the following areas:

  • Civic and community improvement. This includes neighborhood support and business and economic development.
  • Health and human services. Eastman and the foundation provide both funding and volunteers for United Way agencies in communities where the company has operations. Contributions to other health and human services groups is limited to situations where the funding would show “significant additional value.”
  • Education. The foundation awards grants to universities, colleges and innovative educational initiatives that emphasize literacy, math, science and technology.
  • Arts and culture. This includes performing arts organizations, arts and cultural funds and councils, and performance sponsorships and educational outreach programs.

By far, education-oriented groups and programs receive the lion’s share of Eastman’s charitable contributions. In the early 1990s, the company consolidated and formalized its outreach programs to the K–12 schools serving its communities as a way to improve the efficiency of services provided and to facilitate dialogue and sharing among the various schools. This effort culminated in the launch of the Putting Children First business/education partnership within four school districts — Hawkins County, Kingsport City and Sullivan County in Tennessee, and Scott County in Virginia. Over the next decade, additional districts were added for a total representation of eight school districts and 104 schools. The PCF initiative includes the following key components:

  • TN/VA Scholars. This is a regional reward and recognition program designed to encourage students to complete high school courses that provide a fundamentally sound academic education. Students are encouraged to pursue a more rigorous high school curriculum, maintain at least a “C” average, achieve 95 percent attendance, exhibit good behavior and perform 80 hours of community service over the duration of their high school career.
  • PCF Classroom Grants. Each year, Eastman offers a grant program for partnering teachers to promote innovative teaching strategies and classroom programs that improve student learning and performance in the area of math and science.
  • Eastman Scholar Mathletes. Eastman Scholar Mathletes is a collaborative partnership between Eastman and East Tennessee State University’s Center for Excellence in Math and Science Education. This program provides professional development for elementary and middle school math teachers who work in PCF partnership schools.
  • GEM4STEM. Growing Educational Mentors for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or GEM4STEM, allows Eastman employees to volunteer as mentors for students through numerous educational activities throughout the year that demonstrate real-world relevance of these subjects to the classroom.
  • 8th Grade Career Expo. The 8th Grade Career Expo is intended to expose students to a variety of occupations and topics, including health sciences, human services, media relations/communications, engineering/manufacturing, finance/banking, industrial/technology, work ethics and Internet safety awareness.
  • 11th Grade Career Expo. The 11th Grade Career Expo is an extension of the 8th Grade Career Expo challenging students to think about career goals and opportunities. Students listen to various presentations focused on topics such as how to dress for success, Internet safety and awareness, job application tips, résumé writing, salary expectations, basic finance, work ethics and job interview skills.

In addition, Eastman and the foundation support numerous environmental organizations through partnerships and charitable contributions, including the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, the Environmental Institute of Houston, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance for Industrial Coalition, the Upper East Tennessee River Roundtable and the U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing, among others.

For the past decade, Eastman has maintained a special partnership with the Tennessee chapter of The Nature Conservancy, including making annual charitable donations and having an Eastman employee serve on the organization’s board of directors.

For further information, visit the company’s website.

News Briefs
7/28/2014 12:00 AM

Google committed $50 million to its Made With Code initiative, which aims to inspire girls to study computer science and pursue careers in coding.

Google has committed $50 million over three years to its new Made With Code initiative, which aims to inspire millions of girls to learn to code, and to help them see coding as a means to pursue their dream careers. Launched in conjunction with several leading girl-focused nonprofits, the initiative will include coding projects such as designing a bracelet for 3-D printing, creating animated GIFs and building beats for a music track; video profiles of girls and women who explain how they’re using code to do what they love—in fashion, music, dance, animation, cancer research and more; a resource directory for parents and girls to find more information about new local events, camps, classes and clubs; and collaborations with organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls Inc. to introduce Made with Code to girls in their networks, encouraging them to complete their first coding experience.

News Briefs
7/16/2014 12:00 AM

The Walmart Foundation has pledged an additional $20 million through 2019 to support veteran employment and transition programs, doubling its initial commitment.

The Walmart Foundation has announced a major expansion of its commitment to the nation’s veterans by pledging an additional $20 million through 2019 to support veteran employment and transition programs. In 2011, the foundation pledged an initial $20 million through 2015 to help veterans and their families get through those challenges with assistance from programs that provide job training, transition support and education. The new commitment is needed because more than one million service members are due to exit the military in the next five years, and many of them will face significant challenges with unemployment and transition back to civilian life, the company said.

News Briefs
7/11/2014 12:00 AM

New data from the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy show that nearly two-thirds of American companies increased their charitable giving over the last four years.

Nearly two-thirds of American companies increased their charitable giving over the last four years, reflecting improved business performance and increased use of noncash giving—namely, product donations and skilled volunteers—according to new data released by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. Per the CECP’s Giving in Numbers Brief, which looks at corporate giving trends based on survey data from some 261 companies—a full 64 percent of firms reported increasing their charitable contributions between 2010 and 2013. Even more encouraging, the group said, is about half of surveyed companies increased their giving by more than 10 percent during that time, “signaling that societal engagement is not a financial tradeoff but a sound business strategy,” the CECP said. In addition, a significant segment of the surveyed companies also reported that they had increased the use of skilled employee volunteerism in their philanthropy, with 37 percent of companies reporting an increase in hours volunteered on company time from 2010 to 2013.


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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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