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6/21/2016 12:00 AM

Brooks Brothers supports a variety of charitable programs, including breast cancer research, affordable housing and environmental programs.

OVERVIEW

Brooks Brothers is one of America’s oldest clothing retailers. Known for its classic styling, the company has sold its men’s suits and outerwear for nearly 200 years, and recently began selling women’s and children’s apparel as well. The company sells its wares in about 200 upscale retail stores and outlets in the United States, as well as about 100 more stores in 15 other countries. Brooks Brothers is privately owned.

GIVING

Brooks Brothers offers a combination of corporate giving and grantmaking through the Golden Fleece Foundation, which the company founded in 2007 to support charities serving the various communities where the company does business.

On the corporate level, Brooks Brothers supports numerous local and national nonprofit groups, providing cash resources, fundraising and employee volunteerism. Some examples of charities supported by the company include:

  • The American Red Cross. Brooks Brothers has a long-standing relationship with the American Red Cross. Its affiliation with the organization began in 1898, just 18 years after its inception, when Brooks Brothers made its first donation of $100 to the Red Cross Society during the Spanish-American War. Ever since, Brooks Brothers has continued its commitment to the American Red Cross with donations, blood drives and more.
  • The 9/11 Memorial. To benefit the 9/11 Memorial, the company crafted a special version of one of its most memorable ties, adorned with the black and teal colors of the 9/11 Memorial logo. Brooks Brothers donates 100 percent of profits from the tie’s sales, but in any event no less than $40 per tie, to the 9/11 Memorial.
  • The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The company supports this worthy organization whose mission is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide.
  • The Central Park Conservancy. Brooks Brothers supports the Central Park Conservancy, which was founded in 1980 with the goal of reversing Central Park’s dramatic decline in the 1970s and restore it to its former splendor. Today, the Conservancy works to restore, manage and enhance Central Park, in partnership with the public, for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
  • Dignity U Wear. Dignity U Wear provides brand-new clothing to people in need, with special programs focused on school children, women in crisis and military veterans. Brooks Brothers is a founding partner for the group’s Suits for Soldiers program, which helps the nation’s veterans as they re-enter the work force.
  • Housing Works. Brooks Brothers supports this group in its mission to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain these efforts.
  • Project Angel Food. Project Angel Food’s mission is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Brooks Brothers provides cash and volunteers who cook and deliver free meals throughout Los Angeles County.

Complementing these efforts is the Golden Fleece Foundation, which is funded primarily through the generosity of Brooks Brothers customers, employees and corporate partners. The foundation coordinates fundraising efforts of these groups to make a significant difference in Brooks Brothers communities, and deliver the combined efforts of charitable events and drives to the most in-need causes.

For more information, visit the company’s website.

6/9/2016 12:00 AM

Capital One’s corporate philanthropy is focused on efforts to enhance the quality of life in its communities, with program areas including families and financial education.

OVERVIEW

Capital One is a financial holding company that operates mainly through two subsidiaries, Capital One N.A. and Capital One Bank N.A. Perhaps best known for its branded Visa and MasterCard credit cards (it is the largest issuer in the United States), the company also offers an extensive network of brick-and-mortar banking branches in about a half-dozen states. It also offers online banking due to its 2012 acquisition of ING Direct. All told, Capital One serves more than 50 million customers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, offering a full range of banking, lending and asset management services. In 2015, the company reported sales of about $25 billion and employed about 45,400 workers worldwide.

GIVING

Capital One’s corporate philanthropy is focused on efforts to enhance the quality of life in communities where it has business operations. In support of that broad goal, the company awards grants and employee volunteer support to nonprofit groups working in the following program areas:

  • Supporting families. The company invests in programs that enhance the lives of the children and families in its communities. Some examples of its work in this area include:
    • The Capital One/UNO Charter School Center. Capital One and the University of New Orleans partner to support the UNO Charter School Center, a network of public schools that provides public education to neighborhoods damaged by Hurricane Katrina—Lakeview, Gentilly and Pontchartrain Park.
    • The Heart of America Foundation READesign. The company partners with The Heart of America Foundation to provide books to children in low-income communities and to create safe, inviting libraries in their schools. Over the last three years, the foundation and Capital One have donated 500,000 books to nearly 300,000 children. Capital One employees also spent an average of 4,000 hours each year donating and distributing books, reading to children and leading storywriting contests, read-a-thons and book fairs.
    • Safe Horizon. Through a partnership with Safe Horizon, an organization that provides support to and promotes justice for victims of abuse and crime, Capital One works to raise awareness of signs of child abuse and the resources available to those impacted. The company’s support also helped to launch Hope Shining, a nationwide Safe Horizon initiative to increase awareness, prevention and support services for children, families and communities impacted by violence and abuse.
  • Financial education. The company supports groups and programs that promote a thorough understanding of financial matters and the credit system so that consumers can make better decisions about their personal finances. Examples of this include:
    • MoneyWi$e. In 2001, Capital One and Consumer Action, a consumer education and advocacy group, partnered to create MoneyWi$e, a national personal financial education program offering free, multilingual materials and community-based training opportunities to provide families in low-to-moderate-income communities with tools to achieve financial security. To date, 12 modules have been produced on topics such as banking, money management, credit, saving, identity theft, elder fraud, micro-business and homeownership, and the program has reached more than 3 million consumers.
    • Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park. In 2006, Capital One partnered with Junior Achievement to bring financial education curricula to students across the United States. Together, the organizations created Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park, a mobile version of JA’s successful financial literacy program that provides middle school students with the opportunity to study personal finance in their school classroom and apply what they’ve learned as they visit a mobile classroom that contains a miniature city where they become “adults for a day.” The mobile program allows Finance Park to reach thousands of students in previously underserved locations.
    • The Jump$tart Coalition. Capital One is a lead supporter of The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a group of 180 organizations and 47 affiliated state coalitions dedicated to improving the financial literacy of youth from kindergarten through college age by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Through this partnership, Jump$tart and Capital One work together as part of “Jump$tart Day on the Hill” to raise awareness among legislators of the types of financial education materials and programs we have available to complement their efforts to promote increased financial literacy among their constituents.
  • Community development. The company supports a wide range of community development initiatives. In this area, the company’s efforts are focused on strengthening low-income neighborhoods by supporting workforce development, affordable housing and small business development.

Capital One also offers several programs that leverage the knowledge and skills of its employees for charity. Under a pro bono volunteerism program that allows employees to support nonprofit partners by providing consulting services in areas such as legal, technology, brand, financial management and human resources management.

In each of its local markets, Capital One has established Community Corps Boards, teams of employees who volunteer their time to organize and implement volunteer activities designed to meet specific social needs in their communities.

And the company helps its nonprofit partners increase their capacity to serve their communities with an Executive Board Leadership Program. Through this program, Capital One places its executives on national and local nonprofit boards where they can apply their business acumen and leadership skills to improve the community.

Visit the company’s website for more information.

6/2/2016 12:00 AM

Companies should help educate their employees about noncash methods of giving in order to maximize their charitable impact.

Many companies these days—if not most—offer programs that help their employees find volunteer opportunities that fit best with their personal charitable interests and the specific skills they have to contribute. But few provide similar guidance when it comes to supporting a charity financially. Unfortunately, that means most of your workers are missing out on ways to provide greater amounts of support to their favored nonprofits in ways that fit best with their own personal financial situations, according to experts at Fidelity Charitable, a leading administrator of donor-advised funds.

“There’s many other methods to give that are beyond cash and are more advantageous for both the donor and the nonprofit,” said Matt Nash, senior vice president of donor engagement at Fidelity Charitable.

According to a recent study put out by Fidelity, very few donors are well-acquainted with the full range of giving vehicles at their disposal—many of which offer significant advantages that translate into larger donations in the long run for their chosen charities. For example:

  • Leaving money to charity after death allows for an individual to rest easy because they will have access to their money and resources while alive and possibly in need of it. Many seniors fear running out of money before they pass, and that can put a damper on donations, but bequests alleviate that fear.
  • Donating financial securities like stocks and bonds, or even real estate, allows individuals to avoid paying federal capital gains tax—which can reach up to 20 percent for long-term gains—allowing them to make larger contributions than they would otherwise.
  • Life insurance policies that pay out to a charity offer a way to support a charity after one’s death, and are especially attractive for those without family to inherit their estates.
  • Setting up charitable annuities provides donors the peace of mind that comes with a reliable, stable income source while allowing the charity to derive the profit that would otherwise go to an insurance company or financial institution.
  • Distributions from IRAs allow individuals to make charitable contributions while minimizing tax obligations on the distributions.
  • Donor-advised funds offer streamlined means for donating securities and other assets that some might perceive as too complicated to donate, especially among several recipient organizations.

Unfortunately, very few individuals make use of these alternatives to cash donations. Even high-net-worth individuals—who are presumably well-versed in financial matters and money management—eschewing them in favor of cash. According to Nash, the problem partly lies with inertia.

“Many donors just don’t think about it. They’ve always given cash, and the nonprofits they support all ask for cash, so there’s no need to look at other ways,” he said.

Corporate contributions directors have a role to play here, by providing information and educating their employees about the full range of options for supporting their favorite charities. Much of this information could easily be included as part of any broader financial literacy, retirement counseling or investment management programs offered as employee benefits.

Another possibility is to structure employee giving campaigns to allow for some noncash contributions—the easiest being donations of company stock (if offered), which should be relatively painless for companies to manage and even match if they have matching gift programs.

Companies can also offer to match employee contributions to donor-advised funds, and even help their workers set up their DAFs as part of their financial and retirement planning services.

The ultimate goal should be to help employees maximize their support for worthy charitable causes in ways that benefit them as well, from a tax and cash flow perspective, and serve their financial interests now and in the future. And with that goal in mind, Fidelity says, cash may be the least efficient way to give.

For more information, visit www.fidelitycharitable.org.

News Briefs
6/28/2016 12:00 AM

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has launched a new initiative to identify and support solutions for creating economic opportunity in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has launched a new five-year, $125 million initiative, dubbed PRO Neighborhoods, that aims to identify and support solutions for creating economic opportunity in disadvantaged neighborhoods around the country. The initiative will invest in collaborative partnerships and innovative financial solutions to revitalize neighborhoods by growing small businesses, creating health and social service facilities, improving access to affordable housing and collecting better data to study changing neighborhood demographics, the company said. PRO Neighborhoods will help create more widely shared prosperity by providing the necessary capital to local community development organizations to address the drivers of economic opportunity in neighborhoods. Key components of the initiative will include collaborative community development financial institution partnerships, affordable housing seed capital and data-driven neighborhood solutions.

News Briefs
6/24/2016 12:00 AM

The United States ranks first overall among four regions worldwide in its commitment to philanthropy, according to the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index.

The United States ranks first overall among four regions worldwide in its commitment to philanthropy, followed by Europe, Asia and the Middle East, according to the latest BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index. The index, based on a survey of about 450 high-net-worth individuals with at least $5 million in investable assets, ranked the United States highest in the category of amount given or pledged to philanthropy. The United States also ranked highest in terms of the portion of people who plan to leave at least a third of their fortune to charity. Meanwhile, Europe topped the list for promoting philanthropy and exploring new approaches to giving, and the Middle East ranked at the top for the fastest rate of increase in giving. The index also found that health was the top giving area in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, while the environment was top-of-mind in Asia.

News Briefs
6/20/2016 12:00 AM

Two sham cancer charities will be dissolved under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

Two nationwide organizations purporting to be cancer charities will be dissolved, and their president is banned from profiting from any charity fundraising in the future, under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. According to the FTC, Cancer Fund of America Inc., Cancer Support Services Inc. and their leader, James Reynolds, agreed to settle charges that CFA and CSS claimed to help cancer patients, but instead spent the overwhelming majority of donations on their operators, families and friends, and fundraisers. The FTC complaint targeted four purported nonprofits run by Reynolds and his family members that allegedly bilked more than $187 million from donors. CFA and CSS were responsible for more than $75 million of that amount. The other two alleged sham charities—Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc. and Breast Cancer Society Inc.—settled in May 2015.

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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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