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1/10/2017 12:00 AM

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s giving is devoted to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and inspiring students to pursue careers in those critical areas.

OVERVIEW

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a leading manufacturer of analytical instruments, equipment and other laboratory supplies for clients around the world. The company’s product line includes gas chromatographs, spectrometers and other instruments for environmental chemistry and life sciences marketed under brand names like Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services. It serves clients in health care, pharmaceuticals, biotech and related fields. In 2015, the company reported sales of about $17 billion and employed roughly 52,000 workers.

GIVING

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s philanthropy includes a mix of corporate cash and product contributions and grantmaking via the Thermo Fisher Foundation for Science to support a variety of charitable groups and causes.

Much of the company’s giving is devoted to education—science, technology, engineering and math education in particular—and inspiring students to pursue careers in those critical areas.

The company has established partnerships with several leading nonprofit groups—including Citizen Schools, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Enactus—to support a range of STEM-related activities, including extended after-school learning opportunities for kids in inner-city schools, training for teachers in advanced placement classes and mentoring of college students through entrepreneurship competitions.

The company’s Innovation Nation program connects students with Thermo Fisher employees who inspire them to make a difference in the world by pursuing one of many available career paths in STEM.

Alongside this program, the company created a special STEM-credible Kit Program to address the shortage of supplies for students doing hands-on science in schools. The kits include personal protective equipment so students can conduct experiments in a safe and fun environment.

A substantial portion of the company’s contributions are in-kind. It donates a range of scientific equipment to nonprofit groups worldwide, who use the equipment to support researchers in developing countries, advance research into personalized medicine and promote STEM education through hands-on activities in laboratories.

For example, the company donated a mass spectrometer system and a liquid chromatography system to Students 2 Science. These instruments will enable the group to perform high-level quantitation of their routine laboratory analysis while providing the functionality and flexibility to expand their scientific research efforts and methods.

Thermo Fisher Scientific also encourages its employees to support worthy charitable causes in their communities through a matching gift program that offers a 50 percent match for employee contributions to charity.

Visit the company’s website for more information.

1/2/2017 12:00 AM

Due diligence is key to cultivating successful partnerships with celebrities, athletes and other high-profile supporters.

 

While many corporate charities might only see the upside in having a marquee celebrity supporter serving as their brand ambassador, drawing attention and donations to a new charitable program or partnership they are launching, there are some risks involved that could make such an association more trouble than it’s worth, experts say.

According to Drew Hawkins and Melanie Schnoll Begun, who handle philanthropic investments for high-profile, high-net-worth clients at Morgan Stanley, it’s important for companies and their charitable partners alike to understand the nuances of bringing on board athletes, entertainers and other high-profile individuals who can offer star power, cash and connections.

“If it’s not done right, it can actually do more harm than good,” said Begun.

In their work with a wide range of athletes, entertainers and their associated charities—including the likes of Goldie Hawn, Christy Turlington and the Amy Winehouse Foundation—Hawkins and Begun have learned the importance of due diligence before partnering up with a high profile supporter.

“There needs to be an honest discussion about the level of commitment the individual has for the cause and organization,” Begun said. If their heart’s not really into it, a celebrity might regret attaching their name to a group or project, she said. They might not fulfill the responsibilities they signed on for—in terms of appearances and fundraising support, for example. In the end, the foundation or nonprofit partner may be worse off because it wasted time and resources on an investment that didn’t pan out.

“Too often, not enough time is spent establishing expectations at the outset,” said Begun. “Both sides need to be really clear—this is a business relationship.”

Corporate charities also need to better understand the intricacies of celebrity philanthropy. According to Begun, where individuals are in their career cycle has a big impact on how they manage their philanthropy. When they first start out, they often will focus their attention on a cause they have a personal connection to, and leverage their new popularity to draw attention to it. But as their careers mature, their focus transitions to establishing a legacy that will endure after their star power has waned.

There’s also a big difference between how an actor or musician approaches philanthropy and how an athlete does so. According to Hawkins, most entertainers have had their careers develop over the course of many years, and their fame and level of influence has risen gradually. Marquee athletes, on the other hand, often see their stars rise literally overnight, and the results can be chaotic, he said.

“Many of these athletes are quite young and suddenly find themselves with a lot of money and high popularity,” Hawkins said. They want to do something to give back to their communities, often aimed at helping provide education or economic opportunity in areas where there was none when they were coming up. While that’s admirable, they might not understand how much it will cost in terms of time and resources, he said.

“The risk is that they overcommit—they sign on for all kinds of different charities and causes, and their star power gets a little diluted,” Hawkins said. “Their financial commitment might also be bigger than they considered as well.”

According to Hawkins, due diligence on the part of corporate charities and their nonprofit partners should start with a philanthropic audit to see what past commitments the individual may have made, and they should weed out anyone who seemingly endorsed or partnered with a charity but weren’t effective advocates. Did they headline a fundraising gala but then disappear from the field? Or have they remained a public supporter of the group and worked to spread its message far and wide? While there are times when the former is fine, the latter is usually the better of the two.

One thing to note: Just because an athlete or entertainer might be in the spotlight doesn’t mean he or she is comfortable with public speaking and, most importantly, asking others for money. According to Begun, many celebrities don’t instinctively understand how to tell a convincing personal narrative that connects with the cause or issue they are championing.

“This is a fundamental expectation—that they will help with fundraising,” Begun said. “But while they may be great at what they do, they are not great at asking for money. Many need some help and training in that to be effective.”

For more information, Hawkins can be contacted at gse_management@morganstanley.com and Begun can be reached at philanthropy.management@morganstanley.com. 

 

12/17/2016 12:00 AM

The Body Shop focuses its giving on animal welfare and environmental protection as well as human rights.

OVERVIEW

The Body Shop is a global manufacturer and retailer of skin and hair care products noted for the fact that it has never tested any of its ingredients or products on animals. The Body Shop operates more than 2,500 stores in more than 60 countries worldwide, most of which are franchised. It also sells its wares online and through The Body Shop at Home, an in-home sales program. The Body Shop is a subsidiary of L’Oréal.

GIVING

The Body Shop conducts its philanthropy primarily through the Body Shop Foundation, which was established in 1989 to support nonprofit organizations that work toward environmental and social change. The foundation is funded through the sale of specially designed and marketed Body Shop products and through various fundraising activities, many of which involve the use of end-of-line or discontinued stock sold as part of school or community fundraising drives or challenges.

Currently, the foundation focuses its grantmaking in the following areas:

  • Animal protection. The foundation supports animal rescue and general animal welfare groups, as well as wildlife conservation efforts.
  • Environmental protection. In this area, the foundation supports groups focused on climate change, forest conservation, indigenous populations and cultures, recycling and regeneration of natural resources.
  • Human rights. In this area, the foundation supports a wide array of groups focused on such issues as child labor, child sexual abuse, disability, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, migrants/displaced people, poverty and human trafficking.

Some recent examples of groups receiving foundation grants include:

  • Polar Bears International (Canada). Polar Bears International’s primary goal is to save polar bears from extinction through research, education and action. The main threat to polar bears is a loss of sea ice habitat, and the group’s education and action programs aim to raise global awareness of the problem and effect a reduction in greenhouse gases.
  • Get Paper Industries (India). A recent grant allowed GPI staff and associated producers to provide support for immediate emergency needs and the longer-term development needs in their communities, after the earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015.
  • The Ocean Sole Foundation (Kenya). The Ocean Sole Foundation raises awareness and participation in marine conservation by recycling, reducing and reusing marine and waterway debris. Through a variety of programs, the group encourages residents to take responsibility for their local environment, species and biodiversity.
  • The University of Brighton (England). The University of Brighton is an international provider of high-impact research in the field of health-related water microbiology. The foundation supports the university’s work to discover solutions to the enduring problem of infectious diseases associated with inadequate drinking water supplies and sanitation.

Visit the company’s website for additional information.

News Briefs
1/16/2017 12:00 AM

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation has launched a new initiative, dubbed Fill Your Tank, that will provide $60 million to address food insecurity around the globe.

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation has launched a new initiative, dubbed Fill Your Tank, that will provide $60 million to address food insecurity around the globe. The foundation will provide a total of $10 million annually over the next six years, divvied up as follows: $2.5 million to Feeding America to help fight hunger among seniors and children; $1.5 million to Food Banks Canada to support operations and infrastructure in food banks across Canada; $1 million to The Global FoodBanking Network to expand the work of food banks around the world, especially food banks in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain; and $5 million to local food banks and pantries in communities served by Enterprise. Beyond donations, the company is supporting the initiative with a hunger awareness campaign and through local engagement. Specifically, the awareness campaign will feature stories of what is possible when people are running on a “full tank” — that is, when they have enough to eat. The stories will be featured on the Enterprise website and its social media channels.

News Briefs
1/11/2017 12:00 AM

The Walmart Foundation has awarded a $5 million grant to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

The Walmart Foundation has awarded a $5 million grant to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University to aid in the expansion of its AmericaServes program. An important resource for the military community, AmericaServes provides access to a network of human service providers working together in local communities to ensure that accurate and timely referrals are made to veterans, service members and their families, the institute said. For many veterans and military families, navigating the maze of service providers post-service is frustrating, and support can seem hard to come by. The IVMF started AmericaServes in New York in 2013 to help remedy these frustrations, the group said. The goal of collaborations with local service providers is to help facilitate a successful transition and stabilization, and access to benefits and services for veterans and their families. The additional funds will support ongoing programs in New York, North Carolina and South Carolina, and will also support the launch of AmericaServes in Texas.

News Briefs
1/8/2017 12:00 AM

JPMorgan Chase is committing $75 million over the next three years to support women-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses.

JPMorgan Chase is doubling the size of its global Small Business Forward program, committing $75 million over the next three years to support women-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses. Small Business Forward is a global initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase to support small businesses with the potential to grow, offer quality employment and create economic opportunity for vulnerable populations and their communities by facilitating access to flexible capital; seeding innovative new funds with trusted CDFI partners that support underrepresented businesses; extending entrepreneurial support systems to underserved entrepreneurs and neighborhoods; and expanding opportunities for diverse, women and veteran founders within high-growth sectors.

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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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