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5/18/2017 12:00 AM

LensCrafters’ charitable giving is focused exclusively on efforts to provide the gift of sight to those in need around the world.


LensCrafters is a leading optical retail chain, selling prescription eyewear and sunglasses through a network of over 850 stores in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong. The store typically has an independent optometrist on-site or located in an adjacent building, offering one-stop shopping for customers looking to update their prescriptions. The company carries a varied line of frames and lenses, many of which are manufactured by parent company Luxottica, the largest eyewear company in the world.


LensCrafters’ charitable giving is focused exclusively on efforts to provide the gift of sight to those in need around the world. The company provides a mix of cash, product and employee volunteer support, working primarily with global vision-focused nonprofit OneSight. Through a variety of partnerships with on-the-ground organizations in all corners of the globe, OneSight provides comprehensive eye exams, vision care and customized prescription glasses to people in need throughout the world.

Through charitable and sustainable solutions like OneSight Vision Clinics and Vision Centers, LensCrafters is helping OneSight meet the immediate and long-term vision care needs of the 563 million people all over the world still struggling to see.

LensCrafters employees and vision care specialists volunteer their time and expertise to train local partners to operate OneSight sustainable vision centers around the world, including in The Gambia and rural China, and closer to home in Cincinnati. LensCrafters and its partner doctors help equip and empower these centers to make sure the community has permanent access to quality vision care.

Independent optometrists that do business at or next to LensCrafters branches work with optical experts from LensCrafters to help OneSight by giving their time and passion to provide comprehensive eye exams at Vision Clinics and bring quality vision care to millions in need.

And through product donations and efforts of LensCrafters employees and doctors, patients receive high-quality eyeglasses customized to their prescription.

Some examples of the company’s support for OneSight include:

  • Serving the Sioux. In 2013, 80 LensCrafters employees and independent doctors volunteered with OneSight to provide quality vision care to the Cheyenne River Sioux in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, seeing firsthand the transformative power of filling a need for comprehensive eye exams and prescription glasses.
  • Bringing vision care to Mexico. Over five days, outside of Mexico City, LensCrafters and OneSight helped over 2,700 people of all ages get the vision care they needed. Many were elderly people who’d never had an eye exam.
  • Serving the needs of South Africans. For 13 days in October 2013, a team of volunteers helped provide sight to 5,000 South Africans during a OneSight Vision Clinic. In KwaZulu-Natal, there is only one optometrist per 26,000 people. During OneSight’s time in South Africa, more than 5,000 South Africans were given access to quality vision care and quality eyewear.
  • Expanding to West Africa. LensCrafters helped OneSight expand its services to The Gambia, where there was once only one optometrist to serve 1.8 million people. In 2013, OneSight opened its first sustainable vision center in Farafenni, The Gambia, providing the community access to comprehensive eye exams and affordable glasses. Since its debut, the sustainable vision center’s staff has seen almost 3,000 patients with an average of 107 patients seen per week.
  • Launching rural clinics in Thailand. Dr. Dana Kindberg, a LensCrafters optometrist, was initially inspired to go to optometry school after participating in OneSight Clinics around the world. She spread her joy for her chosen field by later volunteering to serve at a Vision Clinic in Thailand that serves low-income populations, including school children from rural communities.
  • Studying the impact of vision care in China. In China’s rural regions, Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program and OneSight are studying how access to prescription glasses can improve academic life for rural Chinese students, fewer than 5 percent of whom will attend college. Dubbed Seeing Is Learning, this collaborative program could have profound implications for China’s future as the country develops.

LensCrafters also conducts various eyewear collection drives and in-store fundraising initiatives in support of OneSight. Last year, the company raised nearly $3 million for the organization.

Visit the company’s website for more information.

5/7/2017 12:00 AM

Epson’s corporate giving focuses on the core areas of education, arts and culture, and environmental conservation in the communities where it does business.


Seiko Epson Corp., a subsidiary of Seiko Group that does business as Epson Corp., is a global manufacturer of printers of all types—including dot matrix, inkjet, laser and thermal printers—as well as the various inks and components that come along with them. Epson’s product line also includes projectors, scanners and PCs; electronic components such as semiconductors and LCDs; and other products used in industrial settings, including robots. The company has manufacturing facilities in over 25 countries and sells its products worldwide. In 2016, Epson posted sales of about $10.1 billion and employed about 7,700 workers.


Epson’s corporate giving program includes a combination of cash and product donations, and employee volunteerism, to support nonprofit organizations serving a wide range of program areas and constituents. Much of the company’s giving is directed to groups and causes serving the communities where it does business.

The company’s core focus areas include:

  • Education. Epson supports a wide range of education-related programs through the Epson International Scholarship Foundation, which offers scholarships and grant support for programs that promote in-class science education, the use of technology in academia and the application of technology in addressing environmental challenges.
  • The company opens up its factories to tours for local school students periodically throughout the year, providing insight into the application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in industry. It also provides its products to schools for in-class projects as well as extracurricular activities.

    And it supports adult education and workforce training through the Epson Information Science Vocational School, which it founded in 1989. Its purpose is to develop technical personnel who are trusted by the community and can make wide-ranging contributions to society.

    Most of the instructors are businesspeople or technical experts who have worked on the front lines of business, including some of Epson’s own employees who volunteer to teach classes. Classes are designed to ensure that students acquire technical skills they can put to practical use on the job. As of March 2016, more than 2,500 persons have graduated from the school, and Epson has made informal employment offers to 95 percent or more of each graduating class in the 27 years since it opened.

  • Arts and culture. Epson has been a corporate sponsor of the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival held every summer since 1992. The festival lasts for about a month in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano, Japan. As part of the festival, elementary school children and children from special-needs schools in Nagano Prefecture are invited to a special Concert for Children, performed by young children for their young peers.
  • In addition, Epson Taiwan Technology & Trading Ltd. has been showing movies at elementary schools in Taiwan since 2009. The aim is to use Epson projectors to bring the joy of movies to local children. To date, ETT has shown movies to about 110,000 people in 1,100 places.

    Since 2010, ETT also has been holding a painting contest that has a movie theme. Up to 1,500 works are submitted by children every year. The works are screened by well-known journalists and artists, and selected works are awarded prizes.

  • Environmental conservation. For the past 15 years, Epson Portland Inc. has set aside every April as a month to think about energy conservation and the global environment. During this month, employees hold a recycling event that collects hundreds of pounds of used electronics, paper and other materials. Recently, the company has held the event in partnership with the local government to collect harmful household waste. More than 200 area citizens brought in old paint, used drum cans and other materials that were taken to a waste processing plant, where they were all appropriately processed.
  • At its Epson Precision Suzhou Co. facility in China, the company has been holding parent-child cleanup events as a way to contribute to a healthy community environment and to educate children about the environment.

    The facility’s employees and their family members also participate in cleanups of local parks, and even take part in annual activities such as Earth Hour, a lights-out event where employees pledge to stop using electricity to draw attention to the environmental impacts of energy use and production.

    And in April 2015, employees from Epson Engineering in Shenzhen, China, volunteered to plant trees along the banks of Gong Ming Dam, a water resource protection area in Shenzhen, China. Some 90 employees and members of their families spent two hours planting more than 200 saplings to prevent sand and soil from washing into the Gong Ming Dam and protect this precious source of water.

Additional information is available on the company’s website.

5/2/2017 12:00 AM

Large peer-to-peer fundraising events have lost favor with the public, while smaller, novel events have grown. Corporate giving programs should adapt to this shift.

As more and more companies have discovered the upside to employee volunteerism and workplace giving campaigns—namely, boosts in employee morale and overall engagement—many have incorporated traditional peer-to-peer fundraising events like walk-a-thons and 24-hour relays to get workers enthused and involved with a charitable cause. But new research shows that public sentiment on these types of events has changed, and if companies still want to get their employees involved, they have to change too.

The latest data about peer-to-peer fundraising shows that large events—the largest of which attract supporters to numerous local events held concurrently across the country and bring in tens of millions of dollars in donations—have lost favor, while participation in smaller, novel events has risen. According to David Hessekiel, president of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum, this shift is due largely to the availability of easy and effective organizational and marketing tools that have enabled supporters to create “do it yourself” campaigns that raise funds for the same organizations, but through different means. These smaller events often capitalize on unique activities—for example, growing a beard, shaving one’s head or enduring some sort of extreme physical challenge—that catch on with the younger donor groups, at the expense of the staid, traditional campaigns.

Given that some of the larger campaigns are still logging solid growth rates—the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk were standouts—there hasn’t been a broad-based turn away from P2P campaigns more generally, he said. But the younger folks who are just starting out on their philanthropic journeys are looking for something outside of the traditional walks, jogs and runs.

“Millions of people still participate in walks,” he said, “but organizations need to work harder and smarter to produce programs that will grow and prosper.”

It has put the onus on nonprofits to create and constantly revitalize their programs to retain existing participants and attract new ones.

“Experience-hungry people may flock to exciting new concepts (e.g., spinning, obstacle runs, head shaving), but the longevity of any peer-to-peer program depends on getting participants emotionally involved,” he said.

Hessekiel also noted that some program areas, by their very nature, are better suited to success in the P2P arena than others.

“It has long been the case that most health-related issues have great potential to tap the power of peer-to-peer fundraising because the personal stories of patients, their families or friends lead to highly compelling appeals. There are successful social service (CROP Hunger Walk, Chef’s Cycle) and environmental programs (Climate Ride), but they are the exception, not the rule,” he said.

For corporate giving programs, there’s a good chance your participation rates are already reflecting these changes. If your workers aren’t showing up to the fundraising walk-a-thons that have seen success in the past, don’t fret too much—it’s probably not an overall rejection of the concept. They are probably just wanting something new and different to take part in. And with all of the new campaigns out there offering everything from the Ice Bucket Challenge to hair-growing contests, it’s likely you’ll be able to find something that piques their interest.

For more information about peer-to-peer fundraising, visit

News Briefs
5/27/2017 12:00 AM

Charitable contributions to U.S.-based colleges and universities increased 1.7 percent to a record total of $41 billion in 2016.

Charitable contributions to U.S.-based colleges and universities increased 1.7 percent to a record total of $41 billion in 2016, according to the Voluntary Support of Education survey, conducted annually by the Council for Aid to Education. The increase was driven by a rise in gifts from corporations and grantmaking foundations, the CAE said, which compensated for a drop in individual giving. According to the report, gifts from alumni declined 8.5 percent, and gifts from nonalumni individuals declined 6 percent. These declines come on the heels of strong growth (10.2 percent and 23.1 percent, respectively) in 2015. Giving from corporations, foundations and other organizations increased in 2016. Corporate charitable support of higher education institutions increased 14.8 percent. Foundations (including family foundations) contributed 7.3 percent more in 2016 than in 2015. Contributions from other types of organizations (including donor-advised funds) increased 9.8 percent. Foundations and corporations represented the largest monetary increases—$850 million each—of the studied sources of support, the report said.

News Briefs
5/24/2017 12:00 AM

The Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a $150,000 grant to support free tax preparation services in Michigan.

The Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a $150,000 grant to support free tax preparation services and other state resources that help families and individuals statewide as they receive their final heating bills from this winter, the foundation said. The funding was awarded to the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan to support a statewide coalition providing free tax assistance to financially vulnerable families, individuals and children, using Michigan’s 2-1-1 system for referrals to free tax preparation services. Part of the service is done through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, a service of the IRS that provides people who make roughly $54,000 or less with free assistance in preparing their tax returns.

News Briefs
5/22/2017 12:00 AM has committed $50 million to support nonprofits that are building tech-based learning solutions aimed at addressing global education challenges. has announced a new commitment of $50 million over the next two years to support nonprofits that are building tech-based learning solutions aimed at addressing global education challenges. The new funding, which builds on some $110 million Google has committed to education over the last five years, will focus on three areas where technology can help address gaps in education outcomes: giving more students access to quality learning materials, supporting teacher development and reaching students in conflict zones. The company has identified nine initial nonprofit grantees, which will also receive support from Google employee volunteers who will provide expertise in areas like user experience design, translation, offline functionality and data analytics. By the end of 2017, Google hopes to give grants to education nonprofits in 20 countries.


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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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