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3/12/2018 12:00 AM

Crowley’s charitable giving is focused on education and community improvement in areas where it does business.


Crowley is a leading U.S. tug and barge operator and ocean shipping company serving domestic and international markets. The company offers a full line of marine transportation and logistics services through six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean liner services; Latin America liner services; logistics; marine contract solutions; deep sea petroleum transportation; and petroleum transportation, distribution and sales in Alaska. All told, the company’s fleet numbers more than 200 vessels. The company is owned and operated by members of the founding Crowley family.


Crowley’s charitable giving combines cash and in-kind contributions as well as employee volunteer support for a variety of nonprofit groups and causes serving the many communities around the world where the company has business operations.

Education is perhaps the company’s most significant giving area. Since 1984, Crowley has provided more than $3 million in scholarship funds to more than 1,000 students through the Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial Scholarship Program, which was established in 1994 by Crowley Chairman and CEO Tom Crowley Jr. The program awards scholarships to deserving students in the United States, Puerto Rico and Central America who plan to attend one of many colleges, universities and trade schools in those regions, such as the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Costa Rica, Williams-Mystic—The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, the University of North Florida, the California Maritime Academy and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

In addition, the company has awarded about $2 million in grants to education programs serving its communities. Each Crowley location selects charitable organizations to support through mentoring, volunteerism, fundraising and financial assistance. This support also extends beyond education to include many other program areas, such as health and wellness, basic needs, children and youth services, and disease research and prevention.

Some examples of organizations Crowley has supported in recent years are:

  • The American Heart Association.
  • The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
  • The Lifelong AIDS Alliance.
  • The March of Dimes.
  • The Ronald McDonald House.
  • The Ryther Child Center.
  • The Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial.
  • The West Seattle Food Bank.
  • The Vietnamese Friendship Association.
  • The Parachutes Teen Club and Resource Center.
  • Take Stock in Children.

The company leverages the time and energy of its employees to support many organizations in their local communities. For example:

  • The University of North Florida. Crowley helps the University of North Florida’s transportation and logistics students gain a better understanding of the maritime industry by participating annually in the school’s Big Sea Day event. Crowley employees lead activities designed to give these students a firsthand look at the maritime industry through tours and inside views of port and terminal operations, as well as the work that takes place aboard ships and tugboats.
  • The Buddy Program. Through the years, Crowley employees in Jacksonville, Fla., have made a positive and lasting impact on hundreds of local school children by volunteering for the Buddy Program, a mentoring program partnership with the Duval County Public Schools system. Launched by Crowley in 1992, the company’s employees volunteer at least one hour each week to mentor local elementary school children.
  • The Safe Harbor Maritime Academy. Crowley employees support the Safe Harbor Maritime Academy, formerly known as Safe Harbor Boys Home, which was founded in 1984 in Jacksonville, Fla. The school uses the waterfront as an educational facility for at-risk teenage boys and provides a safe, stable, structured, alternative home environment. Boys live aboard vessels, learning seamanship and maritime skills while also studying for a high school diploma.
  • Heart for Children. Established in 1998, Heart for Children has grown from a summer camp for low-income children to an after-school community center for urban youth. Crowley employees often volunteer at the center and host celebrations during the summer and the holidays. Crowley also provides financial assistance to the center.
  • El Hogar Pajarito Azul (Little Blue Bird Home). This home for abused and neglected children in Nicaragua serves approximately 104 children, teenagers and young adults. Established in 1994, the organization provides education, rehabilitation, specialized care, employment preparation and recreation to abused and neglected children. Residents receive education in various vocational fields, including sewing and crafts, printing and baking. Crowley employees volunteer their time by hosting celebrations throughout the year, visiting the home on a regular basis and participating in fundraising drives, while Crowley donates equipment for the baking room, freezers, baking supplies, first aid kits and other necessary items.
  • Fundación Amor y Vida (Love and Life Foundation). This Honduras orphanage provides a safe and loving home to abandoned or orphaned children suffering from HIV/AIDS. Founded in 1994, the home provides medical care to children and is sustained by a group of volunteers. Crowley’s employees in Honduras have supported this project since 2006 by organizing field trips and crafts, helping with repairs and maintenance and hosting educational days and celebrations throughout the year. Employees have also worked together to build a library and computer lab for the residents. The company has donated computers, microwaves, a dining room set, a lawnmower and apparel for children, including pajamas.
  • Casa de la Divina Gracia. Founded in Panama in 2005, Casa de la Divina Gracia serves as a shelter for at-risk girls who have been abandoned and/or have been victims of abuse. The home houses about 24 girls, providing them with all their needs, including clothing, food and education. Crowley’s employee team in the region has donated computers, school supplies, clothes and several other items the girls in the home need. Employees have also created fundraising events in the office, and several of them participate in the organization’s mentoring program, volunteering their time to visit the girls, helping them with homework and acting as positive role models and friends to them.

Additional information is available on the company’s website.

3/2/2018 12:00 AM

Experts say disaster-related giving is far short of what’s needed to support long-term recovery.

While the amount of cash and in-kind contributions to disaster relief from the corporate and nonprofit sectors might seem significant—it can routinely stretch into the hundreds of millions domestically—it is nonetheless far too low to adequately address the long-term challenges faced by communities stricken with major disaster events, experts say. And the results of this gap can be seen quite clearly in Puerto Rico, where—as of press time, several months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island—some 40 percent of its residents are still without power and much of the country lacks basic services.

According to Bob Ottenhoff, CEO and president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the total charitable commitment to relief efforts following the series of storms that struck the U.S. mainland and Caribbean in late summer/fall of 2017 topped $600 million. Some $335 million went to Harvey relief, $128 million went to Irma-related relief and $65 million went to efforts related to Hurricanes Maria and Jose.

“That’s not nearly adequate,” Ottenhoff said. “It doesn’t even touch what’s needed for long-term recovery.”

According to Ottenhoff, statistics show that about 70 percent of grants and donations to disaster relief come in within the first two months of the event. By the end of the third or fourth month, funding usually dries up completely. But the need for funding hasn’t abated at all.

“One of the biggest challenges is cleaning out or rebuilding homes, schools and businesses,” he said. In areas that have flooded, burned, been ravaged by winds or been toppled by earthquakes, the sheer number of structures that are rendered unusable can be astounding. And until they are reclaimed and put back in use, the local economy and civil society cannot recover.

There’s a downward spiral of economic issues, he said. First off, people can’t work due to a variety of reasons—for example, their workplaces are destroyed, or they have to stay home and care for their children because the local schools are closed, or they have relocated because their homes have become uninhabitable. This results in fewer people around to help with the necessary recovery work, like cleaning and rebuilding homes and businesses, repairing infrastructure, re-establishing social services and caring for those who’ve been injured during the event. And in turn, there’s fewer people to buy any products or services that might be brought back online as recovery slogs along, making it difficult for those who’ve reopened businesses in the aftermath.

And then there’s the challenging task of coordinating the various actors involved in long-term recovery, Ottenhoff said.

“There’s a crazy quilt of government agencies, funders and relief organizations, all with their own requirements and agendas,” he said.

What’s more, the major disaster relief agencies simply don’t have the capacity to handle the seemingly endless disaster events that come along, he added.

“I know of a number of groups that were working in New Orleans after the 2016 floods, and were pulled off of long-term recovery work to respond to the 2017 storms,” he said. “They are all overstretched and underfunded. Very few have the resources, volunteers or staffing to respond effectively to long-term needs.”

More funding dedicated to disaster relief would obviously help. But just as important, Ottenhoff said, is that funders of all stripes start taking a long-term, strategic view when it comes to their contributions to the disaster relief arena.

“Companies and foundations should continue to fund immediate response efforts, but need to start thinking about the full life cycle of a disaster event,” he said.

That means dedicating more funding to preparation and building resiliency among communities prone to disasters. For every $1 that goes into planning, it saves $6 in terms of response and relief costs, he said.

“Funders need to figure out some formula where they give sufficiently to address needs before and long after a disaster—not just during and immediately after,” he said.

Ottenhoff said he is encouraged by a trend among major corporations to put their products, services, expertise and employees to use in disaster response. He noted the efforts of UPS, which draws on its vast transportation capabilities and logistics expertise to move supplies to disaster zones and help distribute them to those who need them most, as well as Walmart’s partnerships with relief agencies, under which the global retailer delivers an array of much-needed food, beverages, medical supplies, clothing and other goods—leveraging both employee volunteers and on-the-clock workers.

“Companies and nonprofits need to establish similar partnerships now, so that they have things lined up well in advance of the next disaster,” he said.

Prepositioning resources—including disaster relief supplies and staff—in areas prone to such events is one way to ensure that responses are efficient and well-coordinated, and helps lessen the long-term impacts.

And evaluating ways in which new technologies can be put to use to help in all stages of planning, response and recovery will also pay off, he said.

“There needs to be more use of technology—for example, to manage supplies and resources and identify who’d been impacted and needs help,” he said.

Keeping the public informed of the continued need for donations and support in the months after a disaster may also help—after all, individual donations account for more than foundation grants and corporate contributions combined.

“Everyone needs to work together to ensure that nonprofit relief agencies are well-funded, organized and have the capacity to effectively respond to disasters,” he said.

For more information, Ottenhoff can be reached at (202) 595-1026 or, or visit

2/25/2018 12:00 AM

The Rexnord Foundation focuses its grantmaking on the areas of basic needs, education and the environment.


Rexnord is a leading worldwide industrial company composed of two strategic platforms: process and motion control and water management. Within process and motion control, the company designs and manufactures gears, couplings, bearings, industrial chains and other highly engineered mechanical components used within complex industrial systems. Within water management, the company manufactures products that provide and enhance water quality, safety, flow control and conservation. For 2017, the company reported sales of about $1.9 billion and employed roughly 8,000 workers.


Rexnord conducts its philanthropy primarily through the Rexnord Foundation, which the company established more than 60 years ago with the goal of supporting organizations and programs that improve the quality of life in the communities where its employees live and work. The foundation awards grants in the following focus areas:

  • Basic needs. These grants support organizations that provide basic support services in the areas of food, housing and care for those in need in the local community.
  • Education. The foundation supports community events and nonprofit organizations that give educational opportunities, expand horizons and promote cultural diversity while encouraging the pursuit of excellence.
  • The environment. The foundation supports local and global organizations that promote a viable world for current and future generations, provide environmental education, protect natural resources and foster conservation and innovation.

The Rexnord Foundation also awards college scholarships to the sons and daughters of U.S.-based Rexnord employees, and administers an Associate Matching Gift program, which provides a dollar-for-dollar match for employee donations to eligible nonprofit organizations in a wide variety of fields and program areas.

Rexnord also leverages the time and talents of its employees through organized volunteerism. Company-sponsored volunteer activities generally align with the foundation’s core focus areas.

For more information, visit the company’s website.

News Briefs
3/17/2018 12:00 AM

The Biogen Foundation launched a $10 million initiative to bolster science, technology, engineering and math education in Cambridge and Somerville, Mass.

The Biogen Foundation has announced a four-year, $10 million initiative to bolster the development of local science, technology, engineering and math education in Cambridge and Somerville, Mass. According to the foundation, its STAR Initiative—for Science, Teacher support, Access and Readiness—is intended to strengthen and support educational offerings in these cities by helping increase access to STEM resources and opportunities for students currently underrepresented in STEM college or career pathways. Through a coordinated network of grantees, STAR will help low-income students develop and sustain their interest in STEM, gain necessary STEM exposure and enrichment opportunities, and successfully transition into postsecondary education in pursuit of STEM careers, the foundation said. The foundation will soon be soliciting proposals from nonprofits providing services in the areas of STEM access, exploration and preparedness for students in grades 6–12. Successful applicants will partner with Cambridge and/or Somerville public schools by providing in- or out-of-school STEM awareness, exploration and skill-building support and activities.

News Briefs
3/15/2018 12:00 AM

Wells Fargo awarded $18 million to the United Way to support job training and employment initiatives.

Wells Fargo & Co. has awarded an $18 million grant to United Way Worldwide to support the organization’s efforts to help one million people find jobs that allow them to better support their families and strengthen their communities, within five years. To reach that goal, the United Way will build on the success of its affiliates, such as the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, that have established job training and employment strategies. Its initiative, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, is a collaboration of more than 150 organizations that have prepared more than 11,000 residents for good jobs in growing industries like health care, advanced manufacturing and logistics, the group said. The organization is focusing on jobs because of how central they are to the health, education and financial stability of individuals and communities—the three core pillars of the United Way’s mission. Unfortunately, too many people lack the skills and training needed for the jobs of the 21st century, the group said. For its part, Wells Fargo has contributed more than $510 million to the United Way since 2009, through grants, campaign support and sponsorship, financial education programs and international donor-advised giving. The company also created a Financial Capability Network in partnership with the United Way that has helped more than 30,000 low-income families take important steps toward financial stability.

News Briefs
3/10/2018 12:00 AM

The CVS Health Foundation has awarded $550,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association to enhance disease diagnosis and assessment.

The CVS Health Foundation has awarded $550,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association, extending its support for a new program to enhance disease diagnosis and assessment with clinicians while also educating them about care and support programs available to help families following a diagnosis. The grant, which will be distributed among six local Alzheimer’s Association chapters, brings the foundation’s total contribution to more than $1 million since 2016. According to the foundation, the new commitment builds upon support that began in 2016 with the goal to increase diagnosis, disclosure and education for Alzheimer’s disease. The six local chapters that have benefited from this support have all shown significant progress toward their goals of partnering with health care providers to enhance their ability to detect, diagnose and care for individuals living with the disease and their caregivers, the foundation said. The new funding will allow the chapters to continue their work to expand health care provider outreach and expand the automatic referral process for education and care consultations, with the goal of increasing the number of people in each chapter with access to care.


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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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