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4/21/2017 12:00 AM

Magna International’s philanthropy is focused on the core giving areas of health, culture, education and sports.


Magna is a leading global automotive supplier with 312 manufacturing operations and 98 product development, engineering and sales centers in 29 countries. The company offers complete vehicle engineering and assembly, and manufactures a slew of automotive components, including body, chassis, exterior, seating, powertrain, electronic, active driver assistance, vision, closure and roof systems. The company serves automotive markets in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. In 2015, Magna reported sales of about $32 billion and employed some 155,000 workers worldwide.


Magna’s charitable giving includes a mix of cash grants, fundraising support and employee volunteerism that benefits a wide variety of nonprofit groups serving the communities where the company has operations. Its core giving areas are health, culture, education and sports, although health receives the largest share. Some examples of major grants awarded by the company in recent years include:

  • The Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness. Magna awarded a $1 million donation to the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Recently completed and opened to the public, Peel Memorial was designed to be a new kind of health care facility, one that treats illness and injuries and also helps people stay well, manage their illness or disease and learn about healthy living.
  • The United Way. The company awarded a $5 million grant to the United Way of Toronto & York Region. The funding will support a vital network of social service agencies as York Region grows and diversifies. In making this five-year commitment, Magna issued a challenge to other corporations to step up and join United Way’s mission to strengthen communities and neighborhoods across York Region.
  • The Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. Magna pledged a $10 million gift to help build and equip the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital—the largest donation yet to the Mackenzie Health Foundation’s $250 million Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign. The emergency department at the new hospital, slated for completion in 2019, will be named Magna Emergency in recognition of the gift to Mackenzie Health.
  • The Milton District Hospital Foundation. The company awarded a $3 million grant to support the Milton District Hospital Foundation’s Our Home, Our Hospital expansion campaign. The Milton District Hospital expansion will add 330,000 square feet of space to the existing 125,000-square-foot hospital. Designed to address the needs of all users, the project will focus on meeting the care needs of those living in the Milton District, the fastest-growing community in Canada.

Magna supports a number of community groups and initiatives in its headquarters community through the Neighborhood Network program. Launched in 2008, Neighborhood Network supports the neighborhoods in York Region by linking volunteers and community resources to registered charities and nonprofit agencies. Neighborhood Network is dedicated to promoting volunteerism and recognizing active citizens who are giving their time and affecting positive change in their community.

The company is also a major host of the Wild Wild West Hoedown, an annual fundraiser that supports a number of charities and nonprofit organizations in York Region. What started out in 1987 as a backyard BBQ for friends and neighbors has grown into a premier event attended by thousands of local residents who enjoy the entertainment of exciting live country acts while supporting community causes. Today, the Wild Wild West Hoedown has become the largest annual fundraising event in York Region.

In addition, the company responds to natural disasters through the Magna Employee Disaster Relief Fund, which provides financial assistance to eligible employees and their family members around the world in the event they become victims of a natural or personal disaster.

Magna employees also are committed to giving back in their local communities. Magna employees volunteer their time to help charities and nonprofit organizations—doing everything from assisting at local hospitals to coaching Little League sports teams.

Visit the company’s website for further information.

4/11/2017 12:00 AM

Dairy Queen’s corporate giving program provides a mix of cash and product support to children and families in need in its communities.


American Dairy Queen, the domestic franchising arm of International Dairy Queen, is a leading franchisor of fast food restaurants, with more than 6,000 Dairy Queen outlets scattered across the United States. DQ’s menu includes standard fare like burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and salads, in addition to specialty frozen desserts such as DQ-branded cakes, pies, sundaes and Blizzard treats. DQ and its parent company are owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.


DQ’s corporate giving program provides a mix of cash and product support to children and families in need in the communities across the country served by its restaurants. Specific focus areas include:

  • Creating opportunities for special needs children that may not otherwise exist.
  • Promoting safe, healthy, nurturing environments where children can belong.
  • Offering educational, recreational and mentoring opportunities.
  • Supporting residents of low-income communities/meeting basic needs.

DQ’s most significant charitable partnership is with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which the company has sponsored since 1984. During the past 30 years, DQ operators throughout the United States and Canada have raised more than $100 million for CMN Hospitals. Its efforts range from asking DQ customers to “round up” their purchase totals to selling paper Miracle Balloons and holding special events like Miracle Treat Day to raise funds and awareness for CMN Hospitals.

The company also offers in-kind donations of DQ product (primarily Dilly Bars) to Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations that help kids and families who need it most in the Twin Cities. These donations can be used as treats to be given out at nonprofit program events, or can come in the form of DQ Dilly Bars for a Year Certificates that can be auctioned off to raise money for charity.

In addition to its corporate initiatives, many individual Dairy Queen restaurant operators provide cash and/or product donations to groups in their local communities. Typically, these initiatives feature free or discounted food products, and are focused on K–12 public school students. Some examples include:

  • Dairy Queen restaurant tours. Many Dairy Queen operators offer tours of their restaurant to kids in grades 1–4. Students who visit learn how the facility operates and the importance of cleanliness and hard work. At the end of the tour, students learn how to make their own DQ ice cream cone, and then enjoy eating it.
  • Student discounts. Recognizing that high school and college students are typically low on cash, Dairy Queen operators often provide discount cards or create affordable Student Meal Deals.
  • Product donations. Many Dairy Queen operators provide frozen cakes or other products for school activities, such as a class project, high school prom or graduation party.

Visit the company’s website for more information.

4/2/2017 12:00 AM

By actively aiding nonprofits in using Facebook to raise funds and attract supporters, the company has taken the notion of in-kind giving to a whole new level.

As in-kind donations and pro bono/skills-based volunteerism become more popular among corporate philanthropists, many companies are examining their core products, services and business expertise to see how they could be put to charitable use. In most cases, the situation is clear: A particular product or service can be used by a specific nonprofit in support of their programming, such as a donation of water purifiers given to a humanitarian group working to bring safe drinking water to rural villages.

But sometimes, the full beneficial uses of a product aren’t as easily seen or understood—by the company or the nonprofit. Such is the case with Facebook, the ubiquitous social network that virtually every charity is clamoring to leverage in their quest for donations. While everyone inherently knows the platform can be used to drive donations and garner supporters, it’s not eminently clear how to do that—the various tools, tabs and functions can be overwhelming, especially those in the older age brackets. Recognizing this, the company has tasked its own staff with developing tutorials to help nonprofits use the many sections and tools on the site to engage with supporters and get them to open their wallets.

To help charities start off 2017 with a bang, the company’s social good partnerships office—tasked with identifying ways to use the site for charity—posted on its website a list of a dozen ways nonprofits can use Facebook for fundraising. These range from the very basic—incorporating “donate” or “call-to-action” buttons on the organization’s page—to leveraging the newest technologies to livestream events. For example:

  • They offer tips for optimizing their Facebook page. According to the company, the goal is to present content that is relevant and that engages viewers on a “human level.” That means using Facebook to celebrate achievements and milestones important to your organization or field of interest; posting engaging “behind-the-scenes” photos and videos that give supporters a better idea of what you do and how you do it; and using visual media to demonstrate tangible proof of your group’s on-the-ground impact.
  • They explain the ins and outs of getting “verified.” Many organizations don’t understand that a “verified” page shows up higher in search results, which in turn attracts more visitors, and the “verified” badge lets visitors know the page is authentic, which builds trust among those worried about privacy breaches and other security concerns.
  • It shows them how to leverage Facebook Events and Facebook Live. Both of these tools help nonprofits engage their supporters, turn them out for events and boost donations, and Facebook’s tutorials show them how to use them effectively.
  • They explain the use of ads. Per the company, Facebook Ads can be a highly effective way to scale an organization because it enables it to reach outside existing communities to find new supporters, targeting individuals similar to existing supporters and generally getting posts seen by a wider audience. The company’s guidance walks nonprofits through every step in the process.
  • They offer in-depth training. For organizations planning on leveraging the social network for maximum benefit, Facebook now offers specialized training. According to the company, Facebook Blueprint is a global training and certification program that allows participants to take free, self-paced online courses on a wide range of topics to gain a better insight into how to utilize the Facebook platform. Participants learn directly from Facebook experts in Blueprint Live sessions, and test their knowledge via exams on their way to earning a marketing certification from Facebook.

These are just a few of the things the company is doing to actively aid nonprofits in using the Facebook platform to raise funds and attract supporters. In doing so, Facebook has taken the notion of in-kind giving to a whole new level—and nonprofits everywhere can benefit.

For more information, visit

News Briefs
4/26/2017 12:00 AM

An analysis of 2016 charitable giving data by nonprofit software firm Blackbaud finds that overall charitable giving grew by just 1 percent in 2016.

An analysis of 2016 charitable giving data by nonprofit software firm Blackbaud finds that overall charitable giving grew by just 1 percent in 2016, although some sectors performed better—and worse—than the average. Released by the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact, the report analyzes trends from more than $23 billion in fundraising revenue from 2016 and provides the insights from leading industry experts to help inform fundraising strategies. As in past years, donation totals varied based on the size and type of the nonprofit. For example, overall giving to large organizations grew by 1 percent, medium organizations increased 1.7 percent and small nonprofits experienced flat growth. Looking at program areas, overall giving to K–12 education and arts and culture sectors grew the most in 2016, and the health care sector experienced the largest decrease in year-over-year fundraising, with a 4.5 percent drop. Giving to public and society benefit-focused nonprofits saw a year-over-year decrease in donations for the second consecutive year.

News Briefs
4/23/2017 12:00 AM

In its 2017 annual letter, the Gates Foundation lays out the progress it has made over the last 25 years.

Bill and Melinda Gates have released their annual letter for the Gates Foundation, addressing this year’s letter to Warren Buffett, who in 2006 pledged the bulk of his fortune to the Gates Foundation, doubling its resources for tackling disease and economic inequity. As the foundation’s leaders explain, “It’s a story about the stunning gains the poorest people in the world have made over the last 25 years. This incredible progress has been made possible not only by the generosity of Warren and other philanthropists, the charitable giving of individuals across the world, and the efforts of the poor on their own behalf—but also by the huge contributions made by donor nations, which account for the vast majority of global health and development funding.” The full 18-page letter can be accessed at the Gates Foundation website.

News Briefs
4/19/2017 12:00 AM

PayPal reported 11 percent growth in charitable giving in 2016, processing $7.3 billion in contributions over the year.

PayPal reported 11 percent growth in charitable giving in 2016, processing $7.3 billion in contributions over the year, including more than $971 million raised during the holiday season alone, the company said. According to its final tally, a total of 8 million PayPal users in 181 countries contributed $971,213,604 to 282,053 charities, making 2016 the biggest year yet for end-of-year donations with the company’s payment service. As it did the year before, PayPal monitored giving behavior throughout the holiday season, using an interactive tracker that collected data on numerous fronts. An analysis of that data showed that the average contribution for the holiday season was $93, slightly above the yearlong average of $89; some 21 percent of gifts the company processed were made via a mobile device this holiday season, with 12 percent more gifts coming from a mobile device when compared to 2015; and the last day of the year was again the most popular day to make donations through the PayPal platform.


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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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