According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are currently over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. With this magnitude of philanthropic options, charitable giving must be a matter of personal preference not only to individuals and small businesses, but also to the large corporations that understand its importance and want to make a difference. In 2012, the following industry-based companies each found their own way to give:
- Internet: Google focused its charitable efforts on causes that they felt particularly important including, but not limited to technology, girls’ education and fighting human trafficking and modern-day slavery. This year, they gave more than $100 million to various organizations around the world — including $40 million in grants that celebrate the giving season.
- Technology: Other companies such as Salesforce chose to donate their time and resources towards helping non-profits meet their full potential. On November 8, over a dozen nonprofits spent the evening working one-on-one with Salesforce employees discussing ways to improve how their website’s look and function. Organizations were given a list of priorities meant to increase their usability and in turn, their community awareness making it easier for individuals to understand their importance and become lifelong supporters.
- Financial: Goldman Sachs chose to focus their socially responsible efforts in four key areas; honoring service and veterans, building and stabilizing communities, increasing educational opportunities and creating jobs for economic growth. Goldman Sachs Gives made a $20 million multi-year commitment to construct the Promise Academy Charter School, a project of the Harlem Children’s Zone’s (HCZ). The commitment represents the largest private contribution to the new charter school building. The HCZ Promise Academy Charter School’s inaugural senior class graduated June 22, 2012. 100% of the graduates have been accepted and are spending the summer preparing for college.
- Fashion: Most consumers have noticed some major changes to the marketing efforts and overall image of JC Penney in recent months. In addition to changing their pricing strategies and adding a personal touch to each advertisement, the company began the JCP Cares campaign. This campaign is not only focused on the giving to charity, but also on the givers themselves. By giving consumers the ease of simply rounding up their regular purchases to the nearest dollar amount, The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign has received $1,398,200 this month alone. That is not including November’s donations and the proceeds to come before the new year begins.
- Food & Beverage: Kraft Foods began the Fight Hunger Bowl. In partnership with Macy’s and KGO, one meal is donated for every ticket purchased to each of three hunger organizations: the San Francisco Food Bank, the St. Anthony Foundation and the Glide Foundation. In the past two years, the Bowl has donated over 200,000 meals.
According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, “89% of entrepreneurs donate money, both personally and through their companies, according to a study by Ernst & Young and the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. What’s more: 62% say giving back makes their companies more successful in the long run.”