Silicon Valley Community FoundationIn December 2015, Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) awarded $50 million in matching grants to support 24,450 nonprofit organizations in the United States and 45 other countries, according to CSRwire.

This is the largest total to date, beating out last year’s total of $23 million in matching grants. SVCF gives matching grants through its partnership with YourCause, which is the leading Software as a Service provider of employee engagement resolutions.

YourCause provides companies with a variety of employee engagement techniques including volunteering and charitable giving.

Maeve Miccio, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for SVCF, said, “SVCF is proud to say that we sent more than $50 million in matching grants to nonprofit organizations around the world in 2015. We applaud our corporate clients and their employees who have made philanthropy a priority through employee engagement programs in their workplaces. Their gifts support everything from education to the arts to hunger relief programs, and their generosity is inspiring.”

Matching grants come from corporate funds, matching the amount of money donated to a charity by an employee of that company.

According to CSRwire, nearly one-fifth of the total matching grants SVCF awarded by December 2015 came from PepsiCo employees and matching grants from the PepsiCo Foundation.

“PepsiCo believes in investing in our people and in the communities where we operate,” according to Andrea Seek, Director of Global Citizenship for PepsiCo. “It is gratifying that our partnership with SVCF and YourCause has allowed us to help improve and strengthen our communities around the globe.”

Around 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies have programs to match employees’ donations with corporate donations, according to CSRwire.

Approximately $2.1 billion was donated by the U.S. in 2014 by companies around the world through matching corporate gift programs.

SVCF is the largest community foundation in the world and continues to work toward innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems.

Jordan Connell

Sources: CSRwire, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Photo: Silicon Valley Community Foundation

JPMorgan ChaseJPMorgan Chase has pledged $75 million to launch their new initiative. Its goal is to close the youth skills gap.

The initiative, New Skills for Youth, aims to address youth unemployment through skills training. The program plans to increase the number of graduates who have the necessary skills that high paying jobs demand.

To accomplish this, New Skills for Youth will gather leaders from government, business and education to implement an improved pathway to employment for schoolchildren. JPMorgan Chase will focus on two areas to improve career-focused education, with one being the local states.

JPMorgan Chase, along with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, will launch a competition among U.S. states to improve local career education systems.

The goal of the competition is the improvement of career-focused education that ensures a pathway to high skill, high wage jobs. To do this, states will convene local business, education and community leaders to determine the best way to improve preparation for and access to these jobs.

The CCSSO will collect a group of experts to review applications and select winners. With grant funding from JPMorgan Chase, the CCSSO will award $100,000 grants to 20-25 states for early implementation of career readiness programs that align with local skills gaps.

Later in the year, the CCSSO will award the best 10 states with additional funding to fully implement and assess their career-focused education. Each of the 10 states will be allotted close to $2 million over three years.

The competition will force states to create the best methods of closing the skills gaps in their areas. Also, students will receive an improved education that provides access to high wage jobs in demand.

The other focus of the two-pronged initiative is global innovation. New Skills for Youth will invest in schools around the world that are implementing new and effective models of career education.

The aim of the investment is to increase the number of young and low-income students who earn prudent post-secondary degrees and technical certifications. The initiative believes the best programs will be the ones that are aligned with emerging industries.

Many of the emerging industries are struggling to fill well-paid jobs. If students gain the necessary skills, those 21st century jobs could be theirs.

JPMorgan Chase plans to document the results of the New Skills for Youth initiative to help educators and policymakers determine the best approaches for closing the skills gaps.

This is an issue that is in desperate need of being addressed.

According to the International Labour Organization, almost 73 million youth worldwide are seeking employment. They are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.

Through JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills for Youth, youth around the world will have a better chance of attaining the skills needed to find meaningful employment.

Echoing this sentiment, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jaime Dimon, said to the website, “We are investing in high-quality career-focused education programs so that more young people have a shot at real economic opportunity.”

Andrew Wildes

Sources: Business Wire, ILO
Photo: Just Means

Food Companies Leading in the Fight Against World Hunger - BORGEN
One out of nine people in the world go to bed hungry according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The United Nations World Food Programme is dedicated to reducing global hunger by offering food aid to developing countries in need. WFP has provided food for more than 90 million people. WFP partners with and receives funding from a few well-known food companies.

Yum! brands started the World Hunger Relief campaign as the largest consumer outreach campaign on the hunger issue. It is the world’s largest restaurant company with more than 40,000 restaurants in 125 countries. It is leading in the fight against global hunger through the campaign, as well as through the mobilization of the 1.5 million employees as advocates for global hunger relief.

Yum! brands’ World Hunger Relief campaign has raised $100 million for WFP since 2007 with the help of global spokesperson Christina Aguilera. Yum! brands include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

PepsiCo is another partner of WFP. The company is more well known for its food and beverages than for the philanthropic PepsiCo Foundation. PepsiCo Foundation has donated $3.5 million to WFP to produce a food product made of chickpeas to help treat malnutrition in Ethiopia.

Unilever partners with WFP to make people more aware of global hunger through fundraising and campaigns as well as educational plans. They have targeted their consumer base in 13 countries in their campaigns against global hunger. Unilever has also assisted WFP in identifying what are the nutritional needs of the children to better help them.

Kellogg’s, though not a partner with WFP, does important work to fight global hunger. Kellogg’s donates over $20 million per year in food products for disaster relief and hunger. The company also has an initiative called “Breakfast for Better Days.” The initiative is focused on alleviating hunger specifically in South Africa, pledging to feed 25,000 children every school day in 2015. The company will dedicate one billion servings of Kellogg’s snacks and cereal for global poverty alleviation by 2016 and has donated nearly eight million breakfasts to FoodBank South Africa already.

An increase in awareness of global hunger has also increased the number of food companies coming on board to bring global hunger relief.

Iona Brannon

Sources: World Food Programme 1, World Food Programme 2, Hunger to Hope, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Kellogg
Photo: Flickr



Hard Rock Philanthropy
Raising funds for philanthropic causes around the world has been a commitment that Hard Rock pursues through the use of mottos, which can be seen in all their locations and sales.

The recognized chain of theme restaurants contributes to various humanitarian and environmental causes through the sale of original and sometimes limited edition Hard Rock products.

With the motto “LOVE ALL – SERVE ALL,” Hard Rock has been using corporate philanthropy as a business strategy that allows the corporation to support global and local communities.

According to the Hard Rock website, the corporation has been advocating and supporting humanitarian and environmental causes since its first day in 1971. The company supports various philanthropic partners, each tied to different mottos based on the causes the partners focus on:


These are Hard Rock’s philanthropic partners that focus on humanitarian and human rights causes:

American Indian Veterans Memorial, American Red Cross, Amnesty International, Bombay Teen Challenge, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Caron Keating Foundation, St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE), City of Joy, Crossroads Center, David Lynch Foundation, Fundacion Pies Descalzos, Global Angels, Habitat for Humanity, Holster Project, Hope North, Make A Wish Foundation, MPP HAITI, Music for Relief, Musicians on Call, Music Rising, Nordoff Robbins – UK, Pathfinder Academy, Pattanarak Foundation, Peace First, Roots & Shoots, The Mercury Phoenix Trust, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, TJ Martell Foundation, Vicente Ferrer Foundation and WhyHunger.


These partners focus on environmental causes such as habitat and animal protection:

Arbor Day Foundation, Farm Aid, Sustainable BioDiesel Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society and Cotton Conservation Initiative (CCI).


These are organizations in the entertainment industry that advocate for different causes:

GRAMMYs/National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Grammy Museum, LATIN GRAMMYs/Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Country Music Awards, MusicCares, Gibson Foundation, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Heard The World.

Hard Rock supports all of its partners by creating awareness, funding and by educating others about the different projects and causes for which their partners advocate.

Hard Rock also creates a variety of original products that are sold with a charitable purpose.

The company created the “Signature Series” t-shirt line as a way for artists to donate and do humanitarian labor by providing an original design to Hard Rock. These designs are printed on limited edition t-shirts and are sold in every Hard Rock location, as well as Hard Rock’s online shop.

Artists select charities from around the world and proceeds from their t-shirt sales are donated to those charities.

So far, Hard Rock has released 33 “Signature Series” t-shirts created by various artists including Imagine Dragons, Kiss, Linkin Park, U2, The Who, Bon Jovi, Shakira and Queen.

Current “Signature Series” t-shirts, as well as pins, bracelets and earbuds, are available in Hard Rock stores worldwide and online. The purchase of these items contributes to donations to different philanthropic causes.

Hard Rock Philanthropy is the humanitarian side of the Hard Rock company. With the use of mottos, products and partnerships with organizations and artists, Hard Rock is advocating to make the world a better place by loving and serving all.

– Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: Hard Rock 1, Hard Rock 2, Hard Rock 3, Hard Rock 4, Hard Rock 5
Photo: La Republica Firenze

beauty_products_that_donate_to_charityNowadays, there are many beauty and makeup companies that are selling beauty products that donate to charity to aid different humanitarian causes.

Fundraising activities, partnering with nonprofit organizations for projects or giving donations through sales of their products are some examples that these companies use to support and advocate for good causes.

Brands like The Body Shop, Kiehl’s, LUSH, Philosophy, Mama Sopa, Balanced Guru, UNE Natural Beauty, Murad, MAC Cosmetics, GIVESCENT and Ten Thousand Villages use some, if not many, of their products to collect donations through their purchases.

Each brand supports different humanitarian causes such as AIDS reduction, poverty, hunger, water conservation and animal and environment protection, among other things.

Here are 10 beauty products that contribute to charity when purchased:

  1. All Philosophy products: According to Philosophy’s website, one percent of the sales of every Philosophy product will go to community-based organizations that support mental health. The brand commits to supporting mental health and well-being through their “Hope & Grace Initiative.”
  2. “Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream” by The Body Shop: This hand cream was available to buy early in 2015, and is accessible in all The Body Shop stores worldwide. The purchase of this product gives a donation of £1.50 to The Body Shop Foundation, a foundation that advocates for human rights and environmental and animal protection.
  3. Ten Thousand Villages soaps and creams: Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer company that works to empower artisans in developing countries. The company sells a variety of products ranging from jewelry to bath accessories. Their skincare products, such as soaps and creams, are made in places like Ghana, India, Israel and Zimbabwe, and their purchase contributes to helping artisans in these countries.
  4. “New Charity Pot” by LUSH: The “Charity Pot” is a body lotion created with natural ingredients by the cosmetic brand LUSH. With every purchase of this body lotion, 100 percent of the sale is donated to different organizations supporting human rights, animal welfare and environmental conservation.
  5. “Shark Fin Soap” by LUSH: This is a limited edition soap by cosmetic brand LUSH. Made with natural ingredients for Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of this item will go to organizations dedicated to the conservation and protection of sharks.
  6. “Viva Glam” products by MAC Cosmetics: Created by MAC Cosmetics, “Viva Glam” is a lip makeup collection that donates 100 percent of the price for every purchased product. These donations go to the MAC AIDS Fund, which addresses the relation between poverty and HIV/AIDS and supports various organizations around the globe. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Ricky Martin, Nicki Minaj and Boy George are some of the artists that have participated in the “Viva Glam” campaign.
  7. All GIVESCENT products: This brand has a collection of Italy-inspired scents. The purchase of any bottle of GIVESCENT supports women worldwide as well as different women-centered campaigns. Some of the organizations that the brand supports are Every Mother Counts and Women for Women International.
  8. “Fund-raising Lip Balm” by UNE Natural Beauty: This natural product, created by UNE Natural Beauty, donates £1 to Plan, a children’s charity. The lip balm’s donations are destined to support a project by Plan that provides education to girls in Cameroon.
  9. “Live Beautifully Set” by Murad: This Murad’s limited-edition set includes an eye cream and an inspirational book by Dr. Murad. Ten percent of the sale results in a donation that supports the Murad Esthetics Scholarship Program through the Beauty Changes Live Foundation.
  10. All Mama Sopa products: Created for a social hygiene project for The Dutch Simavi Foundation, Mama Sopa is a collection of shower gels, soap bars and hand soaps with a good purpose.

According to an article published by The Dieline, every Mama Sopa product sold gives hygienic trainings by The Dutch Simavi Foundation to vulnerable mothers in East India.

Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: Philosophy, The Body Shop Foundation, Ten Thousand Villages, LUSH 1, LUSH 2, Mac Cosmetics, Give Scent, UNE Make up, Murad, The Dieline
Photo: The Dieline

There is overwhelming kindness in this world despite the cynics who doubt its existence. Kindness admires charitable work, but many people are unaware of the job opportunities afforded to them for pursuing that line of work. There is a strong drive for schools to support charitable organizations and give students a taste for it through volunteering.

Volunteering through schools is a wonderful way for students to network. More often than not, they learn a great deal about themselves by doing so. Maybe this is the kind of work that those great minds will want.

But, in order to get those kinds of jobs after volunteering, one must be adaptable. Change is the only way to make a positive difference, and to be open to change is to be open to new ideas. The job will always be a learning experience.

Also, reading and writing, no doubt, are very important skills. There are reasons why these are taught at such an early age. Those who write well and practice their writing often will be able to successfully compose reports and evaluations and better communicate with donors, grantees and colleagues. Also, analyzing proposals and interpreting data will have to be done in order to better communicate results. Communication skills as well as research skills are a must. Those who are best able to communicate their positions as well as stay informed in their field have a significant advantage.

Another qualification, of course, is the ability to comply with the law. There are laws that govern philanthropic associations specifically at all levels. The California Nonprofit Act of 2004, for example, states “Charitable corporations with assets of $2 million or more must prepare annual financial statements audited by an independent certified public accountant (CPA). The statements must use generally accepted accounting principles. The independent CPA must follow generally accepted auditing standards.” While, this particular kind of law might not be needed for every philanthropic position, it is useful to know that there are existing regulations.

There are many corporate philanthropy jobs, and people with all different skillsets are qualified for them. Here is a list of jobs that one can expect to find as an advocate for, and prospective employee of, a philanthropic association:

Grants Management: Director of Grants Management, Grant Manager

Charitable organizations receive grants as donations and give grants in return for advocacy, and it is up to these people to manage that money and keep it in check. Directors are generally more concerned with long-term planning and strategies for the future. The managers monitor grants and maintains grant reports.

Research Director, Associate, Librarian

They are in charge of researching and preparing reports pertinent to the organization that they represent. They assist all other employees in being fully informed of changes that occur within their concerns.

Director of Donor Services, Advancement Officer, Gift Planning

Donors, especially those who routinely give large sums, ideally wish for returns on their investments. Those returns can be in the form of tangible gifts or maybe a detailed report on where their money is going. This is yet another department that manages the foundation’s assets.

Human Resources: Receptionist, Office Manager, Recruitment Official, Computer Professionals, Director of Informational Services

These positions can be found in most large corporations, even nonprofits! These administrators manage the day-to-day life of the company or organization ensuring that information is distributed to other employees, donors, volunteers — anyone involved.

Communications/Public Relations

These are the people in charge of distributing information to the public regarding their cause/foundation whether they are snail-mail flyers or brochures in a hotel.

Program Director, Program Officer, Program Associate

Similar to the Grants Management personnel, they are in charge of analyzing grant proposals and managing grant making programs. They also conduct background research and help to organize and manage events put on by the foundation.


They manage assets and accounting, work with the treasurer and deal with all financial statements. So, when the foundations want to give a grant in exchange for advocacy, they go through this department.

Senior Management and Foundations Board

They oversee the inner-workings of the entire association. They have the uppermost abilities to make strategic decisions. A first-time jobseeker might not pursue this kind of position, however it is important for them to understand exactly what their position is in relation to other employees.

– Anna Brailow

Sources: California Registry of Charitable Trusts, Law Crossing, Philanthropy Network
Photo: VolunteerHub

Corporate Philanthropy
Although much important philanthropic work is done by volunteers on the ground, it is important to remember that some of the most significant contributions to worthy causes come in the form of monetary aid. Donations from wealthy individuals and groups are the life-force for nonprofit organizations trying to help those in need. Some of the most influential benefactors are large corporations which donate to causes as small as funding local sports tournaments and as large as making a stand against human trafficking.

Companies invest billions of dollars each year in efforts to make a positive impact on the world. According to the 2012 Giving in Numbers report generated by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), corporate giving is on the rise. From the survey of 240 companies, the CECP discovered that giving in the year 2012 totaled US$20.3 billion. This sum was a substantial increase from the previous year and continues the rise in corporate donations observed in the 5 years prior. From 2007 to 2012, the CECP recorded a 42 percent increase in corporations’ giving numbers.

Matched employee donations account for a large part of these numbers for at least 181 of the 240 companies surveyed. Per company, the average total amount raised from employee payroll deductions in 2012 was $2.33 million. The efforts of employees to donate to worthy causes are beneficial to the corporations for which they work as it makes the corporations, as a whole, appear more charitable.

Employees are more likely to contribute to causes when they have wide access to those that are important to them and are not restricted in their giving opportunities. In order to meet their corporate philanthropy objectives, some companies have begun to utilize social giving platforms that allow employees to form groups around the issues about which they are most passionate. An example of one of these platforms is Givelocity, a social network that allows people to join “giving circles” revolving around the issues users find most important. Companies that are comfortable with doing business online may find that these platforms provide a new method to get their employees involved in philanthropic activities.

These glowing facts and statistics aside, there is a dark side to corporate philanthropy. One might wonder whether companies donate to causes because they care about their impact or merely because they want to bolster their own success. Donating to the community creates a heroic image for companies both large and small, and the goodwill that corporate philanthropy generates can increase customer interest and improve consumer opinions. Although corporate donations are impactful now, one might worry that if generosity becomes bad for business, companies might choose selfishness instead.

Whether or not the motives of giving corporations are wholly admirable, it cannot be denied that the efforts of companies to give back to the community are effective in growing local economies. Corporate donations are, after all, derived from the community in the first place and are rightly used to generate income back in that community. In areas below the poverty line, companies are able to generate new markets and opportunities for people who may never have had access to certain products before. In this way corporate philanthropy benefits both the buyer and supplier. From a savvy business perspective, new consumer income is readily available to go right back to the company, but it also means a higher quality of life for those taking advantage of the growing economy.

– Katie Pickle

Sources: Houston Chronicle, The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire
Photo: Causecast

Corporate_Philanthropy_AwardsWhen businesses promote the welfare of others by donating some of their profits or resources, they are participating in corporate philanthropy. This philanthropy can be in the form of financial contributions, use of facilities, services, time or advertising support. Corporations often also set up employee volunteer groups and create matching programs. Some companies manage their own philanthropy, while others organize theirs through company foundations.

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) is an international group of business executives focusing on increasing levels of corporate philanthropy. The committee is comprised of over 150 CEOS from large-scale companies across industries that account for almost half of the reported corporate philanthropy in the United States.

Since 2000, CECP has honored two companies annually that stand out most in their Corporate Philanthropy Awards, according to its four Standards of Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy: CEO leadership, innovation, dedication to measurement and partnership. The committee identifies winners for the Chairman’s Award for companies with revenues of $20 billion and more and the President’s Award for companies under that threshold. These Excellence Awards are the widely-recognized form of honor for corporate giving. Every year, the committee collects an independent jury from various disciplines to decide the recipients of the awards. The jurors base their discussions off of companies’ applications.

The Washington Business Journal, Nashville Business Journal and Philadelphia Business Journal also hold annual Corporate Giving Awards Ceremonies on a smaller scale.

At the CECP Board of Boards CEO event in February in New York City, the committee announced that the winners of the 2015 Excellence Awards are PepsiCo and PwC US.

PepsiCo received the Chairman’s Award for its prioritization of providing clean water in alleviating global poverty. CECP presented the award for the company’s support for The Water Cellars for Mothers project, which provides residents of the Guangxi Province of China with access to safe water. PepsiCo has committed to providing over 6 million people with access to clean water this year.

PwC was awarded the President’s Award for its $160 million “Earn Your Future” commitment to promote fiscally responsible behavior to students across the United States in order to better prepare students for the future. In its third year of implementation, this multi-year commitment has reached over 1.2 million students and educators and has provided more than 530,000 hours of service.

CECP announced that after 15 years of presenting Excellence Awards, it is changing the award system. The committee hopes to expand its reach in the coming year to be able to honor more corporations for their dedication and success in promoting philanthropy across the globe.

– Arin Kerstein

Sources: 3BL Media, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, Double the Donation
Photo: SmugMug

The State Street Foundation is a unique organization that focuses on providing grants to deserving groups that offer services to the poor. By “actively engaging in our global communities,” State Street is able to empower impoverished people through education, affordable housing and small business programs. The company also assists businesses by offering financial guidance in investment, research and trading.

State Street mainly operates 25 countries; most of its programs are in AustraliaChinaHong KongIndiaJapanSingapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The organization’s vast number of volunteers and supporters work in low-income communities to create sustainable poverty alleviation projects. These volunteers worked 78,000 hours and completed 4,900 projects in 2010. Since its formation in 2001, State Street employees and alumni have contributed 430,000 hours and 15,600 service projects.

These projects vary based on the needs of local communities, but all have the goal of improving quality of life in these areas. State Street’s Supplier Diversity Program works with businesses owned by minorities and women to ensure that these small businesses have the same opportunities as other larger companies. Providing grants to these businesses helps them financially thrive, thus creating jobs and increasing economic growth for the entire community.

In addition to distributing local grants, State Street Foundation sponsors community fundraising events for charities the organization supports. In 2010, State Street donated $3.2 million to these charities. For these reasons, the company has won copious awards for its philanthropy, including the Custody Risk’s Mutual Fund Administrator of the Year and Transfer Agent of the Year (2013), Best Securities Financing House in Asia Asset Management’s Best of the Best Awards (2013), European Transfer Agent of the Year (with IFDS) in the 2012 Funds Europe Awards (November 2012) and numerous other awards since its founding.

State Street is a foundation devoted to helping impoverished businesses and communities and hopes to contribute to poverty alleviation, one region at a time.

– Mary Penn

Sources: State Street, AVPN
Photo: Time

Unique Philanthopy Programs
Many companies are embracing the idea of philanthropy for many reasons. It helps their image and it also helps recruit better employees who are socially responsible and want to give back more. Two of the most popular programs for employees to give back are companies matching employees’ donations, and offering grants to employees who spend their time outside of work volunteering for their favorite charities. But four companies are taking giving back a step further by introducing unique philanthropy programs to encourage more employees to do more for their communities and communities around the world.

These new and unique programs include:

1. No-strings-attached donations

2. Time off for volunteering

3. Donations based on number of years of service

4. Charity programs for family members

Each of the four companies has implemented one of these unique philanthropy programs to become a leader in the corporate giving world.


Ever since the major oil spill in 2010, BP has been trying to make right with its customers and the public. To try to make amends, the company created the no-strings-attached grants program. This program allows employees to choose to donate $300 to a nonprofit with no strings attached. The employees do not need to make a donation out of their own pockets, and they are not required by BP to volunteer for that money.


Not many employees can resist extra vacation days, and Nestle has taken notice. So to reward their employees who work outside the company as volunteers, they implemented a program that will give a worker two extra vacation days when they spend the equivalent of one day volunteering.


This company chose to reward loyalty with charity. Employees don’t have to give their own money or volunteer their time, but RealNetworks will donate $500 to a charity of the employee’s choice when they celebrate their 5th anniversary with the company.


CarMax is expanding on the idea of matching employee donations by also matching the employee’s spouse and dependents’ donations to charities that are close to their hearts.

Each of these companies understands the importance of philanthropy, but they also understand that innovation is key in this new world of corporate giving.

Katie Brockman
Source: Triple Pundit