- Corporate responsibility is very important in today's climate. Corporate responsibility shows that a business is more about simply turning a profit.
- Companies usually choose charities that are related to the product or service they provide. For instance, food manufacturers often partner with charities like Feeding America.
- Charitable giving can be ongoing or in response to a national or local emergency. For instance, new programs have launched in connection with COVID-19.
With corporate social responsibility continuing to rise in importance, more and more businesses are choosing to donate their time, money and resources to worthy social causes. Whether they're creating in-house programs or partnering with other charities and nonprofit organizations, here are the top companies that are giving back in big ways.
Welch's + Feeding America: Fill the Lunchbox
Welch's Fruit Snacks partnered with Feeding America to support the Fill the Lunchbox campaign, with Welch's pledging to provide more than 1 million meals to children in need. The companies are also encouraging consumers to get involved by submitting photos of Welch's Fruit Snacks. For every photo the company receives, $1 will be donated to Feeding America. Consumers will learn about the campaign through packaging, social media and national advertising campaigns.
This Doritos campaign, which was nominated for a 2016 Webby Award, was launched as part of the It Gets Better Project, which spreads a message of hope and inspiration to LGBT youth. Consumers could buy bags of special, rainbow Doritos chips online, after sharing a quote of support and donating a minimum of $10. The hashtag #boldandbetter trended on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram simultaneously as it became a virtual meeting place for LGBT youth and their allies to display their support. This campaign, which was the most successful in Frito-Lay history, raised more than $180,000 in donations for It Gets Better. [See related story: What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?]
Wendy's + Uber: Ride for Adoption
Wendy's partnered with Uber to help find homes for children waiting in foster care. Uber gave a free ride to first-time riders who register with the code "4Adoption," and Wendy's donated $5 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This nonprofit works exclusively to find permanent homes for children in North America's foster systems.
"When it comes to the issue of adoption, Wendy's commitment doesn't stop at the doors of our restaurants," Liz Geraghty, Wendy's vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "With more than 100,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States, this partnership gives people an easy way to make a difference in their community and beyond.
SAP: Veterans to Work
When veterans re-enter the civilian population, almost all are searching for opportunities to learn specialized skills and get hired. Enterprise software company SAP's Veterans to Work program allows veterans to take a 17-week educational course where they can learn about SAP database and technology, analytics and enterprise mobility solutions, and receive career coaching and job placement.
Alex and Ani + Flying Kites: Inspiration in Flight
Popular jewelry retailer Alex and Ani is supporting Flying Kites, a nonprofit that runs a leadership academy for orphaned children in Kenya. The charm, which can be worn on the company's bracelets or necklaces, features a dainty, blue kite trimmed in gold or silver. Alex and Ani will donate 20% of the purchase price of each such "Inspiration in Flight" piece sold between now and December 2017, with a minimum donation of $25,000.
DoorDash + the United Way: COVID-19 community efforts
DoorDash has partnered with the United Way Worldwide to give back to households struggling as a result of COVID-19. The program allows DoorDash to deliver meals to those vulnerable in the community. The list of those served by the program includes the elderly, disabled individuals and low-income families. The food delivered comes from United Way's partnership with local food banks around the country.
TOMS Shoes: One for One
TOMS follows a business model that is known as One for One. What this means is that for every product purchased, a donation is made on behalf of the customer. For every pair of shoes sold by TOMS, another pair is donated to a person in need. The different subdivisions within TOMS also provide donations. The company's eyewear division provides funds for eye surgeries while the coffee division supports clean water initiatives.
Everlane + Feeding America: COVID-19 fund
Everlane has always followed a business model that emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community. The high-end lifestyle brand has worked with several different charities with the most recent being Feeding America. The company has created a "100% Human Collection" that provides 100% of all profits to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Fund. Feeding America's efforts include pantry boxes and drive-thru pantries to assist those in need.
Parachute + UN Foundation: Nothing But Nets
Many businesses provide temporary charitable giving funds. Parachute has ongoing efforts to benefit the communities they serve. For every bedding set sold by Parachute, the company provides malaria-prevention netting through the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets program. The company's dog beds can also be purchased as a way to donate a percentage of sales to shelter animals. Significantly, all returned items to Parachute are donated to Habitat for Humanity.