Giving back is essential, not only during the holiday season, but year-round. Nowadays, every big company has a philanthropic department that is active, at least from a public relations perspective. Nevertheless, there are corporations who do more than just claim they give back and instead, actually go the extra mile to be charitable.
1. Giv Mobile
Giv Mobile is involved in a lot of different causes and has partnerships with various charity organizations. From the Alzheimer’s Association to the Kids In Need Foundations, they donate 8% of your monthly plan amount to the charity of your choice.
TripAdvisor’s charity work is done through their affiliated foundation, The TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation. It focuses on helping low-income families both in the United States and internationally. However, a great twist on how it operates is that TripAdvisor employees get a chance to participate in the decision process of where funds go. Staff members can apply for a particular cause or organization to receive more help, thus keeping everyone involved in giving back.
PepsiCo is a huge company involved with a lot of different products in the food and drinks industry. Therefore, it also does a lot of different things on the charity front. The main platform is grants and endless donations to organizations, but it also helps in the disaster-relief field, like when it gave more than a million dollars after hurricane Sandy in 2012.
On the front of giving back, TOMS boasts a “One for One” concept, meaning the company has set up a system in which the amount of donations they make is proportional to their sales. This is a great idea as it’s a win-win for the consumers, the company itself and of course, the people receiving assistance.
5. Bank of America
Bank of America’s charity branch is the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. It focuses on three areas: hunger, housing and employment. It tackles hunger by setting up food banks and shelters. For housing, the foundation works on preserving neighborhoods through various programs. As for employment, the point is to connect better with the younger generation and the incoming members of the workforce through initiatives such as vocational programs, college opportunities and supporting small businesses.
6. General Mills
The General Mills Foundation is mainly focused on food donations, which you would probably expect from such a large food company. Although it also allocates grants like most foundations we’ve noted, it serves a mission to reduce food insecurity as well as improve early childhood education as so many of its products are marketed towards kids.
Target Corporate also focuses its efforts on children and hunger. Education is a huge part of its charity sector and one very popular initiative is giving schools a chance to win supplies for its students. As for hunger, it has a tight-knit partnership with Feeding America in place, and acts as an essential provider of foods and funds to keep this operation alive.
Verizon’s philanthropic work is done through The Verizon Foundation. It functions as the financier for grants, fellowships and other programs. It does not have a limit on the issues it will consider addressing, so organizations from virtually any field can apply and receive donations to help their cause.
The Starbucks Foundation is very active both in the US and overseas. Domestically, it focuses on community service and work programs for young people. And internationally, it has put an emphasis over the past few years on combining the source of its coffee beans with charity work, often working on improving those locations as well as promoting access to clean water.
10. Best Buy
The Best Buy Foundation raises millions of dollars each year in donations and then funnels the funds raised through several programs that mostly serve young college graduates and wrestle unemployment as a whole. In 2014, the foundation raised more than 3 million dollars and opened 8 new “Teen Tech Centers” in which teenagers can learn technical skills outside their classrooms.
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David is a senior studying Political Science and American Studies at Brandeis University. On campus, he's involved in Greek Life and works as a movie translator. During his free time, he enjoys playing basketball or catching up on his favorite TV shows.