Chief executive officers are the face of the companies they lead. It’s up to them to create a hospitable atmosphere and cozy culture, as well as prove their commitment to social good. According to a study conducted by Horizon Media, more consumers are making socially conscious purchasing decisions; in fact, 81% of millennials expect companies to publicly commit to good corporate citizenship.
The best companies are doing just that. They’re tying do-good efforts into their corporate identities and building partnerships with companies and charities that are in line with their efforts. Here are a few companies that are spearheading initiatives to dedicating time and resources to amazing causes:
The Gilead Foundation was established in 2005 to help improve the health and well-being of communication across the globe. Gilead was listed as the biggest cash contributor in the charity sector, having donated almost $347 million in 2015 . Locally, they support Healthcare for the Homeless Houston in Texas and West Alabama AIDS Outreach in Alabama. Internationally, they support the Global Alliance to Immunize Against AIDS (GAIA) in West Africa and the Accordia Global Health Foundation in Uganda.
Their main focus is to improve the lives of patients who suffer from life-threatening diseases — particularly in areas where medicine is scarce or nonexistent. Like other corporate giants, they work with healthcare professionals and nonprofits across each continent to help eliminate health care barriers.
2) Phillips Charitable Organization:
Charles Phillips, the CEO of Infor, one of the largest ERP software applications, runs Phillips Charitable Organization with his wife. The board members behind the organization have personal interest in and passion for the causes they support. PCO offers financial assistance and opportunities to single parents (several board members grew up in single-parent homes), engineering students (two board members have engineering degrees), and U.S Military veterans (several members have military experience).
Phillips built the charity as way of combating traditional charity organizations whose inherent bureaucracy and politics hinder recipients from getting the most effective care possible. Phillips Charitable Organization breaks away from typical programs by eliminating administrative overhead, which allows for quick decision-making. What’s best is that 100% of funds go directly to recipients: with a full volunteer-only staff there are no paid employees, marketing, rent, or fundraising expenses.
Google has a philanthropic arm called Google.org that financially supports various organizations making headway towards solving bold issues. In 2014, they gave GiveDirectly, a nonprofit that directly provides financial assistance to the poor, a $2.4 million grant. They also partnered with several other note-worthy organizations that they believe fall in line with core Google values. For example, the tech giant is currently working with Pratham Books to help translate books in India into the local languages of small, often-forgotten districts.
Other nonprofits they work with include Code for America (they develop technologies necessary to help job seekers access the resources they need) and Equal Justice Initiative (helping source lost data for minorities and build memorials for African Americans). Lastly, they offer $50 million in grants annually to help support nonprofits that aim to expand economic opportunity.
Microsoft is one of the most giving companies in the world. In 2015, their charity cash contribution totaled $135 million. Their philanthropic efforts include grants that provide educational resource for students, technology grants to help nonprofits improve their missions, and even employee grants to help fuel their passion for helping communities around the world. They are especially committed to helping children: through Microsoft YouthSpark, they work alongside nonprofits in 58 countries to provide young adults with access to computer science educations.
The Coca-Cola Foundation assists over 300 organizations in over 70 countries. Each year, they give back one percent of the company’s annual earning from the previous year. In 2015, that amount was $117 million. Its main areas of focus are: economic empowerment and entrepreneurship; providing access to clean water, water conservation, and recycling; and education and youth development. On a smaller scale, it supports arts and cultures programs in local communities, as well as the promotion of HIV/AIDS awareness in Africa and Latin America.
Each of these companies plays a critical role in helping aid causes that affect our world — whether it’s providing access to education and water or supporting disaster relief. This is especially important today, where nonprofits are being increasingly questioned on their validity and commitment to the cause. If you’re considering starting your own nonprofit or aiding others, it’s imperative that you do your research to learn exactly how effective that organization is, and where money is being spent.