Corporate Relations & Engagement

The Philanthropy of a Corporate Cheat: Volkswagen
October 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

The scandal of Volkswagen, the German automaker, and its intentional marketing of diesel cars with fraudulent pollution measuring and monitoring software meant to circumvent polluting exhaust standards, has trumped the General Motors ignition defect scandal as potentially the worst example of corporate dishonesty in recent years. Volkswagen is a mammoth German company, employing 270,000 people…

Why Did Indian Rodeo Reject 'Redskins' Name and Dan Snyder's Money?
September 25, 2015 at 10:33 am

The Native American tribe leading the fight to change the Washington Redskins name is locked in a dispute—one that includes accusations of lying, bribery and exploitation—with the foundation that team owner Dan Snyder created to help Indians in need. On one side is the Oneida Indian Nation, backed by millions of dollars in casino money,…

Target Will End School Charity Program, Shift Giving Focus to Wellness
September 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

Target Corp. is ending a trademark giving program through which it has sent hundreds of millions of dollars to schools over nearly two decades. The Minneapolis-based retailer began notifying schools on Monday that it will discontinue its “Take Charge of Education” program, through which the company donates 1 percent of Redcard holders’ purchase total to…

Strengthen Community Partnerships by Hitting the Bull’s-Eye
August 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Do you have a strategic plan, operational plan, target markets or bull’s-eye target in mind to determine and strengthen community partnerships? A simple exercise consisting of three steps may help any nonprofit executive determine how to strengthen community partnerships going forward...

The Red Cross, Uber, and the Danger of Corporate/Nonprofit Partnerships
August 11, 2015 at 2:40 pm

A partnership between Uber and the Red Cross in New Zealand was announced this week. A similar partnership between Uber and the American Red Cross earlier in the month went almost unnoticed. How come? The clue may be in the recent abandoning of a plan for Uber to partner with UN Women, as reported in…

Tricky Questions on Corporate Philanthropy at Walmart and Beyond
June 25, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Walmart's eighth annual Global Responsibility report came out not long ago, and it suggests that the company is feeling pretty proud of itself. It boosted its minimum wage for associates to $9 an hour in April of this year and will boost it again to $10 in February 2016. That will cost them $1 billion,…

Win That Pitch! 7 Common Mistakes to Aviod That Harm Your Chances
June 26, 2014

I’ve spent 14 years as a fundraiser, pitch coach and trainer to fundraisers. And after conducting interviews with some of the most successful pitchers on the planet, I have noticed fascinating patterns in how the regular winners approach pitch design. Their habits are different from those who work hard but usually fail to get through. Here are seven of the mistakes that are most likely to sabotage all the hard work — and how to solve them.


7 Types of Corporate-Giving Programs
June 16, 2014

Every organization’s revenue stream is different, but for most, at least a portion of fundraising comes from corporate support. Besides traditional corporate grants, which you apply for directly through a company’s grant-making arm, corporations offer a variety of programs to give back to communities where their employees live and work. Collectively, corporate philanthropy accounts for nearly $15 billion in annual giving to nonprofits.

You might be surprised at the number of ways that corporations spread around their corporate giving dollars. Here are some of the most common.

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota Among Minnesota's Fastest Growing Retailers
April 28, 2014

While many big merchants are struggling to sustain their sales, one of the fastest growing retailers in Minnesota is a nonprofit. Sales at the thrift stores of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota have been soaring thanks to a surge in the opening of new stores beyond the urban core. Consumers' growing frugality is also boosting sales. In the past three years, Goodwill's retail sales have jumped about 75 percent to $67 million, a growth rate any business executive would be happy to brag about.

Online Gambling Site Aims to Make Charities the Winners
April 28, 2014

A new website created by the co-author of "Freakonomics" allows donors to combine support for their favorite charities with online gambling. For a small fee (say, $1 or $5), Spin for Good allows people to enter online slots or blackjack tournaments. The winner’s take then goes to a charity the player chooses from a list of more than two dozen organizations that have struck partnerships with the site. (Participation for nonprofits is free.)