Though monetary support can go a long way towards affecting change, these nine names in big-business recognize the need for physical work, man hours and ongoing initiatives to improve standards for education, environment, equality and health, both stateside and globally. Rest assured that while each among our list of the nation’s most charitable companies will certainly profit from your support—they will pay it forward, too.
In 2012, Google donated $144,606,000 in cash and $1,000,000,000 in products—representing a total of 9.3 percent of their profits in 2011, according to Business Insider. Furthermore, Google regularly makes the most of their own resources to empower the community. Through Project Glass, any United States-based nonprofit is eligible to receive Google Glass, a trip to a Google office for training and $25,000 in grant money for their proposed Glass project this year. Five winners will be chosen, and for each winner, Google will provide funding and developers to make their respective Glass projects come to life.
Since 2010, Google has been using an international database and response system, contributing more than $21 million, to help prevent human trafficking by identifying and eradicating sexual abuse online and making it easier for people to report crimes against children. In order to protect wildlife, Google has given nearly $9 million to develop technology for tagging threatened wildlife and to reduce poaching by building ranger patrol guided analytical software. Google’s other unique charitable contributions include investing $40 million in after-school coding programs for women and minorities, donating more than $9 million to relief from natural disasters, supporting urban renewal and preserving historical landmarks—and even providing volunteers and matching employee donations through GoogleServe.
Aside from offering consistent customer savings through the Kroger Plus program, Kroger gives one of the largest profit percentages back to those in need. In 2010, Kroger gave $64 million to charity—10.9 percent of their profits from the year before, according to Business Insurance. The majority of Kroger’s charitable contributions revolve around food and hunger relief. Kroger’s 2013 Sustainability Report revealed a total of 200 million meals donated in 2012.
Kroger’s marketing campaign, Bringing Hope to the Table, generated $3 million in 2013. In order to serve locally around each grocery store, Kroger has consistently given more than $250 million annually in both funds and food items (Kroger Corporate). Beyond their effective efforts to reduce hunger, Kroger has worked to reduce their carbon footprint by 4.85 percent, recycled 32 million pounds of plastic, raised more than $8.4 million to fund USO programs and donated $21 million for breast cancer treatment, research and education (Kroger Corporate).
Target takes great care of their employees when it comes to benefits and work environment, which seems to fuel their desire to give back to the community. In 2013, Target employees worked more than 1 million volunteer hours to projects of their choice (Target CSR). Their new challenge is to increase their service by another million hours in 2014. Target has partnered with United Way since 1962, and Target employees have served more than 204,000 hours for the annual United Way campaign, as well as having donated $15 million to the organization (Target CSR).
Overall, Target gave $147,038,722 in cash and $76,554,400 in products in 2012—which equaled 5 percent of their 2011 profits, according to Business Insider. Along with dedicated community service, Target plans to spend $1 billion on education by the end of the 2015 fiscal year. Their current amount-to-date spent on education is $777 million (Target CSR), and the Target International Giving Program supports quality, accessible education for children.
Walmart was the single largest corporate contributor for seven years running, until the company took second in 2012, according to Business Insider. In 2012, Walmart gave $311,607,280 in cash and $755,868,381 in products—equaling 4.5 percent of the company’s 2011 profits. Their donations have supported nearly 50,000 charities (Forbes).
Walmart’s efforts have been focused largely on hunger relief and healthy eating. In 2010 Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together program gave $2 billion to fight hunger in the United States. In 2013 Walmart gave a total of $1.3 billion globally to fight hunger. More than 23,000 tons of food supported hunger relief organizations in Mexico, helping more than 4,000 children suffering from malnutrition. Walmart has also supported women’s economic empowerment by offering more than $100 million in grants (Walmart Foundation).
Global investment firm Goldman Sachs has established a wide-ranging network of non-profit and educational partners, continually measuring their results to reach maximum success (Goldman Sachs). They donated a staggering $241,278,912 in 2012—3.9 percent of their 2011 profits, according to Business Insider. The team at GS has implemented multiple initiatives to impact the global community. For example, 10,000 Women is a five-year, $100 million global program to invest in local economies through business education and mentorships for 10,000 underserved women. Another is 10,000 Small Businesses, which aims to offer available education, capital and business support services.
Furthermore, Goldman Sachs Gives allows employees and retired employees to recommend grants to eligible nonprofits around the world. Just in the past 4 years, this program has released 14,500 grants to over 3,000 charities in 38 countries. Community TeamWorks sets aside a day for everyone to volunteer outside of the office. In 2013, more than 25,000 volunteers served 900 nonprofits in conjunction with Goldman Sachs.
Wondering who replaced Walmart as top donor in 2012? That year, Wells Fargo took the top spot with their contribution of $315,845,766 million, according to Business Insider. This amount represents 1.3 percent of their profits from the entirety of 2011. Wells Fargo’s largest donation of $77 million went to NeighborWorks America to support first-time homeowners with their down payments in locations suffering from financial crisis. They have put the majority of their funds into low-income communities.
Another among their most notable donations is the $6.7 million Wells Fargo gave the Opportunity Finance Network in 2012 to provide banking services to low-income areas (Forbes). This past year, Wells Fargo donated a total of $275.5 million to 18,500 different charities (Wells Fargo CSR). In addition to promoting sustainable living, Wells Fargo has used their resources to supply educational programs, environmental projects and volunteer services. A total of $81.6 million has been donated to 8,000 educational programs in the U.S., $6 billion for environmental loans, $21.8 million in funds for 500 environmental nonprofits and 1.69 million volunteer hours contributed by 55,600 team members (Wells Fargo CSR).
BANK OF AMERICA
In 2012, Bank of America gave a whopping $182,999,588 to charitable causes, according to Business Insider. Bank of America’s primary concerns are community development, environmental awareness, women’s empowerment and the military. The company invested $106 billion toward community development for low-income communities in 2012, contributing to a total of $570 billion since 2009 (Bank of America CSR).
Bank of America has completed a $20 billion environmental initiative and plans to dedicate $50 billion to address global climate change over the course of the next 10 years. The company’s Global Ambassadors Program was designed to harvest leadership and economic empowerment for women in India, South Africa, Haiti, Singapore and Brazil. They’ve also hired 1,600 employees with military backgrounds (Bank of America CSR).
Chevron has a strong tie to Nigeria, granting $11 million to the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative Foundation in 2012 as part of their four-year, $25 million commitment to stimulate economic progress in the country (Forbes). In December of 2013, Chevron contributed $5 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention in Nigeria (Chevron CSR).
The company’s long-term partnership with Global Fund has equipped the charity with the resources to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. With the total $55 million donated, 8.7 million lives have been saved. Chevron’s charitable donations in 2012 came to a total of $262,430,000, according to Business Insider. Another large portion of Chevron’s efforts have supported education—in 2013 alone, Chevron invested $94 million in educational programs worldwide (Chevron CSR).
ExxonMobil states, “Good health is a springboard to opportunity, achievement and development.” This company-wide value inspired ExxonMobil to found the ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative, contributing to prevention efforts. Deaths caused by malaria have dropped more than 25 percent since 2000 (ExxonMobil).
The team at ExxonMobil also values educational growth, offering more than $818 million to educational programs, such as teacher training programs, through The ExxonMobil Math and Science Initiative. The ExxonMobil Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative has invested more than $70 million in women’s education in nearly 90 countries. More than 23,200 ExxonMobil employees and retirees have also given 776,300 hours of volunteer work (ExxonMobil). In 2012, ExxonMobil contributed a grand total of $213,374,183 in cash and $2,433,200 in products, according to Business Insider.