Small, Local Charities Get Meaningful Support from a Big Brand
Small non-profits looking for donations and sponsorships are often ignored by large brands with charitable giving programs.
Most Fortune 500® companies with charitable giving programs donate significant funds to big charities with nationwide reach – think of any large walk for disease prevention. Most small charities wouldn’t even approach a large company for a donation, and if they did, they are usually turned down, if responded to at all. Whole Foods Market is one of the best-known brands in the country and has a fantastic charitable giving program that gives back to small, local non-profits in the neighborhoods in which their stores are located.
That’s Bridget Isaia’s job: marketing and community relations specialist for Whole Foods Market; her territory is the 5-mile or so radius around her store in Evanston, IL. She works every day with local organizations to promote healthy eating education, sustainable farming, hunger relief, the arts, literacy, neighborhood-building and all around food appreciation. Recently, Whole Foods Market Evanston South donated organic hot dogs and other ingredients to a kindergarten class at Kingsley Elementary School that runs a diner each school year to raise money for charity. The diner teaches 5-year-olds how to apply for jobs, handle money, prepare food, and handle responsibility. It also teaches social responsibility; all proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations. This year, the class raised $900 profit in four days.
By donating the ingredients, Whole Foods Market helped keep the diner’s costs down, allowing the class to contribute a bigger gift than in previous years. The students decided to fund microlending projects; their $900 is estimated to fund 5 microloans in the developing world and lift 30 people out of poverty. Evanston South store team leader Niki Mohrlant says Isaia’s “vision, collaboration and willingness to educate, create and listen has inspired a region.”
Whole Foods Market is deeply connected to the local community because of its decentralized charitable giving program. Isaia has taken a hands-on approach to fostering those connections, from donating catering to hundreds of non-profit benefits, to serving grass-fed beef burgers out of a local food truck, to arranging volunteer outings to cook nutritious meals for seniors at nearby nursing homes. Her position, which is common within Whole Foods Market but rather unique in business, allows her to gain a personal sense of social responsibility but also gives a real hand up to local organizations. A contribution that would be considered insignificant to some makes a real difference to a small non-profit, helping them to do lasting work in the neighborhood.
Find out more about the diner here: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8701793
More About This Charity
Philanthropic Business of the Year
Whole Foods Market
- This Achievement raised $900 for the Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation
- This Business raised $1,000,000 in the past year.
- This Achievement helped 100 people.
- This Business has helped 1,000,000 people in the past year.