Every company wants to make money, but some know there’s more to life than just counting up the profits and handing out bonuses at the end of the year.
Each year, the Chronicle of Philanthropy compiles a list of companies pre and post tax giving. This year, of 115 companies that provided data, corporate giving increased by 4 percent. Companies give to causes that help their business, but also to help their customers.
For instance, most of the 115 million Google donated last year was given to groups focusing on science and math education. UnitedHealth Group, a health insurance company, gave $2 million to the American Heart Association to create safe and accessible walking paths.
Click through this gallery to see six companies that are built to give back.
Photo: David Sacks/Getty Images
The Right Fit
For every pair of shoes you buy from TOMS, the company donates a pair of new shoes to a deserving child. They find communities that will benefit most from receiving the shoes and where local businesses won’t be negatively affected. But wait, there’s more. TOMS also sells eyewear and under their “One For One” program, when one person buys a pair of TOMS glasses, one person somewhere in the world receives much-needed eye care.
Photo: Stringer/Getty Images
Shiny, Happy People
Forbes reported last month that Alcoa, the aluminum manufacturing company, topped The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of companies that gave away the largest share of its pretax profits. Forbes stated that the company and its foundation share two philanthropic priorities: “Environmental causes and so-called STEM education, for science, technology, engineering and manufacturing. The environmental programs the company funds include an initiative to plant 10 million trees around the world between 2010 and 2020.”
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Burt’s Bees isn’t just another pretty face in the world of bath and beauty products. The company partners with Habitat For Humanity to build eco-friendly homes, and in 2007 they established The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, which is funded by a percentage of their sales. Its goal is “to help empower non-profit initiatives whose efforts resonate with our own mission, particularly in the areas of natural health and well-being, the environment and social responsibility.” The company also gives back in another way by working to develop sustainable packaging solutions.
Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images
Technology is the Future
One Laptop Per Child is a nonprofit that works to provide children in the developing world with a low-cost laptop. Their “mission is to empower the world's poorest children through education.” Initially, in 2007 and 2008, individuals who donated $399 to the OLPC “Give 1 Get 1” program received a laptop of their own, and OLPC sent another on their behalf to a child in a developing country. While that’s no longer an option, the organization continues its work throughout the world. AllAfrica reported in May that, under the OLPC project, Rwanda’s Ministry of Education hoped to distribute 200,000 computers to primary school children by the end of this year.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A Clean Start
When disaster strikes, most people don’t have a suitcase full of nicely folded clean clothes—or a box of detergent nearby. That’s when the Tide Loads of Hope program provides help with its mobile Laundromat. The company explains, “One truck and a fleet of vans house over 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day.” The Laundromat has been deployed in areas affected by floods and tornados, and it was most recently on the job assisting victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.
Photo: Staff/Getty Images
On The Ball
One World Futbol Project is a foundation that has created a soccer ball that never needs air and never goes flat, even if it’s punctured—and they’re rolling it out around the world. The group states that, “For every One World Futbol you buy, we give a second ball to a community in need through organizations working in disadvantaged communities such as refugee camps, war zones, disaster areas and inner cities.”
Lawrence Karol is a writer and editor who lives with his dog, Mike. He is a former Gourmet staffer and enjoys writing about design, food, travel and lots of other stuff. @WriteEditDream | Email Lawrence | TakePart.com