Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To Target, Philanthropy Has Been Fashionable Since 1962

Target was a philanthropic company long before it was considered fashionable. Time and time again, they rise to the top of the list on just about every measure of philanthropy.

- $138,231,699 cash donated (Forbes, "America's Most Generous Companies," 10.22.09)
- $56,000,000 in-kind donations (Forbes, "Pro Bono Meets the Public Company," 8.5.09)
- 70,000 employees donated 315,000 hours of time (Target Corporation)
- 5% of income; among the highest for any company, anywhere

For years, Target has remained relatively quiet about all they do. To them, giving is just a part of their DNA, a part of who they are.  In their minds, you take care of the people you serve and you try to make each community you're in just a little bit nicer, a little bit better.

In recent years, it's become trendy for brands to tell everyone about all the good they are doing for society. Why? Because consumers have demonstrated that they are more likely to buy from a company that is socially responsible.

Yet, when I looked at this very cool Target ad and I read the fine print, I discovered what I already knew about Target - that they are not doing this to be fashionable or to use the corporate megaphone to announce to the world that they are doing good for others. For them, being philanthropic was fashionable way back in 1962, when they made a commitment to themselves. That commitment was to donate 5% of their income to the local communities they serve .... about $3 million a week these days.

With an impressive giving history like that, we should all feel a little better about shopping at our local Target.

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