Since its inception in 1984, The
Through this giving The
Here in Canada The
We spoke with Helen Smith Price, president of The
What is the mission and vision of The
As the philanthropic arm of The
Our goal is to give back at least 1 percent of our operating income from the prior year. We give back to communities a portion of our earnings every year. The more our business earns, the more we are able to support our communities.
How does the Foundation decide which organizations or programs to support?
There are so many needs across the globe, and we can’t support them all. We receive thousands of requests each year to support many worthwhile community programs. However, each proposal is evaluated on a one-on-one basis to determine its alignment with the needs of the local community and our funding priorities: protecting the environment, empowering women, and enhancing communities.
How have the priorities of the Foundation evolved?
When I began working with the Foundation, I went back and read the development plan for the establishment of the Foundation and the minutes of the Foundation’s 1984 Board of Directors meeting. I wanted to understand why the Foundation was established and the expectations behind it. It was established to ensure a long-term commitment to community. I found a quote from then Chairman and CEO Roberto Goizueta, who talked about the opportunity and the responsibility we would face in the future, and that there was a need to have a structured and efficient vehicle for giving. There was a logical and well-thought-out decision to create this Foundation. When new members join our Board, I open each orientation session with this quote to ground everyone in the original intent of the Foundation. And while that intention is still intact today, our community investment strategy is an evolving process. In 1984, we were primarily a U.S.-based foundation focused on education and youth development programs. Over the past three decades, we have grown into a global foundation.
About 15 years ago, we conducted a survey to gauge people’s awareness of what
In 2007, we assembled a team of 20 global
How does the Foundation measure the impact of its giving?
When organizations apply for funding from the Foundation, we ask many different questions as a part of how we assess their potential community impact. Our grantees share projections on the expected results and impact of their work, and they have to provide ongoing reports to track progress.
How do you work with
The global scope of the
Why is corporate philanthropy good business, and why is it now more important than ever for companies like
Coca-Cola’s business is only as strong and sustainable as the communities it serves. And consumers today want to support companies that are philanthropic and make a difference. They prefer to do business with companies that are socially conscious. There is an expectation that the more a company earns, the more it gives back. And that leads into why, in 2007, the company made a public commitment to give back at least 1 percent of its operating income from the prior year.
We’ve reached a major milestone: $1 billion in grants. What will the next $1 billion look like?
Our philanthropic approach will always be in direct response to the challenges we see around the world. Today, we are focused on protecting the environment, empowering women and enhancing the communities where we live and work through education and youth development. Our goal today as well as in the future will be to improve the quality of life in the communities in which we operate.
Why are you personally passionate about the work of The
For more information on The