Where does the Foundation donate money?
On March 20, media organizations reported on the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s charitable giving in 2017 (which is the latest tax filing available). This continues a long trend in what continues to be a misleading report that is driving an inaccurate narrative about our brand. We are here to set the record straight.
While some have questioned the motives behind our donations, we want to take a moment to reiterate the mission and focus of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, which has always been and always will be to donate to programs that support a diverse array of youth and educational programs nationwide. The 140,000 people who serve customers on a daily basis represent and embrace all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.
The story singles out three organizations the Foundation has given to in the past. To suggest that our efforts in supporting these organizations was focused on suppressing a group of people is misleading and inaccurate.
It is well-known that our Founder S. Truett Cathy used biblical principles to guide our business in its formative stages, and that we still uphold those same principles today.
We believe that the ethos of, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” accurately describes how we live and work every single day. These principles are lived out at our corporate Support Center in Atlanta and our more than 2,400 restaurants across the country. Some ongoing reporting, despite our efforts to earnestly provide the facts, implies a misleading narrative.
The principles that guide Chick-fil-A are exemplified in the customer experience we are known for. They inform our behaviors of giving back to our communities, allowing our Team Members time to rest and rejuvenate and nurturing people with good food and warm hospitality.
“Our intention is to have a positive influence on our communities by donating to programs that benefit youth and education and are welcoming to all,” said Chick-fil-A Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, Rodney Bullard. “We are proud of the impact we’ve been able to make so far and we have a lot yet to do.”
So, where does the Chick-fil-A Foundation donate money and why? The information reported as “new” in a recent article was actually proactively published on our website in October 2017. Here’s a breakdown of the $9.9 million in charitable contributions, gifts and grants the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated in 2017, and how Chick-fil-A continues to make a positive impact in our local communities.
FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES
In 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated approximately $1.6 million to FCA. These donations were used to fund sports camps and school programs for inner-city youth in various locations across the country. Many of the school partnerships afford students access to nontraditional sporting programs such as soccer and baseball, which are otherwise not provided.
Like millions of Americans who drop money into the red kettles every holiday season, the Chick-fil-A Foundation supported the Salvation Army in 2017. Our donation of approximately $150,000 funded several programs, including camps for kids and the Angel Tree program in Atlanta. As a result, 11,000 children in need throughout the Atlanta area received gifts during the holiday season.
PAUL ANDERSON YOUTH HOMES
In 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation provided approximately $6,000 to support a bike ride fundraiser, operational support, an annual Christmas dinner theatre for local children as well as a technology capital campaign. In 2017, a decision was made by the Chick-fil-A Foundation to no longer donate to the group after a blog post surfaced that does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all.
Chick-fil-A and Junior Achievement USA share a belief in the boundless potential of young people. That’s why in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $650,000 to Junior Achievement of Georgia and Junior Achievement USA. The donations supported Junior Achievement facilities, camps and Discovery Center programs, which provide realistic exercises to teach financial literacy, like maintaining a budget and learning to operate a business. In addition to the corporate donation, Chick-fil-A local franchise Operators support more than 20 Junior Achievement facilities across the country providing nearly 300,000 youth with access to training on entrepreneurship, workforce readiness, and financial literacy.
LOCAL GIVING IN ATLANTA
In addition to giving to youth and education programs nationwide, the Chick-fil-A Foundation also gives back in its hometown of Atlanta each year—especially to non-profit organizations serving Atlanta’s Westside. For example, the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated approximately $1 million to City of Refuge, a non-profit that seeks to eradicate poverty and be a driving force in social transformation, providing people of all walks of life with shelter, food, education, job training, youth development opportunities and more. The Chick-fil-A Foundation also donated $500,000 to fund a new YMCA on Atlanta’s Westside.
TRUE INSPIRATION AWARDS
In 2018, The Chick-fil-A® Foundation was honored to donate a combined $1.23 million in grants to 22 not-for-profits, located in 18 states throughout the country. The grants were awarded to local organizations focused on fostering leadership and entrepreneurial spirit in children in the local communities where Chick-fil-A restaurants are located. The Chick-fil-A Foundation donated more than $1.2 million through the awards in 2017 as well.
Now in its fifth year, the True Inspiration Awards were created to carry on Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy’s legacy of generosity, community service and dedication to inspiring children to become future leaders. The grants range from $20,000 to $100,000. Chick-fil-A’s franchise Operators nominate many of the organizations selected for this award.
In addition to our philanthropic giving through the Chick-fil-A Foundation, in 2019, Chick-fil-A’s Remarkable Futures initiative (funded by Chick-fil-A, Inc.) awarded $15.3 million in scholarships to restaurant Team Members nationwide. Since 1973, Chick-fil-A has donated $61 million in scholarships to more than 46,700 restaurant Team Members.
We are committed to transparency in our corporate giving. For more information, please visit chick-fil-afoundation.org.