We believe that being a co-op obligates us to leverage our success in support of our members' ideals — recognizing that our success is due in part to the fact that we so closely share those ideals. Our respectful and supportive participation in all the communities affected by our co-op — from the smallest to the world community — is a core value that drives our actions.
We have a social spending objective to support and fund causes that are in alignment with our mission and values. As part of our commitment to transparency with our stakeholders, we report on our total donations and the specific organizations, causes, and activities they support each year. We encourage your comments and suggestions related to these activities — please email us.
The Frontier Foundation is one source of our social giving. It is a third-party administered fund, established in 2000 to make grants that “support dynamic, social, educational, and environmental causes.” Only non-profit registered (501 3c) organizations (or their equivalent outside of the United States) are eligible to apply for these grants.
The Frontier Foundation made grants totaling $50,853 in 2011. Disaster aid accounted for 44% of Foundation donations this year, the highest percentage in Frontier Foundation’s history.
Frontier Foundation Donations for 2011
$15,000 Global Service Community Fund (for education in a Well Earth-partner community in Vietnam)
$15,000 Kids Against Hunger (Haiti disaster food relief)
$ 5,000 American Botanical Council (research project on adulterants in herbs)
$ 5,000 American Red Cross (disaster relief, Joplin, MO)
$ 2,603 Especially for You, Race Against Breast Cancer
$ 2,500 Big Brothers Big Sisters
$ 2,250 Red Cross (matching employee donations to disaster relief in Japan)
$ 2,000 American Herbal Products Association Foundation (Botanical Safety Handbook)
$ 1,500 Matching employee grants to local charities
One percent of all of Simply Organic net sales goes to causes that benefit organic farming and organic farmers. An important part of our social giving portfolio, SO1% is making a difference for organic farmers around the world. The total amount of SO1% grants made in 2011 was $140,540.
Simply Organic 1% Donations for 2011
$44,440 Processing equipment, Well Earth partner in India
$29,000 Food safety upgrades, Well Earth partner in Guatemala
$20,000 Food safety upgrades and processing equipment, Well Earth partner in South Africa
$10,000 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)
$10,000 Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF)
$10,000 The Organic Center
$ 6,500 Processing equipment and research, Well Earth partner in U.S.
$ 4,000 Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association (FTSLA)
$ 3,600 Food safety upgrades, Well Earth partner in U.S.
$ 3,000 Food safety upgrades, Well Earth partner in U.S.
For more information about our Simply Organic 1% funds and donations, click here.
In early 2012, we made an especially impactful grant of $40,000 to build 49 wells in 38 villages in Madagascar. The farms are organized into a co-op that provides Fair Trade and certified organic vanilla beans. They became one of our Well Earth partners in 2011. We were pleased that we found such a meaningful way to help these remote villagers, who often walked several miles to the river to get their water. A visit by CEO Tony Bedard and spice buyer Kai Stark in October to visit the project brought us their wonderful story. Learn more.
The Aura Cacia Organic Fund has been in existence a little over a year. One percent of all sales of organic essential oils now goes to support communities around the world. The first grant from the fund was made in early 2012 for $14,106 to build a pre-school for rural Madagascar children of ylang ylang oil farmers. Our grant is paying for building and furnishing the pre-school.
Other donations include those allocated by the employees who staff our Community Giving Team. These monies go to charities, events and causes in our local communities where our employees live. The team also organizes the annual Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer and The Big Brothers Big Sisters annual Bowl for Kids' Sake fund-raiser.
A stronger area of focus for us next year will be encouraging more employee volunteer time. We instituted eight hours of paid volunteer time for employees but the rate of utilization was just over 25%. For next year we are going to create greater of the importance of volunteering and make more organized volunteer opportunities available. Our goal is to increase volunteer hours by 50%.
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