Spark Good programs include our Walmart and Sam's Club facility grants; opportunities to use Walmart store and Sam's Club space for fundraising or raising awareness; associate engagement programs such as Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) and the Associate Giving Program (AGP); options for customers to give back to the causes they care about through Round Up and Registry; and Walmart fundraising and matching campaigns (through which Walmart or the Walmart Foundation match associate and/or customer giving).
We expanded the paths through which Walmart customers can support local organizations, allowing for more organizations to benefit.
Spark Good Round Up allows customers to round up their purchase total and donate at checkout on Walmart.com and in the Walmart app to a public charity of their choice. Whereas most round up programs direct customer giving to a charitable partner determined by the retailer, Spark Good Round Up empowers customers to select a charity of their choice.
The Spark Good Registry gives customers the option to purchase and donate items to charitable organizations through Walmart.com. Like a wedding or baby registry, the Spark Good Registry allows verified nonprofits to create lists of needed products, including gift cards, and share the lists with their donors and Walmart customers through the Spark Good Registry. Walmart ships items purchased through a nonprofit’s registry directly to the nonprofit — reducing friction from setting up collection sites and retrieving donations.
Other ways we engage with our customers include our in-store fundraising campaigns: Fight Hunger. Spark Change. and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH).
- Since 2014, Walmart and Feeding America have led an annual Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign to bring greater awareness of hunger in the U.S. and raise money for local Feeding America member food banks. Over the last five years, Walmart, Sam’s Club, participating suppliers, and customers have raised more than $114 million for Feeding America and its network of local food banks.
- For more than three decades, Walmart has been helping families in their communities live better by raising funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. In 2022, Walmart and Sam's Club associates, customers, and members in Canada and the United States raised more than $50 million, and since 1987, Walmart's CMNH campaign has raised and contributed more than $1 billion, according to CMNH.
Having a physical presence in thousands of communities through our Walmart stores and Sam's Clubs allows us to provide charitable organizations with space outside our facilities for their fundraising and awareness efforts. For example, The Salvation Army stationed their iconic red kettles in front of Walmart stores and Sam's Clubs, raising more than $34 million during the 2022 holiday season. In 2022, we piloted a new online tool that improves the process through which charities and local community organizations request the use of space in front of Walmart stores. The online tool can now be used to request space at every Walmart store and Neighborhood Market in the U.S.
Our Walmart and Sam's Club facilities aim to support those organizations that serve their local communities. Facility leaders can make in-kind donations to local organizations, as well as Spark Good local community grants, which range from $250-$5000, for U.S. nonprofit organizations through an open application process. In FY2023, Walmart awarded Spark Good local community grants totaling more than $45 million.3
We support the passion of Walmart associates to give back locally. Last year, we provided them with more choices by expanding the number of eligible organizations and lowering the barriers to participation in our Associate Giving Program (AGP) and Volunteerism Always Pays program (VAP).
- Walmart continues to match associates' commitment through periodic matching campaigns, and in November and December 2022, Walmart hosted the Season of Giving Back where we offered associate matching donations two to one, up to $2.5 million. Together, associates and Walmart supported more than 650 charities with over $4 million through Charities Aid Foundation America (CAFA), a donor advised fund.
- The redesigned VAP program now requires only one hour of associate volunteerism with a nonprofit to trigger a donation by Walmart, and the program also includes the ability for associates to set and track commitments for engaging in their community. In FY2023, more than 7,500 U.S. associates volunteered more than 180,000 hours through VAP, generating more than $1.7 million in Walmart donations.
Disaster Preparedness & Response
In any given year, our stores, clubs, and their surrounding communities face risks related to natural disasters; extreme weather conditions; regional or global health crises; and other catastrophic events such as war, civil unrest, and acts of violence. Walmart's focus on supporting disaster preparedness and response in our communities around the world can be traced back to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which helped us realize the difference we can make for customers, associates, and communities in times of disaster. Since FY2019, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation have provided more than $105 million for disaster preparedness and response efforts supporting communities around the globe.
Walmart's Global Emergency Management team maintains a constant focus throughout the year on disaster planning and preparation, through risk assessments, business continuity planning, and training to sustain business resilience in the face of disaster events. The Walmart Foundation assists communities around our stores and clubs with building their own disaster preparedness capabilities through grants to organizations like the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center Inc., which mobilizes to provide communication and technology solutions that connect survivors and responders during and after a crisis.
When disasters occur, Walmart focuses its efforts on ensuring the safety and well-being of our associates, resuming operations swiftly and safely for the benefit of our customers, and supporting impacted communities. Through our Emergency Operations Center, we are able to mobilize our Walmart logistics and operations capabilities to maintain or resume operations at stores and clubs, move essential products and disaster-related supplies to affected areas, and activate community support strategies including donating essential products to community organizations, and using our parking lots for staging and events including water and meal giveaways, laundry access, and health checks.
In FY2023, our Emergency Operations Center, stores, clubs, distribution centers, and Walmart.org team worked to help communities respond to events including storms, flooding, violence, fires, and heat. Recent examples include:
- Hurricane Ian. After Hurricane Ian made landfall in late September 2022 in Florida as a Category 4 storm, hundreds of Walmart stores, clubs, and distribution centers in its path were affected, losing power and suffering damage from wind and water. Many of our customers, members, and associates saw significant damage to their homes and were left without utilities and water. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated more than $6 million in disaster relief funding and in-kind support and used our store and parking lot spaces to stage water and meal distributions, host laundry and shower trailers, and offer complimentary wellness and injury exams.
- Hurricane Fiona. Hurricane Fiona left much of Puerto Rico without electrical power in September 2022, creating a need for mobile generators to power critical services. Walmart sourced generators and partnered with UPS to ship them to the Hispanic Federation's team on the ground in Puerto Rico. The donated generators were distributed to individuals and families with medical needs and were used to power community-based relief kitchens. Walmart also worked to get stores and clubs operating and the Walmart Foundation provided $850,000 in support to organizations helping with the Hurricane Fiona recovery in Puerto Rico and Canada.
- Uvalde school shooting. In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in May 2022, Walmart mobilized to help support the community's immediate and longer-term recovery by donating space inside our Uvalde Supercenter for a new clinic where a local social services organization could provide crisis support, mental health services, or other human services needs. Walmart also provided the organization with a $250,000 grant supporting comprehensive mental health services for the Uvalde community.
- Flooding in Kentucky. Heavy rain, flash flooding, and rising river floodwaters overwhelmed communities in eastern Kentucky in July 2022, affecting hundreds of Walmart associates and thousands of community members. Walmart, Sam’s Club, and the Walmart Foundation committed $750,000 in water, food, and funding to organizations providing relief, while simultaneously working to make essential resources like water, food, vaccinations, showers, and laundry available in our parking lots. Walmart drivers deployed our Mobile Relief Kitchen to provide hot meals to the community. Mobile showers were made available, and community members could do their laundry thanks to Procter & Gamble’s Tide Loads of Hope. Walmart also offered vaccination events in four locations, as floods can increase risks of tetanus and hepatitis.
- Flooding in India. When flooding devastated communities in Assam, India in the summer of 2022, the Walmart Foundation (through the Walmart Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, a donor advised fund) and the Flipkart Foundation together allocated $250,000 toward Doctors For You to supply relief kits with essential food items, medicines, and hygiene-care products and offer healthcare and psychological support to the affected population. As floods continued in several parts of India, under the initiative of the Flipkart Foundation, Flipkart also activated customer and associate giving campaigns to raise funds to provide additional critical medical supplies and essential relief materials for flood relief efforts in the country.