Customers and associates contribute an additional $106 million through company-sponsored fundraisers – bringing total 2007 U.S. giving to more than $400 million; Retailer expects to be named America’s largest corporate cash contributor for third consecutive year
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BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 25, 2008 – In honor of National Corporate Philanthropy Day, today Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announces that the company and its Foundation gave $296 million in 2007 – $5.6 million per week – benefiting more than 4,000 U.S. communities. Donations last year reflected a $24 million increase over giving in 2006.
Additionally, Wal-Mart customers and associates again proved to be some of the most generous in the nation, donating $106 million through individual contributions and company-sponsored fundraisers, bringing total 2007 U.S. giving to more than $400 million. For the last two years, Wal-Mart has been recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest corporate cash contributor in America. The company expects that today’s announcement will confirm this position for Wal-Mart for the third consecutive year.
“We are proud to be in a position to make a real difference, not just through donations made by the company, but also by encouraging others to give,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “Our support last year helped students return to the classroom, local children’s hospitals care for terminally ill youth, disaster relief agencies pick up the pieces following natural disasters, and with many other important charitable causes across the country.”
Since the company was founded in 1962, corporate giving at Wal-Mart has been governed by a philosophy to “give back locally.” The majority of Wal-Mart’s giving occurs at the store- and club-level as each Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club location is encouraged to support its local community.
Examples of 2007 U.S. giving include:
• Education – Supporting education continues to be a focus for Wal-Mart and its foundation as $67 million went to back efforts in these areas. Through company-sponsored scholarship programs, 7,200 students received $7.2 million to continue their post-secondary education. Wal-Mart also recognized more than 4,000 teachers across the U.S. through its 12th annual Teacher of the Year program, providing more than $5 million to schools in every community where the company has a presence. Other funding went to support initiatives focused on improving high school graduation and adolescent literacy rates, as well as other causes.
• Hunger relief – America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest charitable hunger-relief organization, continues to be an important partner in Wal-Mart’s efforts to help feed the nation’s hungry. The Wal-Mart Foundation in 2007 gave $5 million to America’s Second Harvest food banks, coupled with more than $35 million in product donations provided by the company. In December, Wal-Mart was the first corporation to respond to a nationwide food shortage in food banks by sending 3 million meals in specially dispatched trucks to food banks servicing every state in the nation.
• Environmental sustainability – Wal-Mart continues to be a leader in environmental sustainability, and last year gave more than $6 million to support sustainability philanthropic causes. Partnerships in these initiatives included the Rocky Mountain Institute and the University of Arkansas’ Applied Sustainability Center, among others. Additionally, $800,000 was awarded to approximately 2,300 elementary schools in 12 states for students’ recycling efforts through the Wal-Mart Foundation’s Kids Recycling Challenge program.
• Health care – Children’s Miracle Network, a national organization that aids children’s hospitals across the country, is one of the most significant recipients of Wal-Mart giving. In 2007 – the 20th year of the partnership between the two organizations – it is estimated that the company and its customers provided more than $39 million in support of local children’s hospitals across North America, including more than $7 million from Wal-Mart Canada. Wal-Mart also supported other health care initiatives through donations to organization such as the Delta Regional Authority, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and Meharry Medical College.
• Disaster relief – When disaster strikes, Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations can be counted on to work with disaster relief agencies, supporting their lifesaving work and helping communities to begin the recovery effort. In 2007, Wal-Mart donated $4 million in cash and products to everything from floods and tornadoes to wildfires and winter storms nationwide. Local disaster relief agencies, as well as the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army were key partners in these efforts.
• Military outreach – As a company with more than 3,000 associates on a military leave of absence, supporting America’s servicemen and women is important to Wal-Mart. During the 2007 holiday season, the company partnered with the Fisher House Foundation on a special Christmas program, “Operation: Deck the Walls.” Military families residing in the 36 U.S. Fisher Houses across the U.S. were able to enjoy cash and product donations of $350,000 from Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart Foundation also provided funding to support veterans returning home from assignments abroad, as well as to organizations seeking to meet the unmet needs of military families.
Last year, Wal-Mart donated $1 million or more to numerous charitable organizations including, but not limited to: United Way of America, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, United Negro College Fund, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Mercy Health Systems, Special Olympics, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Additionally, in 2007 Wal-Mart again demonstrated its support for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign by once again allowing the volunteer bell-ringers to raise funds in front of stores and clubs. Donations collected in the Red Kettles at Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations reached an all-time high of $32.5 million, accounting for more than 27 percent of all donations to the Red Kettle campaign.
Gifts of Time
Volunteering is a key component of Wal-Mart’s corporate giving philosophy. Associates are strongly encouraged to become involved in organizations that make a positive difference in the local quality of life, and Wal-Mart gives grants to qualifying organizations in recognition of associate volunteer hours. Last year, associates donated approximately 1 million volunteer hours. As a result, the Wal-Mart Foundation gave more than $6 million in grants to recognize associates’ volunteer efforts.
“We continue to be amazed at our associates’ dedication to give back to their local communities,” said McKenna. “And through our Volunteerism Always Pays program, we are pleased to back-up their volunteer activities with grants from the Wal-Mart Foundation.”
Wal-Mart operations outside of the U.S. increased their community support in 2007. Donations abroad last year were more than $41 million, up from $28 million in 2006. International associates and customers also made a big impact on Wal-Mart’s global communities, giving more than $30 million through company-sponsored fundraisers and events.
Wal-Mart’s global contributions for 2007 totaled more than $470 million, up from $418 million in 2006 – an increase of nearly 9 percent.
In the next year, Wal-Mart will be looking to achieve a greater level of impact with its corporate giving efforts. The company will continue to provide support to the communities where it operates, and will enhance these opportunities with new state giving programs coupled with the existing local store- and club-level giving. Philanthropic opportunities in the areas of education, job skills training, sustainability, and health and human services will be a top priority for funding.
Additionally, the Wal-Mart Foundation has given approximately $16 million to support programs that will be rolled out in the first quarter 2008. These programs will provide opportunities for school age children and individuals up to 24-years-old to develop literacy skills, complete or pursue educational degrees and learn critical job skills. Some of the organizations that have received funding to assist with these efforts are: the American Association of Community Colleges, Council of Independent Colleges, Gateway to College National Network, National Foundation of Teaching Entrepreneurship, National Guard Youth Foundation and Scholarship America. Separate announcements with the details of these grants are expected to be made in the coming months.
About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and its foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the company supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability, and health and human services. In 2007, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartstores.com/community.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Wal-Mart serves more than 176 million customers weekly in 14 markets. The company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. For more information: www.walmartfacts.com