While the Cadbury name is all but synonymous with chocolate, the family has long placed as much emphasis on philanthropy and good works as it has on its business ventures. In fact, from the beginning the enterprise was rooted in first doing good, with profits a secondary consideration. When chocolatier John Cadbury (1801–1889) established a manufacturing business in the early 1830s, he was already a veteran campaigner for social injustice, fighting the exploitation of child chimney sweeps, the horrors of animal cruelty, and other social ills. Drinking chocolate was not just a treat, but was also intended as a way to tempt people away from the dangers of alcohol.
Helping the disadvantaged, either by campaigning for the rights of the poor or working to alleviate the alcohol-related causes of poverty, was ingrained in the Cadbury family’s belief system. As Quakers, they battled the evils of slavery, alcoholism, poverty, and many other social problems. John Cadbury may have left the chocolate industry due to declining health in 1861, handing over the business to his two sons Richard and George, but he spent the remainder of his life dedicated to civic and social work.
At first it was slow going for the next generation of Cadbury chocolatiers, but in time the business enjoyed massive success with British consumers. The company soon needed to expand, and the family was determined to establish something better than the oppressive and dangerous factories that were then commonplace as the Industrial Revolution boomed. So instead of erecting a routine manufacturing works, the Cadbury brothers built the model village of Bournville, about four miles south of Birmingham, starting with a factory that gave the employees such unheard of amenities as “a kitchen where workers could heat up their meals, and properly heated dressing rooms where they could get changed.” The worker’s village included a garden, playgrounds, and athletic fields, and employees were ensured of getting both good wages and medical treatment. As George Cadbury said, “If the country is a good place to live in, why not to work in?”
Future generations of the Cadbury family continued the tradition of taking care of their workers by providing days off, pension plans, and unemployment benefits — and this in addition to the profits that went into causes such as promoting pension reform, fighting worker exploitation, and anti-war efforts. It was John Cadbury’s grandson, Barrow Cadbury, who truly cemented the family’s reputation as not just purveyors of chocolate to the British Empire, but as philanthropists whose passion for social activism was profoundly informed by their Quaker beliefs. Named chairman of Cadbury in 1918, two years later Barrow Cadbury, with his wife, Geraldine, set up the Barrow Cadbury Trust. Following the Quaker ideal of speaking truth to power, today the Trust tackles a number of challenging issues, including “gender-based disadvantage” and racism in all its forms, while working to bring about structural changes to create a “more just and equal society.” The Trust respects its historical roots in Quaker values, although it now embraces “all faiths and none.”
The current generation of the Cadbury family hasn’t strayed far from their chocolate or their philanthropic roots. While Kraft took over the Cadbury brand in 2010, the family continues its tradition of service: today the majority of trustees of the Barrow Cadbury Trust are direct descendants of Barrow and Geraldine Cadbury. What’s more, James Cadbury — the great-great-great grandson of John Cadbury — is getting into the chocolate business himself with Love Cocoa. The chocolate is fair trade and is made in Britain — plus 10% of the profits are donated to charity. A very sweet tradition.
Giving is part of America’s character, culture, and economy. It is an engine for ingenuity in the United States, and it is part of our nation’s social contract.
On October 3, 2017, members of the family of Carnegie institutions from Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States gathered to honor nine remarkable individuals who have followed in the footsteps of our institutions’ founder, Andrew Carnegie. These extraordinary philanthropists, who collectively have donated several billion dollars to a broad swath of worthy causes, received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in a biennial celebration at The New York Public Library. It was the ninth such ceremony the Carnegie institutions have hosted since 2001.
The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy provides an opportunity to celebrate Carnegie’s own rich philanthropic legacy, as well as his philosophy of giving, outlined in his most celebrated treatise, The Gospel of Wealth. Even though it was published in 1889, more than a century later this essay still serves to remind the world of the importance and prevalence of philanthropy in all our lives. Today, the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy promotes that same goal.
In the 1830s, decades before Carnegie penned The Gospel of Wealth, the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville coined the concept of American “exceptionalism” in his classic Democracy in America, in which he marveled that Americans “willingly sacrifice a portion of their time and property” to improve the welfare of their fellow citizens. Since that time, American philanthropy has witnessed many extraordinary acts of generosity. During World War I, for example, humanity witnessed one of the greatest philanthropic acts in history: Americans raised more than $100 million to support Near East Relief in its efforts to save hundreds of thousands of orphans, many of whom lost their families during the Armenian Genocide. The monumental endeavor was hardly an incidental event, however. Rather, it demonstrated the roots, range, and depth of American giving.
In 2016 alone, Americans donated some $390 billion to charitable causes, nearly three quarters of which came not from foundations or corporations, but from individuals hailing from all walks of life.
Today, this generosity of spirit continues. In 2016 alone, Americans donated some $390 billion to charitable causes, nearly three quarters of which came not from foundations or corporations, but from individuals hailing from all walks of life. In addition, the United States also regularly ranks at or near the top of the World Giving Index. These numbers do not take into account the nearly 7.8 billion volunteer hours Americans donate to educational, health, religious, cultural, environmental, and other causes, comprising an array of institutions and ideological views.
It is difficult to find a library, hospital, or school that has not benefitted from philanthropy. These institutions make up America’s flourishing and diverse independent sector, and this diversity is part of what makes our nation so strong. Neither government nor philanthropy can sustain our nation’s nonprofit institutions alone—they must work together to help keep our democracy dynamic and thriving.
The prevalence of partnerships between the public and private sectors is unique to the United States. Unlike many other countries, we do not, for example, have a single federal science ministry or a Department of Culture. Rather, we have a broad array of higher education institutions that are the envy of the world; a range of outstanding orchestras, museums, and theaters; and thousands of social service agencies that provide vital programs to the underprivileged and underserved. It is the generosity of American citizens from all backgrounds that makes the contributions of these institutions possible.
The importance and breadth of public-private partnerships in the United States is perhaps best reflected in our nation’s K–12 education system. It is governed by a patchwork of local, state, and federal bodies, and features an array of schooling options: traditional public schools, charter schools, and private and parochial schools. This system is supported by a broad range of nonprofit education organizations focused on both direct services and reform. Philanthropy, in turn, supports a great number of these institutions’ work. In this way, the philanthropic sector promotes necessary research and innovation for education reform.
Indeed, in partnering with nonprofit agencies, foundations serve as laboratories supporting experimentation for the nation. As the ninth president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, John Gardner, put it, the independent sector is one “in which we are allowed to pursue truth, even if we are going in the wrong direction; allowed to experiment, even if we are bound to fail; to map unknown territory, even if we get lost.”
Of course, the nonprofit world could not exist without favorable public policy, including charitable tax deductions. When Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller originated the concept of “scientific philanthropy” more than a century ago, there were no tax incentives to motivate their generosity. But since their inception, charitable tax deductions have served as a strong driver of giving and a vital source of revenue for much of the independent sector. However, there are those who argue that we should do away with such deductions and that the funds that would otherwise flow to foundations and charitable organizations instead go toward expanding the tax base. Yet removing or reducing the deduction would encourage wealthy individuals to spend more on their families, properties, and idiosyncrasies than on worthy causes. Besides, it is clear that government alone could not support the great array of services the independent sector provides, nor could it maintain the field’s richness and diversity. An independent sector as vibrant as ours can only be sustained by an equally vibrant philanthropic sector. Indeed, philanthropy is the backbone of America’s nonprofit field, which is comprised of some 1.5 million organizations that account for 10 percent of all private sector employment nationwide.
Giving is, in short, part of America’s character, culture, and economy. It is an engine for ingenuity in the United States, and it is part of our nation’s social contract.
Religion is not, of course, the only motivating factor for generosity. Enlightenment ideals—humanism and democratic principles—are also common driving forces, as are social obligations to one’s community, one’s nation, and humanity at large.
My colleagues and friends from abroad are awed by American philanthropy. They often ask me what makes Americans so generous. I give them two answers. For one, more than 75 percent of the population identifies as religious, and every Abrahamic faith, whether Judaism, Christianity, or Islam, demands that the faithful be charitable, that they support the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged. This is reflected in the fact that today more than 30 percent of giving goes to religious organizations and causes. But religion is not, of course, the only motivating factor for generosity. Enlightenment ideals—humanism and democratic principles—are also common driving forces, as are social obligations to one’s community, one’s nation, and humanity at large.
We often fixate on givers’ motivations, but for me what counts most is the act and impact of giving. In our age of cynicism, I am often reminded of Machiavelli, who scandalized many of his contemporaries with his famous political treatise The Prince. In it, the Prince is only interested in the maintenance of law and order and the stability of the realm, not in his subjects’ motivations for obeying the law. He also holds that leaders should be judged above all by their actions, not their beliefs. This remains true today. Whether givers are driven by guilt, redemption, patriotism, religion, self-glory, hypocrisy—all of this is secondary. The fundamental concern is that no one is obligated to give, but so many do. While we cannot always know a philanthropist’s true motivations, we can always measure the outcomes of their giving.
Of course, the giving industry should welcome such questions and scrutiny because, as in every other sector, philanthropy is not immune to excesses and malfeasance. For example, in some instances, donors dive into addressing very complex problems, such as education, the environment, or poverty reduction, with very little expertise in the field and without seeking expert assistance. They also sometimes attach so many conditions to their gifts that they distract or distort an institution and its mission. This is common in the research field, where donors sometimes provide support on the condition that the research produces a predetermined outcome. Finally, some fear that philanthropists and foundations lack accountability to the public, acting, in effect, as unelected officials supervised only by state attorneys general.
In the face of potential abuses, it is fundamental that the philanthropic sector heed three core principles: transparency, accountability, and responsibility.
In the face of potential abuses, it is fundamental that the philanthropic sector heed three core principles: transparency, accountability, and responsibility.
Carnegie Corporation of New York—one of the oldest foundations in the United States and the first to publish an annual report—has always ascribed to these values. Indeed, more than 60 years ago, the Corporation’s board chairman, Russell Leffingwell, coined the term “glass pockets” at a congressional hearing. Later John Gardner expanded on the policy, saying, “A foundation should practice full disclosure. The larger it is, the more energetically it should disseminate full information on its activities.” The Corporation has long understood, as Carnegie did, that the public has granted us the right to exist, and we therefore owe it to the public to be as accountable and open as possible regarding our activities and funding decisions.
Fortunately, we have a healthy free press that can take to task those who misuse their powers, as well as strong democratic institutions to prevent abuses of trust. As president, Thomas Jefferson famously despised newspapers, but he nonetheless allowed that “the only security of all is in a free press.” (If he were alive today, I believe he would say the only security of all is in a free and well-informed press.)
For those who would criticize philanthropy and philanthropists, I caution that it is always easier to fall into disillusionment and cynicism. It is more difficult and, indeed, more courageous—to stand up for and live by one’s ideals. Like the hundreds of thousands of other men and women who donate their time, talents, or personal funds to worthy causes, the more than 50 recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy understand this. They are exemplars of the act and art of giving, demonstrating that generosity is an act of human solidarity. They come from different backgrounds and support different fields, but they all know, as Andrew Carnegie knew, that one’s legacy is not measured by wealth, but by the good one has done for the world. They are, in my opinion, all driven by a common goal: to serve humanity and to make their communities and the world safer and more just for all.
Social Entrepreneurs Are Combining Profit and Purpose
While working in the wedding and event design business, Jennifer Grove often saw expensive flower arrangements get tossed into the garbage after being on display for just a few hours. She started collecting these flowers and handing them out to friends and neighbors. This always brought smiles, but it did not solve the problem that, at the end of the day, most pricey — but still beautiful — bouquets are simply thrown out.
In 2014 Grove founded Repeat Roses, which redistributes flower displays from weddings, galas, and other events to places such as hospices, cancer treatment centers, and homeless shelters. Afterward the reused flowers are collected and composted, helping reduce landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
“For me, as a social entrepreneur, my wish is that this service will actually be a catalyst to inspire people to do other good things,” Grove says. “Maybe they’ll say: I can do something else to make a difference in someone else’s world.”
A growing number of entrepreneurs are combining their businesses with social good initiatives, whether that means protecting the environment, helping more students go to college, or making healthy food more accessible. By incorporating a social mission into their business models, these entrepreneurs are finding ways to give back — and by their example they are encouraging their customers and employees to do the same. Nonprofits, foundations, and investors are realizing the power of social entrepreneurs, and are helping to propel their success.
Grove says that when she works with, for example, a couple planning their wedding, she hopes that reusing their wedding flowers will be the first of many such charitable actions to come out of the marriage. And happily, some of the organizations Repeat Roses has worked with have already been inspired to give back; in one case, a shelter for homeless women told her they are determined to do more to protect the environment and are now conscientious about recycling and composting.
Another entrepreneur, Christine Moseley, started her business after becoming frustrated at seeing healthy juices priced at $13/bottle and at the same time learning that businesses discard a lot of great produce simply because it does not look perfect. Moseley founded Full Harvest, which connects farms to food and beverage companies so that growers can sell their “imperfect” (but perfectly good) produce that might otherwise have gone to waste. This lowers food production costs while reducing food waste and making more efficient use of resources like water in the production cycle.
Moseley said that for many reasons a business model made more sense than a nonprofit model, including the fact that Full Harvest is technology-based and technology is expensive. She also wanted to be able to scale up.
“I really wanted to make a big impact and help change the world,” she said. “When you look at some nonprofits — while the work is fantastic, they’re small, local efforts and they’re not fundamentally changing what we do or changing the supply chain. There are a lot of big problems out there and a lot of them can’t be solved in larger scalable ways with a not-for-profit model. So it’s about getting investors instead of grants because you can sometimes do a lot more and faster with that model.”
Grove and Moseley both worked with Project Entrepreneur, an educational program and venture competition that helps women entrepreneurs grow scalable, impactful companies. Since launching in 2015, the program has helped more than 1,800 participants.
“While Project Entrepreneur applicants are not required to have a social mission, every year a significant number among our class are mission-driven start-ups with a double bottom line,” says Jennifer Stybel, executive director of Rent the Runway Foundation, which runs the program in partnership with UBS. “This community of female founders clearly cares about giving back and bakes that into their business models from the beginning.”
Many other foundations and organizations are working to help entrepreneurs. Robin Hood, which fights poverty in New York, in 2015 acquired Blue Ridge Labs, a social impact incubator that works to help entrepreneurs and others build technology products for underserved communities. The Case Foundation is helping create a landscape with investment opportunities that have a social impact, and also works to ensure there are rigorous social benchmarks that can be measured and evaluated.
“We’ll continue to need philanthropy, donors, and capital to help build an ecosystem in which these companies can have a level playing field,” says Rehana Nathoo, the Case Foundation’s vice president of social innovation.
The Case Foundation works on impact investing, which has seen dramatic growth in recent years. Sustainable, responsible, and impact investing assets in the United States grew by 33 percent from 2014 to 2016, to $8.72 trillion. Since social entrepreneurships are in the business of doing good, they can benefit from these investments.
Christopher Gray, founder and CEO of Scholly, a mobile and web app that helps students find scholarships, says social entrepreneurships are “the new nonprofit” — and it is likely more donors, investors, and foundations will start to see their potential.
“Social entrepreneurships actually sustain themselves, so I feel like a lot of those philanthropic dollars are going to start moving and more foundations are going to start giving grants to fund social ventures over grassroots nonprofits,” says Gray, who started his business after winning $1.3 million in scholarships himself. Gray, who appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, grew up in poverty in a single-parent household.
Moseley, of Full Harvest, says social entrepreneurs look for many ways to give back, even beyond their business.
“Social entrepreneurs are themselves usually very philanthropic people, and we like to volunteer,” she says, adding that at her business’s two-year anniversary event, they raised money for a local food bank. “We are already doing good with our business model, but because I’m fundamentally a person trying to change the world we live in, I’m always thinking of ways to do this. It’s good on good on good.”
A 2010 Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund study found that entrepreneurs and their companies are more likely to give to charity. Nine out of 10 entrepreneurs said they donate money both personally and through their company, and 70 percent said they also donate their time. More than 60 percent of entrepreneurs said giving back makes their company more successful.
Social entrepreneurs run businesses, but many of them also have a bold vision: to leave the world a better place than how they found it.
Tiffany Rowe’s wish in 1988 was to meet Michael Jackson. That was the first time she heard of Make-A-Wish – when they showed up at her door.
In 1984, at just 11 years old, Tiffany was diagnosed with bone marrow failure. Doctors told her she had three to six months to live and she spent the next several years fighting to survive.
After a relapse in 1988, Make-A-Wish arranged for Tiffany to meet the star backstage before a concert in Chicago. However, much to her surprise, during the concert a security guard passed her a note, “Michael Jackson requests your presence on stage.” And with that, her wish was granted as she danced to “Bad” with Michael Jackson himself. The opportunity allowed Tiffany to take a step back from her incredibly difficult circumstances and be a kid again, a moment that changed her life.
Now, 29 years later, Tiffany is the Chair of the Make-A-Wish National Board Alumni Association, having spent her life as a Make-A-Wish spokesperson, volunteer leader, and advocate dedicated to giving back to the organization that inspired her during her difficult times as a young girl. She helps other children tap back into that feeling of what it means to be a kid, having big dreams and and believing in the future, often during times of great uncertainty.
At just 16 years old, Skylar Lee ended his life. The loss was shocking to his community— Skylar was known as an energetic, vibrant activist for LGBTQ issues. The death devastated Skylar’s mother, Joanne.
In 2014, when Skylar came out as transgender to his mother, she was in shock. Her conservative upbringing guided her toward shutting down and shutting out her child, a decision she would never quite recover from.
After Skylar’s death to suicide in 2015, Joanne began the process of learning about her son, his work as an activist in the LGBTQ community for intersectionality, acceptance, and equality. Her son’s words, and his final wish – that it be understood he was not committing suicide because he was transgender and that he did not want to become a “sob story” – drove Joanne to action.
In the time since losing her son, Joanne has continued her son’s work, teaming up with Human Rights Campaign as part of its National Parents for Transgender Equality Council, telling Skylar’s story, and teaching other parents of LGBTQ teens to accept and love their children as they are. She has passionately taken on Skylar’s mantle, fighting not only for the LGBTQ community but for a broad range of minority groups, living up to her son’s message of social justice for all marginalized communities.
Joanne is seeking justice for the LGBTQ youth and, this time, she’s not leaving anyone behind.
None of his friends or family expected Jahmal Cole to go to college, let alone graduate, but he did; and that was just the beginning.
After college, Jahmal returned to his hometown of Chicago as a Microsoft administrator at a trading firm. In the time he had to spare, Jahmal volunteered with the juvenile population at Cook County Jail. For three years, he listened to the children, learning that outside Cook County’s walls much of their experience took place in just one or two blocks.
Jahmal spent his time bringing these young people down to see where he worked, showed them alternative career paths and it helped broaden their world view. He started with one or two kids he would drive downtown himself in his car and developed into multiple trips with children piled into vans to see a part of the city they had never seen before. This experience was the beginning of My Block, My Hood, My City (M3).
Jahmal and M3 now have over 120 teenagers, from underserved “Level 3” schools (lower performing schools with less than 80% attendance) who they bring on explorations around Chicago to explore and broaden their world view from their block, to their neighborhood, and to their city.
Last year, M3 trekked outside the city and took 25 students to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, a trip that brought these students their first experiences with boarding passes, airplanes, and travel outside their own comfort zone. This year, their first graduating class will set the stage for the future.
Jahmal hopes to show these students that, in a city like Chicago, you can broaden your worldview and bring new options to young people.
J.J. Watt of the NFL’s Houston Texans is best known for sacking quarterbacks and being one of the best defensive players in the league. And while he’s won a lot of awards, including the NFL Defensive Player of the Year (three times, no less!) his ambition is equally impressive off of the gridiron.
Just after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Watt set up a YouCaring.com fundraiser, with the goal of raising $200,000 for relief funds from small donors around the country Watt, per usual, exceeded expectations. Individuals, foundations, and corporations eventually raised over $37 million from more than 200,000 donors.
While this staggering amount is just a small portion of what’s needed for hurricane recovery, this gift will assist many of those in need through partnerships with Americares, Feeding America, SBP, and Save the Children. The donation will be distributed in two portions, $31.5 million will be given to these partners to rebuild homes, help restore community centers and childcare, provide food, and address health needs of Houstonians. With a portion of the funds contributed to Feeding America, Houston Food Bank will be able to add four mobile pantries to its fleet, enabling them to take supplies to where they’re needed most. The remaining funds will be distributed in 2018.
Watt’s goal of raising money from the community for the community was just the start and he’s making sure the funding goes to organizations that will have a direct impact on those who need it most.
Losing one parent, especially when young, is an enormous loss. Losing both can be unthinkable.
After Auston Scancara (15) and Melessa Peck (9) lost their parents Lindsey and Shane to separate incidents earlier this year they spent a lot of time discussing grief, growth, and giving back with their Aunt, and now guardian, Lacy Parker. Auston and Melessa channeled their grief toward helping other children learn to cope with the loss of a parent.
In November, Auston and Melessa donated approximately 150 grief kits to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho. These kits, designed as part of Sesame Workshop’s “When Families Grieve” initiative, are meant to help families, children, and caregivers express themselves after loss.
After losing their parents, Auston and Melessa received help and support from friends, family, local community centers, and religious organizations. The unbelievable show of support inspired them to help others with their grief while still overcoming their own and giving them a chance to “pay forward some of the support they received,” said their Aunt, Lacy Parker.
At such an early stage in their lives, Auston and Melessa’s dedication to guiding other children, despite their own enormous personal loss, is beyond admirable.
You might not have heard of Fiona Mavhinga, a woman from rural Zimbabwe, but she has created a movement.
Fiona grew up in a small village in the Wedza District in rural Zimbabwe—the oldest of five siblings. The nearest primary school was 10 kilometers from home. Secondary school was twice the distance. Her grandmother lived closer, so she stayed with her, and helped sell vegetables to pay school fees. She studied late into the night next to a paraffin lamp.
Fiona was the first in her family to finish high school—her test scores were the highest in the province. With the support of Camfed, an international non-profit that tackles inequality by supporting girls’ education, she was able to continue on to the University of Zimbabwe and a law degree, despite her family’s poverty.
In 1998 she helped to found the CAMA network of women leaders, former Camfed-supported students who came together to multiply the impact of donor funds by offering training, technology, business loans, and mentoring support to young women at the critical time when they leave secondary school.
CAMA began as 400 women in Zimbabwe yearning to lift up their communities. It is now a powerful pan-African network on track to grow to more than 130,000 by 2019—a unique movement of rural philanthropists. At the end of 2014, Camfed and CAMA set themselves the ambitious goal of supporting one million adolescent girls to go to secondary school within just five years. After two years, at the end of 2016, they had passed the halfway mark.
The CAMA network that Fiona has helped build is a powerful force for social change, even systems-level change. “Perhaps in the next 20 years we’ll have a million members in the CAMA network,” said Fiona. “Can you imagine: we will have doctors, teachers, lawyers, political leaders. We might even have a president from within CAMA.”
One Student Blasts Off and Dedicates Over 500 Hours to STEM
It’s pretty impressive that The Liberty Science Center (LSC) in New Jersey has over 600 volunteers and interns who donate more than 50,000 hours of their time, but one really stands out…
Since March, Sparsh Desai, has donated more than 568 hours and counting. His true passion for learning and, in particular Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) has made him quite the volunteer. In his time at LSC, Sparsh has learned all the exhibits across the 295,000 square foot facility and takes guests of all ages around, sharing his passion and enthusiasm for the science and the Center.
Sparsh just loves his work. He regularly goes on the Science Summer Camp and, on the last one, he even volunteered to be shot across the LSC parking lot in order to demonstrate Newton’s Third Law! Needless to say, LSC is really looking forward to having him return next summer.
In addition to being fun to be around, Sparsh is professional, courteous and really embodies the core values of the Center. Just this year, he was awarded the New Jersey State Governor’s Award in recognition of his work and commitment to LSC and public service.