Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
Yet again, Starbucks has done something that catches national attention. While often talked about across a variety of industries for the standards they set, the prices they charge and the experiences they create, their philanthropic arm now has the limelight. In this particular instance, Starbucks has paired up with Onward Veterans, and for every Starbucks card purchased for the next few weeks, they donate $5 to the organization. Read it here.
While not directly related to arts management, I’m posting it because it’s relevant to our class discussion from last week. Onward Veterans, an organization that helps veterans create lives back in their communities, is a donor-advised fund that is part of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The community foundation itself bears the statement that they’re “supporting the common good”, and this particular fund means that anyone leaving money to this foundation would have to qualify that they would like it to support the Onward Veterans cause.
Arts organizations of all types have endowments, or other funds, in community foundations, and many of the funds are donor advised, such as these. Philanthropy in all forms can be controlled by the donor, and as we discussed, it is incredibly important to understand the terms of donor-advised funds and to clarify them so that they’re ultimately not a “lock” for your organization.
In this case, the money that Starbucks is giving to this fund will then directly benefit many nonprofits that are working toward this similar cause, one in DC even entitled “Hiring our Heroes”. Indirectly, this qualifies as a for-profit supporting a non-profit cause!