In 2019 Stewart’s Shops and related family foundations will donate $7.5 million to local charities. We also have our Holiday Match Program in which Stewart’s matches all customer donations made in our shops from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day. Stewart’s Holiday Match customers have helped us contribute over $28 million to thousands of organizations since the program’s inception in 1986. As a good corporate citizen, we support a local charity at many of our new shop openings.
How does it work?
It is never a question of whether we’ll give, but rather to whom. We try to be as generous as possible to a large number of organizations, but are committed to making the maximum positive impact in the categories we consider a priority. The breakdown of the categories for Stewart’s Shops donation of $2.5 million is as follows:
Our selection of organizations is based on the following considerations: We support organizations within our market area that focus on meeting the changing needs of their recipients rather than perpetuating the status quo. We have an interest in the area of kids, their recreation and education. We do not support adult recreation groups. We value extensive volunteer support and minimum fund-raising costs, avoiding organizations which are already tax supported or have a large amount of overhead.
We avoid cause-related and religious organizations, as we feel they are a matter for an individual’s preference and conscience. Our communities have more than enough specific needs, so we give to those providing a service, as opposed to those supporting a cause, and we save our contribution dollars for people versus animals. We support local organizations which may not have as broad a base of funding, or have the wide-spread emotional appeal of national health organizations. We refrain from secondary giving in which we give to someone, so they can in-turn give to someone else. We do not donate directly to individuals.
In addition to this reasonably structured program, we also maintain the “crack foundation” to fund those unusual opportunities that may have an especially positive impact on our communities. We cannot support these special needs on a continual basis without hurting the overall program, but can provide one-time funding so they do not fall through the cracks.
Also, we offer a Matching Gift Campaign towards those projects we find worthy of a community push. The campaign can be for one week in two shops or two weeks in one shop, where we match customers contributions for a particular project up to $5,000. An example of this would be to help a community playground build. This is just another way We Are Closer To You.
Let us share with the community how Stewart’s Shops donations have helped your organization or event. Please send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org (.jpg or .png files preferred).