Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whither Philanthropy in Our Current Reality?

How One Company Measures Success By How Much It Gives Away

With Occupy Wall Street and the "greed of the richest 1% of our country" on everyone's minds, it is easy to label corporate America as the villan. Here's an example of how one multi-million dollar privately held designer menswear brand, Geoffrey Beene, LLC, has been working hard behind the fashion scene to help make the world a better place.

In less than six years, under the direction of Chairman and CEO Tom Hutton, Geoffrey Beene has been completely transformed into a unique philanthropic entity. “With donations of 100 % net profits going to critical causes like revolutionary early stage translational research for all types of cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s and heart disease our public service campaign says it best…”We Give You The Shirt Off Our Back…literally, “ says Hutton.

The company's philanthropic programs include:

Cancer Research and The Alzheimer’s Initiative
The number one feared illness in this country is cancer. To date, $120 million in value has been donated to the Geoffrey Beene Research Center at Memorial Sloane-Kettering, New York to help fund revolutionary early stage research for all types of cancers. Through the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back ®Alzheimer's Initiative, scientific research is gaining momentum in new preventive discoveries and treatments for Alzheimer's disease, Americans second most feared illness. The Initiative has been helping to increase public awareness of this fatal neurodegenerative disease and engage the baby-boomer generation in proactive large-scale solutions.

"Rock Stars of Science"
Studies show that children cannot name one scientist but they can rattle off many rock stars. In an effort to engage more young people in the pursuit of careers in science, medicine and research, a new public awareness campaign was created with GQ magazine, “Rock Stars of Science.” The program teams up scientific researchers whose work saves lives with celebrities like Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Keri Hilson, Timbaland, Bret Michaels, Jay Sean, B.o.B, Heart and Blondie to help promote more public/private funding for research.

Veterans and At-Risk Kids
Veterans and “at-risk” children are another strong focus for Geoffrey Beene, LLC through “Project Heal,” an organization that supplies service dogs for homebound veterans. The young residents at Children’s Village Residential School Program in New York help train dogs for these veterans. Other animal welfare and related organizations such as the ASPCA have also been given new starts with considerable financial support from Geoffrey Beene, LLC.

Fashion Industry Student Scholarships
Wanting to stay true to the company’s pioneering fashion roots, Geoffrey Beene donates nearly $10 million to the “Council of Fashion Designers of America Scholarship” and the “YMA -Fashion Scholarship Fund Awards, both of which provide support for gifted students seeking careers in the Fashion Industry. The Geoffrey Beene, LLC National Merit Awards grants $35,000 scholarships to students to further their education and training.

So there you go, naysayers. There is still much good in this old world of ours. Here is just one example: A multi-million dollar, privately held designer retail company is putting its money on the philanthropic future, thereby supporting its customers 100%.

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