Long Beach Groups Express Appreciation For Corporate Partnerships

By Tiffany Rider - Assistant Editor

October 8, 2013 - While some corporate giving continued throughout the recession, new numbers show that the philanthropic efforts of companies was higher in 2012 than in 2007, an indication that companies have recommitted to their communities.

According to the report “Giving in Numbers: 2013 Edition,” a publication of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) in association with The Conference Board released last month, total giving increased 59 percent from companies surveyed in both 2007 and in 2012, with 38 percent of all businesses surveyed increasing their giving by at least 25 percent.


Judy Seal

Judy Seal has served as the executive director
of the Long Beach Education Foundation since 1993.
Seal said philanthropic activities from corporations are strong,
including gifts to the foundation from organizations like Boeing and Verizon.
(Photograph by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)

HCVT - Certified Public Accountants

CECP is an organization aimed at empowering corporate leaders to achieve both business and societal progress, and The Conference Board is a data firm providing consumer confidence and economic indicators. The companies surveyed by CECP and The Conference Board are part of a data-gathering project of the two organizations in effect since 2001, which today accounts for more than $130 billion in corporate giving data.

The report also indicates that businesses gave more to K-12 and higher education-related causes and were philanthropic in non-monetary ways, meaning companies offered skills or products to charitable organizations to serve a need in their communities. These findings are reflected in examples of corporate giving in Long Beach.

Jim Normandin, executive director of the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Foundation (LBMMCF), said the organization is “very grateful for support” from its donors, which include local and national business entities. The foundation serves Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and Community Hospital Long Beach. Major corporations that are philanthropic partners of LBMMCF range from automakers Hyundai and Toyota to financial services institutions Farmers & Merchants Bank and Wells Fargo.

Ben Alvarado, senior vice president and regional president of Wells Fargo Orange County, said he personally selected Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach as the cause his Long Beach team would champion.

“We all have kids in our lives that we love, and being involved with helping to keep kids healthy has resonated with the team,” Alvarado told the Business Journal. For example, Wells Fargo corporate supported Miller Children’s Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center with a $40,000 contribution and supported the Tour of Long Beach.

Judy Seal, executive director of the Long Beach Education Foundation (LBEF), told the Business Journal that The Boeing Company has been the biggest donor to LBEF. “Boeing invested in us (LBEF and LBUSD) when no one understood what we were trying to do,” Seal said. “They made the right decision.”

Nan Bouchard, vice president and C-17 program manager at Boeing, expanded upon the company’s philanthropic efforts in the community. “At Boeing, we take great pride not only in our products, but also in giving back to the communities where we live and work,” she said. “Our Global Corporate Citizenship organization and Employees Community Fund of Boeing California both have a long history of contributing to Long Beach non-profits.”

Not all charitable organizations are well supported by corporations, according to Jim Worsham, executive director of the Long Beach Community Foundation (LBCF). LBCF used to get donations from corporations to its “send a kid to camp” fund, but it hasn’t been able to get that kind of corporate funding in the last couple of years, he said. “We’re careful about doing a lot of fundraising,” he said, so as to not compete in the local non-profit marketplace. “We do get some corporate funding, but it’s just a trickle,” he said. “Most of our donors are individuals and in some cases other foundations.”

Smaller corporations and businesses in Long Beach also give, a truth reflected in the partial list of corporate donors to ChildNet Youth and Family Services provided by the nonprofit’s director of development, Eileen Factor. ChildNet provides safe homes, education and housing to at-risk youth and families.

“We are grateful for the support of East Anaheim Street Business Alliance (EASBA), Norm Wilson & Sons, Richmond Plastering, Choura Events and the Employees Community Fund of Boeing for their generosity,” Factor said. “Without them and other caring members of the Long Beach business community, ChildNet . . . could not do the valuable work we all do.”

Jerry Schubel, president and CEO of the non-profit Aquarium of the Pacific, agreed that the need for support from the business community is much appreciated. “As a nonprofit institution, the Aquarium of the Pacific would not exist without our community of supporters,” Schubel said. That support comes in the form of both “generous” donations, he said, as well as through volunteer service, active participation on the non-profit board and involvement in the cultural and educational programs that benefit the community.