in the campaign year 2016 we hear constant accusations from high places that corporations have some terrible Darth Vader-ish Evil. Yet corporations are the Sum of their individual stockholders’ varying personalities.
Exemplary and refreshingly positive examples of corporate excellence abound. They include
Google – Raspberry Pi: A $1 million Google grant will give Raspberry Pi computers — inexpensive microcomputers about the size of a credit card — to 15,000 U.K. children who show exceptional enthusiasm for computer science.
Mother Water Cellar Project in Greater China Region: Pepsi volunteers helped to construct a water purification tower for the benefit of over 700 students and teachers at a school in southwest China.
Food for Good: Started by employees in 2009, Food for Good has served over 1.6 million free, nutritious meals to inner-city children.
At The Nerdery, an interactive development firm, led by CEO Mike Derheim, an annual 24-hour hackathon called the “Overnight Website Challenge” to support local nonprofits in Chicago and Minneapolis has already helped 114 nonprofit organizations. Derheim notes, “While The Nerdery considers this a good start, we will continue to rally our staff and community until there are no more good nonprofits with not-so-good websites.”
Fifty employees and one franchisee grew up in one of 13 Christian foster homes in the U.S. and Brazil run by a nonprofit organization Chick-fil-A funds, the WinShape Foundation. Sixteen others were in Sunday-school classes Cathy teaches at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga. Cathy likes to give a leg up to people who have ambition but little else: The company asks operators to pay just $5,000 as an initial franchise fee. KFC, for example, demands $25,000 and a net worth of $1 million.
Chick-fil-A pays for the land, the construction and the equipment. It then rents everything to the franchisee for 15% of the restaurant’s sales plus 50% of the pretax profit remaining. Operators, who are discouraged from running more than a few restaurants, take home $100,000 a year on average from a single outlet. A solo Bojangles’ franchisee can expect to earn $330,000 (EBITDA) on sales of $1.7 million.