According to Forbes, Wal-Mart was the most generous corporation in America in 2007 (probably the world too), giving away $301 million in cash gifts to the Children's Miracle Network, Feeding America, The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the United Way of America, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
This week, Wal-Mart announced that it: Stepped up charitable giving globally from February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009 with more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts, an $85.6 million increase over its global giving in the previous year. Last year, Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave millions of dollars to numerous national and local charities including the Institute for Higher Education Policy ($4.1 million), YouthBuild ($5 million), Children’s Miracle Network ($4.7 million), The Salvation Army ($3 million), Special Olympics ($3.6 million), the National Urban League ($1 million) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ($3.4 million).
Other Wal-Mart Facts:
1. Wal-Mart directly employs more than 2 million associates worldwide, including more than 1.4 million in the United States. Through its relationships with 56,000 U.S. suppliers, Wal-Mart spent $200 billion on merchandise in 2007 and indirectly supported more than 3 million American jobs. The 4.4 million Wal-Mart-related jobs represented 3.2% of total U.S. payroll employment in 2007.
2. Wal-Mart is a diverse employer, employing more than 165,000 Hispanics, 251,000 African Americans, 39,000 Asian Americans, 5,000 Pacific Islanders, 16,000 Native Americans, 355,000 associates age 50 or older, and 856,000 women (61% of Wal-Mart's workforce).3. Wal-Mart insures more than 1.1 million associates and family members making it among the nation’s largest providers of private sector health insurance. 93% of Wal-Mart associates reported having some form of health coverage – either through Wal-Mart or another source.
4. Wal-Mart offers the opportunity for a career: More than 75% of Wal-Mart's store managers started as hourly associates.
5. In 2007, independent research from Global Insight shows that the reduction in the price level due to the presence of Wal-Mart translates directly into savings for consumers amounting to $287 billion in 2006. This corresponds to savings of $957 per person and $2,500 per household, regardless of where consumers choose to shop. That is, even consumers who shop at Target, Best Buy or Office Depot save money from the presence of Wal-Mart, due to the competitive pressure of Wal-Mart's "Everyday Low Prices."
Here's a case that Wal-Mart deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.