Companies That Care
For the past 23 years Pepsi has spent millions to advertise during the Super Bowl. But this year the company chose to use $20 million of that ad money to fund a unique do-good campaign: the Pepsi Refresh Project. Individuals and nonprofits submitted proposals for community improvement projects and Pepsi asked the public to vote for the best ones. Each month the ideas with the most votes got grants. In August Pepsi gave out an additional $1.3 million to projects helping people affected by the Gulf oil spill.Feeding the Less Fortunate
When employees at Cabot Creamery cooked up the world's largest macaroni and cheese this fall, they weren't just vying for a Guinness World Record. The Vermont-based dairy co-op -- which gives an average of 65 tons of its products to the hungry annually -- donated most of the giant dish to local food banks. "Protein-rich foods are one of the most difficult things for food banks to keep in stock, so Cabot's donations are invaluable," says John Sayles, CEO of Vermont Foodbank.Racing to Save Lives
Since 1993 Revlon has made amazing strides in funding the battle against breast and ovarian cancers with the Entertainment Industry Foundation Revlon Run/Walk for Women. The annual 5K event -- held in Los Angeles and New York City -- has raised more than $55 million in research dollars. This year the beauty company used social networking to boost participation, pledging to donate $1 for each of the first 100,000 fans to enter the race on their Facebook page. "The response was overwhelming," says Kiki Rees, Revlon's senior vice president of media and communications. "We raised the money in a matter of days."
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, December 2010/January 2011.