As part of the Red Cross Network, the American Red Cross belongs to one of the largest humanitarian networks on the planet. Given its worldwide recognition, it comes as no surprise that the organization receives a great deal of financial and in-kind support from major U.S. corporations and their philanthropic arms, including the Caterpillar and Cisco Foundations as well as Ford Motor Company and American Express. In total, there are 56 corporate funders on the American Red Cross’s Annual Disaster Giving Program list. The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation is the most recent addition to that list, which now stands at 57 members.
The philanthropic arm of Enterprise Rent-A-Car has given away more than $200 million to local nonprofits over the past 50 or so years. We don’t hear much about the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, and one of the main reasons for that could be that 90 percent of the projects the foundation funds come from employee requests and go toward local communities in which the company operates. First-time grants are limited to $1,500 and average grants tend to be in the $2,500 to $5,000 range.
Making a $1 million jump into the American Red Cross’ Annual Disaster Giving Program seems like a pretty big funding leap. Especially since a portion, albeit a small portion, of that $1 million give is going toward the American Red Cross’s relief efforts in Nepal.
About $50,000 of the foundation’s $1 million donation will go toward the American Red Cross’s earthquake relief efforts in Nepal. The foundation did not make note of exactly how that $50,000 would be put to use. However, one can safely assume that it will be applied to the American Red Cross’s overall work in the area including the provision of shelter, basic necessities, and emotional support to disaster victims.
As the major emergency response efforts in Nepal are winding down, many organizations have turned their attentions to recovery and reconstruction. The biggest support of course, comes from donor countries and international co-ops like the World Bank, which recently pledged up to $500 million to help finance Nepal’s recovery. So far, we haven’t seen a lot of movement for the country’s reconstruction and rebuilding efforts on the private organization front, but there have been a few front runners in this regard.
The Ford Foundation awarded $500,000 in grants to organizations working in the country, of which $400,000 went toward long-term recovery efforts while $100,000 went toward immediate relief work.
The UPS Foundation also has a long history of staying in-country once the immediate emergency passes. In Nepal, this included coordinating charter flights to bring supplies to Nepal and connecting with the United Nations Logistics Cluster and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to see what other logistical needs it could help with.
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation joining the ranks of the American Red Cross’s Annual Disaster Giving Program doesn’t necessarily indicate that the foundation is shifting its focus to global disaster relief, but rather an expansion of its scope. Carolyn Kindle, vice president and executive director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, remarked, "Our ongoing commitment through the Annual Disaster Giving Program supports the Red Cross' ability to provide immediate support when people are in need of help."