FedEx has reach. We’re talking massive reach on a global scale. And the company has a long history of supporting organizations in areas of the world in which it operates, which is pretty much everywhere, but you would hardly know. We just don’t hear much about FedEx’s charitable giving. Which is a shame, because we really like highlighting the good work major multinational corporations like FedEx are doing.
Lord knows we've written a ton about the philanthropy of FedEx's arch rival, UPS, which has carved out a super-smart and valuable niche for itself as a unique funder that uses its vast logistical network to respond to global humanitarian disasters. (UPS wealth also underwrote creation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, by the way.)
Well, here's some big news about FedEx we can pass along: The company made a recent announcement that it would invest $200 million in over 200 global communities by the year 2020 through a new program called FedEx Cares. Upon the announcement, Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president, FedEx Integrated Marketing Communications said, “This new strategy builds on that heritage and takes it to the next level by focusing on ways we can use our operational strength and business expertise to address social challenges.”
By the numbers, FedEx will dedicate an average of $40 to $50 million annually to global causes that fall within its five main focus areas, including delivering resources to disaster areas, developing sustainable transportation solutions, increasing employment opportunities for young people and underserved populations, improving road safety, and encouraging entrepreneurship for women and minorities.
Although the announcement is recent, FedEx isn’t wasting any time. FedEx is committing some $50 million to providing resources to disaster areas and regions of the world that need them the most. Details are a bit sparse regarding what’s going where, but what we do know is that $50 million is immediately available for disaster preparedness and relief efforts.
FedEx isn’t new to the disaster preparedness, relief and response field. It’s been offering up financial and in-kind support in domestic and international disaster areas for years. And disasters of the natural variety aren’t the only matters that pique FedEx’s funding interests.
For instance, the Memphis-headquartered company recently partnered with a Memphis water utility to donate some 12,000 bottles of water to the residents of Flint, Michigan. The Flint water crisis is clearly a manmade disaster as city officials switched from Detroit’s water system to drawing water from the Flint River.
Speaking of water, it just may be a focal point of funding in the coming years for FedEx Cares. Patrick Fitzgerald touched on the topic upon the announcement, saying, "One thing that I have learned as we’ve gone through various natural disasters is the importance of water and our ability to get water in. Whether it be from an earthquake, hurricane or other type of disaster, water is desperately needed."
This is just speculation, of course. But stay tuned. Big things are coming from FedEx, sooner rather than later.