Target Shifts Charity Focus on Wellness

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Retail giant Target is ending a trademark giving program through which it has helped raise $432 million to over 100,000 schools across the country. The company will shift its philanthropic focus to health and wellness efforts, which includes promoting active lifestyles and good nutrition.

The “Take Charge of Education” charitable program, which began nearly two decades ago, will end in May of 2016.

Why the change?

Laysha Ward, who manages Target’s corporate responsibility efforts, said the change is dictated by their customers. Ten years ago, customers agreed that education was their top social concern. Today, Target’s customers say health is their No. 1 issue.

The change will be a disappointment to many schools that currently receive funds from the program. These funds cover budget gaps that include everything from school supplies to after-school programs. Typically, schools received an average of $370 a year from the program, though there are some schools who received thousands of dollars a year.

“If they are stepping back from education, I think that’s a mistake,” said Amy Koo, an analyst at Kantar Retail, noting that there are a number of grocers and drugstore chains that already focus on health and hunger charities.

“Take Charge of Education” was incredibly innovative, but Target strives to do more.

“There was nothing else like it out there. We just want to continue to innovate,” said Ward. The company’s commitment to donate 5 percent of its profits to community programs won’t change, but what will is how they express and reimagine their social responsibility commitment.

Target will focus on areas of healthy eating, active living, and cleaner food labels. In addition, it will closely integrate its business and social programs, tweaking its product assortment to include more natural, healthy products.

Coca-Cola also believes in living a healthy lifestyle. Check out this past blog!

Is this the right move for Target? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!

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