"Anadarko, a multinational petroleum corporation with annual revenue of more than $14 billion and the owner of some of the first major official spills into the South Platte River, volunteered $300,000 toward flood relief efforts."Their donation, very likely in part meant to help assuage their guilt in the spill, made me think of the following press release by the United-Way of Weld, Greeley chapter which proudly proclaimed:
ANADARKO PETROLEUM LEADS THE WAY IN LONG TERM RECOVERY FUND FOR FLOOD VICTIMS
Greeley, CO – Anadarko Petroleum Corporation made a commitment to the communities of Weld County by contributing $300,000 to the Weld County Flood Relief Fund...With this contribution, the fund has grown to more than $450,000 in less than one week since inception.
Anadarko Headquarters, Texas
Donations are coming in from all across the country, with nearly two hundred individuals, in addition to a few considerate companies who have local ties. In addition to Anadarko, a few companies have stepped up to create corporate match programs as incentive for employees to donate to either the Community Foundation or United Way of Weld County.
The Greeley Tribune printed the release almost verbatim. Find the full version here. But, what I immediately wondered, was why the other company donors were not mentioned by name? Why should Anadarko be so prominently featured?
I asked that question:
Dear Mr. Tucker,
It offends me to read the following in your press release.
In addition to Anadarko, a few companies have stepped up to create corporate match programs as incentive for employees to donate to either the Community Foundation or United Way of Weld County.Why not also give proper credit to those other companies, by naming them?
His reply came back just 13 minutes later:
I'm sorry you're offended. We felt it was appropriate to focus on Anadarko because of the significance of the contribution. JBS and Bank of Choice have also committed to help through matching, but they have both been mentioned on separate releases.
Thank you for your concern and please let me know if you have any questions.
Mark Tucker, Director, Marketing & Community Development, United Way of Weld County 970.304.6176 | email@example.comSo it is the significance of the contribution that matters! Certainly it is a nice gesture that provides the community with much needed aid, but when seen as a percentage of their yearly profits; 100 million dollars last year, their donation is only 0.3 of one percent of that.
Put differently, that is like having $3.00 and donating just one penny! Compare that to a hundred dollar donation from a resident who only has $1200 in 'profit' or savings to freely spend in a year. His or her donation is 8%, or 8 cents of one dollar.
If we really want to compare it to Anadarko's gift we need to put it in the right perspective of the three dollar example. That would show the contrast of a whopping 24 cents compared with their measly penny!
But, it turns out that Anadarko and the United-Way have been connected for many years, so perhaps that's the reason that they get so much praise for their donation. Last year Anadarko donated 2 million dollars to the United Way, but half of that came from its employees; the company matched their donation dollar for dollar.
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