Philanthropy is core to Avon's mission and an important part of the company's "DNA," brought to life by the unique ability to educate and mobilize people worldwide for issues that are of vital importance to women. The power of the individual and the collective power of Avon's worldwide network create an incredible philanthropic force, making Avon and the Avon Foundation for Women (Avon Products Foundation, Inc., referred to as the Avon Foundation), a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) public charity, global leaders in philanthropy.
This unique partnership of corporate philanthropy and a public charity is focused on the core mission areas of breast cancer and domestic violence, and data shows why these remain top issues: every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly one billion women around the globe will be affected by domestic and gender violence. Avon and the Avon Foundation work to eradicate breast cancer and domestic violence by raising funds and awareness through two signature global programs: the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade , launched in 1992, and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence, launched in 2004.
As a global citizen, Avon also responds to major natural disasters and emergencies in areas where the company has a presence. In many instances, the core mission is combined with the relief program for meaningful impact, such as the introduction of breast cancer services in China and support for domestic violence services in New Orleans after natural disasters struck.
In 2007, award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon became honorary co-chair of the Avon Foundation, and she continues to participate in many events, awareness campaigns and educational programs worldwide in support of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence.
In 2010, Avon Products, Inc. applied its unique capacity to drive education, mobilization and fundraising to a new cause: sustainability, specifically the mission to help end deforestation. The program, called Hello Green Tomorrow, is a corporate initiative in more than 50 countries that in its first two years generated over $3.5 million to help restore critically endangered tropical forests. While Hello Green Tomorrow functions independently of the Avon Foundation, it leverages the same power of mobilization to create a “global green army.”
Programs are implemented locally, in more than 50 countries, but driving the strategy and mission of global philanthropy is the Avon Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Founded in 1955 with the goal of improving women's lives, the Avon Foundation was initially focused on women's economic and educational empowerment, launching with a scholarship of $400. Today, the Avon Foundation is the largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on women's issues globally, awarding tens of millions of dollars a year in grants through a rigorous selection process. Click here to learn more.
Through the end of 2010, Avon global philanthropy had raised and donated more than $800 million through programs in over 50 countries, with the majority raised since the 1992 launch of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Of this total, $73 million was raised in 2010 alone, including $24 million contributed by Avon Products, Inc. The goal is to reach $1 billion in total funds donated by 2013.
In a commitment to transparency, details of its fundraising and grant-making can be found on the Avon Foundation website for its U.S. philanthropy. Funds are raised in the U.S. through the sale of unique products by Avon Sales Representatives, with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the Avon Foundation, as well as through events such as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and the Avon Walk Around the World for Breast Cancer series and Walk the Course Against Domestic Violence and the Avon Foundation Awards Gala. These events attract tens of thousands of participants each year, and funds raised are announced and grants awarded at the close of each event.
As an example, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series in the U.S. and Avon Walks Around The World For Breast Cancer in more than 55 countries have attracted more than 1.5 million participants who have raised over $435 Million from 2003 through 2011.
The Avon Foundation Awards Gala which takes place in New York City each fall, raises $2 million. Click here for the 2010 Avon Foundation Gala video.
In addition to substantial public fundraising, Avon Products, Inc. provides in-kind and financial support to the operations of the Avon Foundation and to events such as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and the annual Avon Foundation Gala. Detailed financial reports showing Avon Products' donations to the Avon Foundation, funds raised, grants awarded and more details, can be found on the Avon Foundation financials page.
Read more about how Avon empowers its independent Sales Representatives to make an impact in causes most important to women here, and click here for a timeline of key events and achievements of Avon philanthropy.