Newell Rubbermaid establishes endowed charitable foundation

By Maria Saporta

Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid is establishing an endowed foundation, which should, over time, increase the company’s giving in the communities throughout the world where it has operations.

The company plans to endow the foundation with $25 million over the next five years, and the foundation eventually will become the company’s primary vehicle for charitable donations.

“It’s a way to make sure we can sustain and continue to contribute to the community,” said Mark Ketchum, Newell Rubbermaid’s president and CEO, after the company’s annual meeting Tuesday morning at its headquarters in Sandy Springs. “It certainly creates the potential in the long run for increased giving.”

Jackie Parker, who has been Newell Rubbermaid’s vice president of corporate philanthropy, will become the president of the new foundation.

“Our goal is to be standard with best practices,” Parker said, adding that the endowed foundation will give about 5 percent of its fund each year in line with other endowed foundations.

The company’s giving will focus on areas of educational opportunities for children and young adults. It will build on the community relationships it already has established, such as partnerships with Junior Achievement, Quality Care for Children, Skills USA, Kids in Need Foundation and Teach for America.

Newell Rubbermaid also has made strategic investments in organizations such as United Way and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. It has made a five-year, $500,000 pledge to the center, Parker said.

The company said that since 2007, Newell Rubbermaid and its brands have made cash and in-kind donations to more than 175 non-profit organizations globally.

Organizations eligible for support from the Newell Rubbermaid Foundation include programs and services that are consistent with the foundation’s goals and are tax-exempt corporations.

Newell Rubbermaid, a $5.8 billion company, is a global conglomerate of high-profile consumer products, including Rubbermaid, Sharpie. Graco, Calphalon, Irwin, Lenox, Levolor, Paper Mate, Dymo, Waterman, Parker, Goody among other products.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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