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Progress in Millions

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It’s a seemingly simple strategy—company thrives, company delivers more earnings, company has more to give back. Levi Strauss & Co. executives founded NCG member the Levi Strauss Foundation (LSF) which began its giving strategy years ago, and just recently hit an awe inspiring milestone of $300 million in grants given to nonprofits. The foundation took a simple concept and has made it most effective over the years with a philosophy over 60 years old—to donate 2 to 2.5 percent of earnings each year.

1953 LSF was founded by four Levi Strauss & Co. executives, Walter Haas Jr., Walter Haas, Daniel Koshland and Peter Haas, Sr. (pictured left to right). Heavily involved, the founders focused on Bay Area needs like HIV/AIDS, equality and helping low-income families. What is the core behind LSF taking a long-lasting helping position with HIV/Aids? Executive Director of the Levi Strauss Foundation Daniel Lee said,

“It’s what we might call disinterested philanthropy. These issues aren’t traditionally core to the business, but we’ve embraced them as business issues. As a result, we’re able to have the conversation about what we stand for and how this reflects our core values.”

“We support those on the front lines of an epidemic that continues to be driven by stigma and discrimination, especially in emerging markets where our business is growing,” Daniel said. “We’ve been in this fight for 33 years, but this isn’t merely a ‘legacy’ issue for us. We’re continuing to find ways to keep it fresh and relevant until there is an HIV-free generation.”

To learn more about the Levi Strauss Foundation and its exciting milestone read the full press release.