Corporate Citizenship: Costco

Costco has been donating to nonprofits since it was founded, and is being honored for its corporate citizenship by the Business Journal.

Corporate Citizenship: Costco

Brenda Weber began her Costco Wholesale career (Nasdaq COST) the same way many employees do. She said, "I was pushing carts (in the Silverdale Costco parking lot) for what I thought would be just a fun job over the summer."

Weber currently serves as senior vice president for human resources at Costco U.S. and Puerto Rico. Weber has been at Costco for 25 years and says that charitable giving is in the DNA of the company.

Costco was founded by founders who were dedicated to making a positive contribution in the communities we operate in. She said: 'I've witnessed it first-hand. It's unwavering, and every year Costco and its employees donate more money and members raise more funds.

Costco allocates 1% of its annual profits (pre-tax) for charitable contributions that focus on disaster relief, children's education, health and human services and Covid-19. The company will donate over $75 million in fiscal 2023 to hundreds of charities, including many that are related to health care. In 2022, the company donated $10M to Washington nonprofits.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals are one example. Costco takes part in the Miracle Balloon Campaign every May. Customers are invited to donate when paying for their purchases. The yellow balloon signs are displayed on the warehouse walls, near the checkout stand by the end of each month. Costco donated $1.9M to Seattle Children's in 2022.

Each warehouse has its own budget to give to charity. They can use it as they please.

Weber said that he wanted his general managers to be able say "yes" to donations requests because he cared about being a good partner in the community.

Weber said that Costco employees were also encouraged to give back and serve their communities through the United Way Workplace Giving Campaign, where Costco would match employee donations at 60%.

Costco also donates food from its warehouses, because it is directly related to health. The donations are made to Feeding America, a national nonprofit. In its FY22, Costco donated 90 million pounds worth of food and products. It also contributed $5.5 in cash grants.