Walmart’s strategic philanthropy and Its Impacts

Walmart’s strategic philanthropy and Its Impacts

Contributing to the public’s welfare has become a vital part of companies’ corporate business plan. According to Chatterjee and Rai (2018), strategic philanthropy is an outcome or result-oriented giving practice that requires organizations to develop explicit goals, use evidence-based measures, and carry out thorough evaluations. Over the years, Walmart has used corporate philanthropy to contribute to society through activities such as creating employment opportunities, cash and in-kind giving, and substantial donations. Additionally, it champions in solving severe global environmental and social issues. For instance, the company donated 1.2 billion pounds of food and $122 million to improve the food system and assisted 87 communities in dealing with disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes (“Giving Report,” 2016). This strategic plan enables Walmart to build trust among its clients by reassuring them that they are buying from the best company. As a result, Walmart has consistently improved its corporate brand and image, experienced increased sales, attracted investors, and enhanced employees and customer’s retention.

Walmart’s strategic philanthropy has significantly reduced turn over in its branches. Reportedly, Walmart invested $2.7 billion to improve wages, education, and training of its global workforce (Walmart, 2016). Walmart and Walmart Foundation initiated a $100 million program aimed at enhancing practices for training and hiring workers and improving related tools. Through women in factories program that focuses on offering training, Walmart has provided funds to 762, 000 women from all over the world (Walmart, 2016). The company’s women empowerment programs offer various benefits: strengthening women in factories life skills, getting retail jobs, and entrepreneurship training. Thus, Walmart plays a vital role in improving individual, local, national, and international financial empowerment that facilitate the reduction of poverty and illiteracy.

Walmart and Walmart Foundation strategic philanthropy continues to shape its target consumer’s perceptions regarding its products and services, improving its profitability. The management initiates charity programs based on market research to identify various causes and charities beneficial to both the company and the public. For example, in 2016, the company provided $3.6 million to Opportunity Finance Network to fund the training of small scale entrepreneurs as smart financial decision making (Walmart, 2016). The initiative launched national campaigns in the US that allowed business people to access beneficial economic information. The involvement of various firms in strategic philanthropy facilitates the building of an excellent public image, which consequently influences the attitudes of the customers, workforce, investors, media, and other stakeholders.

However, despite the benefits of strategic philanthropy, such as improved public image, the practice considerably affects the company’s profitability. Majority of its charity practices have a direct impact on its financial growth, therefore, lowering its chances of economic growth. For example, although the cash and food donations significantly contribute to the welfare of the people, such activities do not directly contribute to the financial growth of the company. Prolonged and increased spending on strategic philanthropy can hurt the company’s financial stability.

Furthermore, Walmart risks facing a problem of employees’ deviation from its initial business goal. Harvey (2016) noted that increased focus on philanthropic activities could shift the attention of energetic and competitive employees from their jobs towards pleasing foundation supporters. Such occurrences weaken a company’s workforce, lowers performance, and productivity.

Walmart and Walmart Foundation continues to engage in multiple activities that enhance the well-being of society and its business performance. Through activities such as funding employees’ training, increased wages, and promotions the company manages to increase its productivity, enhance its financial stability, and reduce turnover. Cash and in-kind donations enable the company to be part of global movements aimed at improving social and environmental conditions.


Chatterjee, A., & Rai, A. (2018). Strategic philanthropy and its challenges in India: A multiple case study of grantmaking organizations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership28(3), 399-411.

Harvey, H. (2016). Why I regret pushing strategic philanthropy. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Retrieved from

Walmart (2016). Giving report: Using Our Strengths to Help Others. Retrieved from



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