The company will soon embark on a partnership with Step Up, a charity that offers empowerment programming for teenage girls.
“Coach is very proud of this moment in women’s empowerment and as part of the brand’s transformation, we’ve been thinking about making a difference under the leadership of the Coach Foundation,” said Margaret Coady, executive director of corporate social responsibility and the Coach Foundation. “Our board made the choice to refine our scope and to invest in a young generation of women, so we will be announcing our partnership with Step Up — a national organization in the U.S. that offers support and confidence-building programs to teen girls to fulfill and help them dream bigger, and turn these dreams into big plans.”
Since its 2009 founding, the foundation has donated $39 million to charities that are aligned with Coach’s values and its surrounding communities. They include natural disaster relief, the High Line, the performing arts and other assorted causes. The foundation pledged $5 million to the Japanese Red Cross in the fallout from the 2011 earthquake off the coast of Tohoku, and it earmarked $2 million to Hurricane Sandy relief on the East Coast. The endowment-based charity has approximately $92 million at its disposal.
It is spearheaded by five high-ranking Coach executives, with the brand’s chief executive officer, Victor Luis, serving as chairman. Other board members include Andre Cohen, president of the brand’s North American operations; Todd Kahn, global marketing president and chief administrative officer; Sarah Dunn, global human resources officer, and Susan Kropf, an outside director.
While this ruling body designates and allots the funds, Coach employees also have a say in the allocation of Coach Foundation money.
As part of an employee match program, the Coach Foundation donates $2 for every $1 contributed by employees to a charity of their choice, up to the first $1,000. Donations beyond $1,000 receive a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $25,000 per year, per employee.
Employees also receive one day each year during which they can volunteer for a charity or cause.
Coady said: “From its earliest days, the foundation has focused on projects that support the vibrancy of communities where Coach has ties. We are committed to making sure that the community sees and feels our philanthropic presence and as part of our transition, we are thinking about how we can have the highest possible impact.”