Costco and United Way: A Successful Partnership
United Way and Costco have been working together in the US for more than 30 years, with Costco employees donating more than $18 million to United Way in 2016. Costco and United Way are successful partners for several reasons: first and foremost, they share values and vision. United Way and Costco support the same charitable causes–children and education, health and human support–and work directly with local communities.
In the UK, Costco and United Way UK have been partners for four years, pioneering the extremely successful and award-winning “Give Local” payroll giving campaign. Each year of the UK campaign has been more successful than the last, with increasing numbers of employees signed up to payroll giving. Over 31% of Costco employees donate through payroll giving (compared to 4% average nationally), and of those employees 43% choose to give to United Way.
Costco matches 25% of all employee contributions. Not only does this get employee donors engaged, it also increases the value of their contribution and increases trust in United Way UK by ensuring that if they do give to UWUK, 100% of the donation goes to the “Give Local” grant programme as United Way’s Costco-related running costs are fully covered by Costco.
In 2017 United Way gave out 29 grants of £1,000 to local charities through United Way’s “Give Local” programme, fully funded by Costco employees’ donations to United Way UK. This was the second year of the programme–“Give Local” is focused on small, local charities that are based close to each Costco warehouse and help people and families in the area. All of the recipient charities are people focussed, helping those who are disadvantaged due to ill health, poverty, or educational issues. Employees were able to nominate charities for the grants and contribute to choosing the recipient. Give Local has supported more than 50 charities across England, Scotland, and Wales!
In 2016, Costco and United Way’s Give Local campaign won “Most Innovative Campaign” at the National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards, and Ian Yates (who runs the campaign from the Costco side) won “Best Corporate Champion.” In 2017, Costco achieved a Diamond mark for payroll giving (the highest possible), and their work with United Way UK won “Best Promotional Partnership.”
We are so proud of our work with Costco and how it having a positive impact on local communities across the UK, and we look forward to working together for many years to come!