Spotlight Responsible Leadership: The New Balance Foundation & Corporate Philanthropy

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Spotlight Responsible Leadership: The New Balance Foundation & Corporate Philanthropy

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Motivating hundreds of thousands of children to be more active @NBGivesBack #csr


New Balance Foundation Mission: to support charitable organizations whose humanitarian efforts work for the betterment of our children and communities, with a principal focus on promoting healthy lifestyles while working towards the prevention of childhood obesity. In service of this mission, the foundation is committed to supporting grassroots children’s initiatives in the communities in which new balance operates facilities.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 12:15pm

New Balance owners Jim and Anne Davis established the New Balance Foundation in 1981 with funds generated from the company’s profits. The Foundation supports continued corporate giving through partnerships that advance a diverse range of worthwhile initiatives, particularly programs that address the prevention of childhood obesity. Since its inception, the New Balance Foundation and company has invested more than $50 million in causes that will make a long-lasting and sustainable impact. The Foundation strives to promote healthy lifestyles, particularly in youth, and overall community improvement.

In 2011, the New Balance Foundation granted $6.5 million to approximately 75 nonprofit organizations impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. Company support includes grants, product and in-kind donations, associate volunteerism and sponsorships.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY The core focus of the New Balance Foundation is the prevention of childhood obesity, which we believe contributes significantly to the overall health and well-being of our communities. We use a holistic approach that includes medical, academic and grassroot nonprofi t partnerships and work with partners who engage kids and their families through exercise and play as well as nutrition.

  • CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL BOSTON received a $7 million gift in January 2011 from the New Balance Foundation to establish the New Balance Foundation Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention. This landmark gift—the largest for Children’s Hospital ever—will help transform the lives of overweight and obese children nationwide with research and programs.

Currently, Children’s Hospital’s multidisciplinary pediatric obesity treatment program, Optimal Weight for Life (OWL), is one of the largest and most prominent in the U.S. It evaluates and treats more than 1,000 at-risk children annually.

Through the newly-established Center, David Ludwig MD PhD, and his team is expanding and enhancing clinical care, continuing obesity research, and developing resources to spread knowledge beyond Children’s Hospital to a national and global audience. Specifically, the Center’s team will create a toolkit, a community-based health guide, and a website that will become go-to resources for kids, families, non-profit partners, community health centers, schools and others. The Center hosts meetings and nutrition/fitness-focused events each year and a national symposium every two years to bring together experts and other organizations to present obesity research findings and share ideas on best practices in translating research into clinical care.

  • PLAYWORKS In November 2011, New Balance Foundation announced a national partnership with Playworks, a national nonprofit organization that supports learning and a positive school climate by providing healthy, inclusive play and physical activity. Together, they expect to expand the power of play to more than 170,000 students in 23 cities across the U.S. New Balance Foundation’s $1.2 million investment over two years will help drive advocacy, outreach, engagement and other initiatives that directly work to build the movement for play. The funding will also support professional development initiatives for the hundreds of Playworks coaches who serve low-income schools nationwide. As part of the agreement, New Balance will be the official footwear and apparel provider for Playworks and will outfit the coaches on the playground.
  • CHOPCHOPMAG.ORG In 2010, New Balance Foundation entered a multi-year partnership with nationally distributed ChopChop magazine to inspire and educate children on the topic of cooking, nutritional literacy and exercise.  The quarterly magazine is distributed to more than 500,000 children through children’s hospitals, pediatric offices, health clinics, elementary schools, and afterschool programs.
  • METROLaCROSSE We are particularly interested in working with underserved youth. New Balance Foundation has had a 11-year partnership with nonprofit MetroLacrosse, the largest urban lacrosse and education program in the country. MetroLacrosse uses the sport of lacrosse to spread the importance of physical fitness, nutrition and life skills such as teamwork, leadership, dedication and perseverance to young people who may not have easy access to the sport. To date, the New Balance Foundation, together with New Balance, Warrior and Brine, have provided more than $2 million in financial support and product donations to sponsor lacrosse-based youth development programs. Boston Business Journal honored New Balance Foundation with the 2011 Community Partner Award for our work with MetroLacrosse.


  • New Balance Associates donated over 4,500 hours on service projects in 2011.