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Giving Back, a Worldwide Tradition

Group of happy and diverse volunteers

The direct selling industry has a long tradition of giving back to our communities. It’s one of our favorite things about network marketing. But it’s difficult to know how much of an impact this tradition actually makes on our world. Recently the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) published the 2017 Global Philanthropy Report of the Direct Selling Industry. The purpose of the report is to quantify the philanthropic efforts of the industry. To this end, the WFDSA surveyed companies worldwide. 63 companies responded. I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the results from the survey.

Who’s giving and how much

Of the companies that responded, 51 companies (82%) have corporate philanthropic activities. One fourth of the companies that had programs launched their programs at the founding of their companies.

Company donations ranged from cash donations to voluntarism to matching programs and more. Monetary donations from the 51 companies totaled $154.4 million dollars. That’s an average of $3 million dollars per company. $76.4 million went to causes outside the US and $78.0 million went to causes inside the US.

Distributors also donated. Their contributions totaled $50 million in donations—24% of the total monetary donations reported in the survey.

Where the money’s going

65% of companies contributed to multiple charities. The charities ranged from health and human services to economic development. 44% of companies gave to help children in need and 19% to help women in need. For example, AKEO supports a program that assists victims of child abuse. For helping women, Avon shines as they support a wide range of women’s issues.

The most common reason companies choose a charity is the goals and values of the company match the charitable organizations. One example is Captain Tortue which supported charities that help children because when they started out they marketed fashion for children.


The report is short and provides a nice summary of some of the philanthropic projects that direct selling companies engage in around the world. In looking over the list of companies that responded to the report, I know that many more companies support a wide variety of charities around the world. I am proud of the charity work we do. In a previous article, I wrote about Working for a Cause which summarizes some company’s philanthropic activities.

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