A Roundtable Discussion with IKEA, UNICEF, and Save the Children by Shikha Dalal
Today, in Midtown Manhattan, IKEA Social Initiative hosted a breakfast and roundtable discussion with its partners, UNICEF and Save the Children, to discuss their holistic approach to helping children and women in need through more than merely financial donations. This type of "high engagement funding" has been commented on at length in a previous posting for onPhilanthropy.
IKEA’s commitment to UNICEF includes a focus on the promotion of the economic and social empowerment of women and children’s rights to education, survival, development, protection, and participation in the carpet belt region of India. IKEA also uses its global reach to educate consumers about children’s issues through advocacy campaigns in their stores; the Soft Toy Promotion is supported by IKEA stores around the world during the holiday season and has generated over $7 million in support for UNICEF education programs.
Save the Children’s long-standing partnership with IKEA began in 1994 with efforts to raise awareness about the plight of exploited children working in harmful conditions, and has expanded to support other programs in child protection, health and education in more than 16 developing countries and education programs in the United States. One such program is an initiative for children in India and Pakistan to help advance children’s rights to a healthy and secure childhood and open opportunities for quality education.
It will be interesting to watch as IKEA continues to evolve its CSR initiatives, moving beyond traditional “check-writing” into broader altruistic efforts. To learn more about IKEA Social Initiative, please visit here.