Chick-fil-A’s New Approach to Charitable Giving Under Scrutiny From Christians

FILE – In this Oct. 30, 2018 file photo, Athens newest Chick-fil-A signage is set to open in downtown, Athens, Ga. (Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP, File)

On Monday (Nov. 18), the popular U.S. fast food chain, Chick-fil-A, Inc., announced a new policy concerning its charitable giving. According to an online statement, the policy, which will take effect in 2020, will focus the company’s charitable donations on the areas of hunger, homelessness and education.

In 2019, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, donated to upwards of 300 charitable organizations. Under the new policy, the foundation will distribute $9 million dollars in pledged donations next year and will limit its partnerships to only one charity for each of its three initiatives.

In its announcement, the foundation stated that in 2020 it will be expanding its partnerships with Junior Achievement USA to support childhood education and Covenant House International to address youth homelessness. Additionally, the foundation also announced plans to “support more than 120 communities by dedicating $25,000 to a local food bank at each new Chick-fil-A opening.”

Chick-fil-A is one of the nation’s fastest growing restaurant chains. With total sales in 2019 topping $10 billion, Chick-fil-A, which is known for its crispy chicken sandwiches and cow-based commercials is now the third largest food chain in the United States, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Despite its rapid growth, the Atlanta-based company has faced intense criticism in recent years over its charitable donations to groups that opposed same-sex marriage. Under the new policy, the foundation will no longer distribute funds to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), the Salvation Army, or the Paul Anderson Youth Home, three former partner organizations whose views on homosexuality have sparked criticism of Chick-fil-A.

Established in 2012, the Chick-fil-A Foundation has distributed more than $52 million in donations to support “education, entrepreneurship and leadership development programs” in local communities where Chick-fil-A operates its franchises. Chick-fil-A has not attributed Monday’s policy shift to criticism or outside pressure. Instead, the company says the new policy reflects a more thoughtful philosophy of giving.

“Our goal,” Tim Tassopoulos, president and COO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., said in a statement, “is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger…. Faith-based or non-faith-based, no organization will be excluded from future consideration.”

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Source: Baptist Press