The UPS Foundation: Governance Loading...

Policy and Responsibility

The UPS Foundation is a legally separate 501(c)(3) entity. Its headquarters are co-located with the headquarters of UPS in the United States. Within UPS, management responsibility for the Foundation rests with John McDevitt, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. Within the Foundation, the highest governing body is the Board of Trustees. Because UPS considers the Foundation’s work to be a vital contribution to the company’s sustainability, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees includes the following UPS corporate officers: 

• Chief Executive Officer D. Scott Davis 
• Chief Operating Officer David Abney 
• Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn 
• Chief Sales, Marketing and Strategy Officer Alan Gershenhorn 
• UPS International President Dan Brutto 
• Senior Vice President, Human Resources John McDevitt 
• Senior Vice President, Communications and Brand Management Christine Owens 
• Senior Vice President, Legal, Compliance, Audit and Public Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Teri Plummer McClure 

The Board of Trustees meets five times a year, with a mandatory quorum. Minutes of these meetings are signed by Trustees and kept on file. Meetings and other proceedings of The UPS Foundation are governed by its bylaws, which include a conflict of interest policy especially for Foundation employees and Trustees. Foundation bylaws are updated from time to time to reflect changing standards and practices in philanthropy and society. Beyond the bylaws, the Foundation and its trustees and employees are governed by the same documents, structures, and principles that govern UPS itself, including the Code of Business Conduct. (For more information on these documents, structures, and principles see “Appendix A: Corporate Governance”).

The UPS Corporate Accounting department provides the accounting, finance, and tax expertise to maintain the financial stewardship and control of The UPS Foundation’s fiscal and transactional operations. The UPS Corporate Legal Department provides legal counsel to The UPS Foundation as required or needed in its normal course of operation. When necessary, The UPS Foundation will retain external legal counsel for matters, which may arise from time to time. 

Foundation Funding 

One of the Board of Trustees’ principal responsibilities is reviewing the funding level for The UPS Foundation, and making funding proposals to the UPS Board of Directors. The Board of Trustees also approves matching funds for employee pledges to United Way. In recent years, the Board has authorized The UPS Foundation to match 15 percent of employee United Way donations. 


Within the Foundation, grant-making authority is subject to strict limits and a defined approval process. For example, only the President of the Foundation can approve grants larger than US$25,000, and grants larger than US$50,000 require the approval of a Trustee. Before any grant can reach this level of approval, it must meet a number of other documented and established approval criteria as described below. Furthermore, we generally seek to place a UPS senior manager or executive on the Board of Trustees or major steering committee of organizations receiving substantial grants from The UPS Foundation. This ensures an additional level of oversight for our grant-making activity. 

The Foundation manages global and national grantmaking centrally at Foundation headquarters. Following its non-solicitation policy, the Foundation independently identifies candidate organizations for charitable donations, engages with those organizations to confirm their interest and qualifications, conducts a legal review for all international grants, and then presents recommendations to the Board of Trustees for review and approval. In 2012, the Foundation formalized the practice of requiring nondiscrimination practices on the part of grant recipients. 

Local grant-making starts with committees of UPS employees in local business units. The committees identify candidate organizations and then determine if they fulfill legal and technical requirements. In addition, local grant recipients must be able to show at least 50 hours of volunteer hours contributed by UPS employees before the grant is awarded. The committees present their nominations to local and regional managers, who review them to confirm that candidate organizations meet requirements, fit Foundation strategy, and respond to local or regional needs. In some cases, the strategic requirement may be eased somewhat in order to address local needs that are important to UPS employees in the community. Finally, the local grant proposal reaches The UPS Foundation, which conducts a third review. 
The Foundation makes or renews grants to more than 4,400 non-profit organizations each year. Within the U.S., these are allocated geographically in rough proportion to census figures, which in turn correlate with concentrations of UPS employees. The UPS Foundation provides community investment grants to organizations based throughout the world. The allocation of these grants is based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, community needs, alignment with The UPS Foundation focus areas and funding strategies, presence of UPS employees, other business interests, and available resources. 

Training and Awareness 

The UPS Foundation offers online training courses in community engagement for UPS managers. The courses are designed to strengthen understanding of UPS’s community engagement strategy and why it is vital to the success and sustainability of the company. 

Monitoring and Follow-Up 

The Foundation’s leadership maintains clear visibility of local grant-making, which is thoroughly and systematically documented throughout any philanthropic relationship. Applications and other documentation remain on file at all levels, so that all parties in the grant-making process can monitor expectations and results. In particular, the Foundation reviews a recipient’s results and activities before renewing a grant. This applies equally to global philanthropic partners. In renewing existing grants or continuing multiyear grants, the Foundation assesses the results achieved with the funding provided. Thus The UPS Foundation can act effectively on the international stage while keeping in close touch with local activities around the world.

To further enhance monitoring and follow-up capabilities, The Foundation has brought increased attention and resources to generating quantitative metrics for community engagement efforts. This is a leading-edge activity for corporate philanthropy generally, because many of the presumed benefits of community engagement and philanthropic support have not traditionally been measured using quantifiable data.