Even the most experienced pro-life activist can benefit from this project. Because it matters is designed to further educate those people who recognize the sanctity of human life and act accordingly. Ongoing education on life issues, strategies and how we can better communicate our life-affirming message is beneficial to everyone.
Standards and Policies
LDI employs carefully drawn Standards and Policies when dealing with corporations. After confirming that a corporation has funded Planned Parenthood, its executive(s) are informed of these Standards and Policies so there is no question as to what will and will not land their respective corporation on The Boycott List.
Five Year Rule
It is not surprising that many corporate executives claim they are not funding Planned Parenthood even though their respective companies are boycott targets. The Boycott List includes corporations that have donated to Planned Parenthood, at any level, in any amount, within the past five years, but whose officials refuse to say donations will not be made in the future. Some corporate officials claim they “no longer” or “do not” or “do not currently” support Planned Parenthood. If officials refuse to say donations will not be made in the future, the company remains on The Boycott List until grants to Planned Parenthood have ceased for five years. This is done to prevent corporations from donating five times as much money as is usually given and claiming for four years they do not support the pro-abortion group.
The Boycott List does not include every corporate supporter of Planned Parenthood; only those that have been investigated and given “due process.” All corporations receive information about Planned Parenthood, along with a request that support cease. (The initial request is sent via Certified Mail.) A corporate name is added to The Boycott List, making it an official target, only if, after a reasonable amount of time, its chief executive refuses to change the philanthropic practice.
LDI leaders believe it is important to give corporate executives the opportunity to do the right thing before publicly criticizing their philanthropic practices. In past cases some top corporate officials had no idea donations were going to Planned Parenthood or, more often, were grossly ignorant of the group’s agenda, including its horrific deadly practices. (After all, what would be wrong with a group called “Planned Parenthood”?) If an executive is willing to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for funding in the future, the corporate name is not released to the public.
Matching Gift Programs
LDI leaders believe Planned Parenthood should receive no corporate funds of any kind, including through matching gift programs. The problem is that virtually every corporation has such a program, which is designed to encourage employee charitable giving. Most corporations will match employee gifts to any organization recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.
LDI explicitly urges corporate officials to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for support under a matching gift program. However, while LDI tracks donations to Planned Parenthood made through such programs, the primary focus and decision-making criteria is restricted to direct donations.
If matching gift donations to Planned Parenthood were sufficient to land on The Boycott List, thousands of corporations would be targets. Just imagine how pages the list of boycott targets would be if such a common and popular program were included. It would be unruly, impossible to manage, and the sheer number would be overwhelmingly discouraging to pro-life activists. It would render The Boycott List useless and bring about a quick end to the Corporate Funding Project. (The fact that matching gifts are employee-driven rather than corporate-driven, an argument made by those who oppose tracking matching gifts to Planned Parenthood, is immaterial.)
In her book Life on the Line, the former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America referenced LDI’s Corporate Funding Project:
Corporate support was only about 5 percent of our budget, but it meant a great deal to us. The credibility that such endorsements bestowed was at least as valuable as the actual dollars given. It was important that we receive support from every sector of our society — from the kid who sent us a portion of an allowance, to major conglomerates.
In order to block such “credibility” and “endorsement,” any public statement regarding a corporate donation to Planned Parenthood must include language making it clear that the matching gift program, as opposed to a general corporate donation, was responsible for the gift.
LDI tracks gifts in-kind. Such donations are viewed as the equivalent of a cash grant.
Some corporations, such as Marriott, operate at least partially on a franchise model. A franchise allows the buyer to use the corporation’s name and logo, sell its brand(s) of products, and so forth. Franchises are independently owned and operated, but because they share the same name and corporations determine standards for franchisees, we recommend a boycott of all parts of the company. Using our example, even if just one Marriott hotel funded Planned Parenthood, every part of Marriott International Corporation becomes a boycott target.
Despite the efforts of some to hide behind the franchisee/franchiser structure, such agreements routinely allow the parent company/franchise seller to protect itself (including its brands) against actions by a franchise owner that bring negative publicity. The funding of Planned Parenthood by even one franchise naturally taints the name of the entire corporation. This is both undeniable and unavoidable.
Would the NAACP be placated by the “it’s a franchise; we have no control” mantra used by corporate officials if a franchisee funded the Aryan Nation? Needless-to-say, the excuse would never — and should never — be acceptable.
LDI contacts each corporation on a regular basis to afford executives an opportunity to let us know if they qualify to be removed from The Boycott List.
All corporations on The Boycott List belong there based on LDI’s long employed, clearly explained and uniformly applied standards. Excuses offered by corporations are unacceptable.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the CFP, please click here.