Chick-fil-A customers nationwide helped select the recipients of more than $1.1 million in grants, thanks to the new Chick-fil-A One app. The 2017 True Inspiration Awards—announced by the Chick-fil-A Foundation—honor and provide financial support to 22 not-for-profits in 16 states to help further their work with youth, fostering leadership skills and developing an entrepreneurial spirit.
For the first time since the awards program began in 2014, Chick-fil-A used its new mobile app to allow customers to vote for organizations in their local communities. More than 76,000 customers nationwide voted, helping select 12 of the winning organizations nationwide, from Boy's Republic in Chino Hills, California to Lexington Leadership Foundation in Lexington, Kentucky.
This is the third year the Chick-fil-A Foundation has granted the True Inspiration Awards, which were created to honor the legacy of Chick-fil-A's late founder, S. Truett Cathy. Organizations can either apply for the grants, ranging from $15,000 to $100,000, or receive a nomination from a local Chick-fil-A restaurant franchisee. More than 150 organizations applied for grants this year.
"These organizations are doing remarkable work in education, leadership development and youth entrepreneurship, so we are thrilled to be able to help support their goals for 2017," says Rodney Bullard, vice president of community affairs for Chick-fil-A and executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. He added, "The Chick-fil-A Foundation's mission is to 'enable children to be all they were created to be,' and these organizations have helped make that mission a reality. Chick-fil-A and The Chick-fil-A Foundation are committed to strengthening the communities in which we live."
Before opening voting to customers, the Chick-fil-A Foundation reviewed the applications and selected a list of finalists that demonstrate a commitment to supporting youth and education. The 22 award winners will be honored at a celebratory event in Atlanta next year, and funding will be available to them before the end of 2016.
"Mobile technology is changing corporate giving, allowing us to literally put the decision in the hands of our local customers who are impacted by these incredible organizations," says Michael Lage, senior manager of Chick-fil-A's digital experience.