The International Franchise Association (IFA) Educational Foundation announced the winners of its inaugural Franchising Gives Back Awards, who were honored at a special event yesterday in Washington, D.C.

The IFA Educational Foundation recognized five Gold Winners at the Franchising Gives Back Celebration & Awards Dinner, including:

  • Spirit of Franchising Award—Denny’s. In 2014, nearly 1,400 Denny’s restaurants nationwide sold coupons in support of No Kid Hungry’s efforts to help more than 16 million American children who struggle with hunger. For a $3 donation, guests received $9 worth of coupons redeemable at participating Denny’s restaurants and every dollar donated helped feed a child up to 10 healthy meals. In 2014, Denny’s raised nearly $945,000 for No Kid Hungry and since 2011, the company has donated more than $2.3 million in total to the campaign.
  • Enduring Impact Award—Jersey Mike’s Subs. Since 2011, Jersey Mike’s restaurants across the country have championed a Month of Giving program in March where guests can make a donation to a charity partner chosen with care by the franchise owner. The campaign culminates on Jersey Mike’s Day of Giving, a daylong, nationwide event where 100 percent of the proceeds of the day’s sales are donated to each local charity. In five years, Jersey Mike’s has raised more than $8.3 million.
  • Support Our Veterans Award—CertaPro Painters. CertaPro Painters kicked off a campaign to support Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), a privately funded nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. CertaPro became one of HFOT’s national sponsors, committing to raising $200,000 in funds and donations of its painting services by the end of 2014. CertaPro Painters exceeded its goal by raising $260,000 and an additional $160,000 through in-kind donations.
  • Innovation and Impact Award—Figaro’s Italian Pizza Inc.—Each pizza box promotes the H.E.L.P. program where a portion of every dollar spent is contributed to a local school. Figaro’s matches every dollar donated by franchisees. Figaro’s itself has contributed more than $92,000 to H.E.L.P., while suppliers and others, including Figaro’s staff, have contributed $45,000 as well. Since launching the charity less than five years ago, H.E.L.P., has issued over 400 grants to help with musical instrument repair, music camp scholarships, summer reading programs, library books, shoes for needy students, sports equipment, and school field trips.
  • The Newcomer Award—Church's Chicken. In 2014, Church’s Partners Foundation, the charitable arm of Church’s Chicken, launched the Church’s Scholars Program to provide $1,000 scholarships for students to use toward college tuition at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/trade school. In 2014, Church’s Partners Foundation awarded $50,000 in scholarships to students in Texas, and in 2015, $175,000 in scholarships was awarded to students in 18 states. Funds for the scholarships are raised in part by contributions from franchisees and company-owned restaurants, including profits generated from coupon books that are sold through Church’s restaurants.


Ten additional Silver Award Winners were recognized. They are:

  • Spirit of Franchising Award—Massage Envy Spa (The Arthritis Foundation) and Sport Clips Haircuts (American Red Cross)
  • Enduring Impact Award—Marriott International (Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals) and The Melting Pot (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)
  • Support Our Veterans Award—CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc. (Stars for Heroes) and Golden Corral Buffet & Grill (Camp Corral Foundation)
  • Innovation and Impact Award—Jibu (Water Club Program) and Wingstop (Wingstop Flavor Tour)
  • The Newcomer Award—Moe’s Southwest Grill in Abilene, Texas (Taylor County Sheriff’s Office) and SOLDIERFIT (22 Needs A Face Foundation)

“On behalf of the IFA Educational Foundation, I want to congratulate the first-ever award winners of the Franchising Gives Back Awards,” says John Reynolds, CFE, president of the IFA Educational Foundation. “The winners are outstanding examples of how franchise businesses support their communities through charitable acts throughout the year.”

“Over the past five years, Denny’s has emerged as a true leader in the fight to end childhood hunger in this country,” says Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. “Through the leadership of their executives and franchisees and the commitment from their staff, Denny’s has grown to be one of the top fund-raising restaurants. Their determination continues to inspire all of us at Share Our Strength and serves as reminder that together we can make No Kid Hungry a reality.”

“Despite life-altering injuries, many of the Veterans in the Homes for Our Troops program have embarked on new careers, completed college degrees and started families,” says Tim McHale, president/CEO of Homes for Our Troops. “Because of sponsors like CertaPro, veterans don’t have to worry about a mortgage, but instead are empowered to focus on recovering and rebuilding their lives.”

Established by a generous donation from Roark Capital Group, Franchising Gives Back salutes the best, most innovative community leaders and charitable programs nationwide. 

“We are honored to be part of Franchising Gives Back and recognize those businesses with an exceptional commitment to community leadership across the U.S. and around the world,” says Steve Romaniello, CFE, managing director, Roark Capital Group. “These companies will set an example for our industry to follow and inspire others to join our efforts in making a difference.”

As part of the ongoing initiative for Franchising Gives Back, the IFA Educational Foundation is developing a national registry of the franchising industry’s charitable contributions. Members of the IFA can register and create a profile for their organization by visiting, where they can submit details about their charitable activities—including hours volunteered and money donated—as well as upcoming events, news, and blog posts. 

Charitable Giving, Franchising, News, Church's Chicken, CKE, Jersey Mike's, Moe's Southwest Grill