Chick-fil-A will change to which charities it donates, moving away from those that oppose LGBT lifestyles, according to Bisnow.
Instead of donating to more than 300 charitable organizations annually, it will now focus its donations on three main issues — education, homelessness, and hunger — and donate to one accompanying charity each.
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
The home of “the original chicken sandwich” will no longer be donating to Christian organizations like the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth. Chick-fil-A says its donations to these organizations have sparked criticism from the LGBT community.
The chicken restaurant has previously been barred from opening concessions in airports and long protested by LGBT activists. More recently, the landlord for the U.K.’s first Chick-fil-A announced eight days into the lease that the company would not be welcome to extend.
Although the bad press had not previously affected sales, the most recent headlines impeded the company’s growth, a Chick-fil-A executive told Bisnow. The company still maintains the donations to charities were separate from those companies’ opposition to LGBT lifestyles.
The Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations like Junior Achievement USA to support education, Covenant House International to combat homelessness, and local community food banks in cities where they operate. The company also said it plans to give $25,000 to a local food bank when it opens a new location.
Chick-fil-A said it recognizes that changes are necessary if some communities do not want to see a franchise open in their area.
“When there is a tension, we want to make sure we’re being clear. We think this is going to be helpful,” Tassopoulos said. “It’s just the right thing to do: to be clear, caring and supportive, and do it in the community.”
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