Direct Selling Gives Back to the Global Community

May 1, 2022
By DSJ Staff

Across the United States and around the world, a direct selling presence brings more to a community than just a business opportunity. It brings a commitment to good citizenship—a pledge to give back to those communities where direct sellers live and work and to respond to the needs of others in times of a national or global crisis.

Philanthropy is a hallmark of the direct selling industry. Charitable initiatives have their roots in the values of company founders. Some companies start their own charitable foundations: the USANA Foundation, Herbalife Nutrition Foundation, and Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation are a few examples. Others create, develop, and support ongoing partnerships with charities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as The Avon Company’s longtime partnership with Feed the Children to help end childhood hunger, Natura’s continuing work to protect the Amazon, and PM International’s contributions to the relief, development, and advocacy organization World Vision.

Our companies, representatives, and customers have a long track record of stepping up in times of crisis. Direct sellers were among the first to donate to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, the aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey, and the fires in the western US and Australia. Many companies aided in efforts to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Amway turned its manufacturing facilities into production lines for hand sanitizers. Recently, companies such as Young Living, dōTERRA, MONAT, Sunrider, 4Life, and Southwestern contributed to the relief efforts in Ukraine.

Direct selling has a presence today in more than 100 countries. Its economic impact from the last few years can be measured in the record sales—$179.3 billion in 2020—number of sellers, and number of customers. Not as easily measured is the tremendous impact direct selling makes on people everywhere whose lives have been positively affected by the generosity of the industry.

Corporate Giving

In its 2020 Direct Selling Worldwide Corporate Philanthropy Survey, the World Federation of Direct Selling Association (WFDSA) confirmed that 1 in 4 direct selling companies was founded with philanthropy as a major tenet of their vision, and 9 in 10 direct selling companies partnered with charities or NGOs. As for donations:

  • Nine in ten make cash donations
  • One-half make in-kind donations
  • 62% contribute through cause-related marketing (selling products with a portion of proceeds going to a charity)
  • 53% contribute though volunteerism
  • 44% give through sponsorships
  • 35% contribute through matching fund programs

Nearly 70 percent of the companies that participated in the WFDSA’s survey focus their charitable initiatives on children’s causes with another 25 percent supporting causes for women. Other data includes:

  • 91% of direct selling companies with philanthropy activities support health and human services through financial donations or volunteer participation
  • 66% support education
  • 47% support environmental protection and conservation
  • 28% support economic development
  • 19% support art and culture

Giving Examples

The following are examples of 2021 philanthropic initiatives by DSA member companies.

Avon Beauty of Giving Campaign

Avon’s Beauty of Giving campaign celebrated and commemorated the brand’s 135th anniversary and incredible history of giving back to important causes. The campaign supported Avon’s longtime partner, Feed the Children, by donating in one month more than 3.4 million essential products for families in need. Representatives, Associates, and the entire Avon community rallied around the cause to make a huge difference for this important social impact initiative.

Nourish the Children

In 2002, Nu Skin created the Nourish the Children (NTC) initiative to address the tragedy of childhood hunger and malnutrition with a highly nutritious food known as VitaMeal, developed by Nu Skin’s nutritional scientists. Nourish the Children contributions help about 120,000 children thrive every day. Since the program began, the company has donated 750 million meals to children in more than fifty countries. NTC’s third-party charity partners provide malnourished children with the nutrient-dense food purchased and donated from Nu Skin sales leaders, customers, and employees. Manufacturing plants for VitaMeal in Argentina, Malawi, and China provide jobs and economic development opportunities for locals. Many VitaMeal donations go to school programs to encourage and motivate impoverished families to send their children to school for a consistent source of food. With world hunger on the rise, Nu Skin’s mission to be a force for good around the world is even more relevant, as it works to reach the goal of 1 billion meals purchased and donated worldwide.

Engage Now Africa, Wonber Maternal Center

Sunrider International has been instrumental in the groundbreaking of a new maternity clinic in Wonber Miriam, Ethiopia (Liban). The Women’s Health Center was made possible by a Sunrider philanthropic marketing campaign that donated more than half the proceeds of each ticket purchased for its 2021 Grand Convention to charitable projects. The Engage Now Africa philanthropic campaign raised nearly $25,000 for the construction of the Wonber Maternal Clinic that will serve and support about 30,000 women and children per year.

USANA Garden Towers

The USANA Foundation is a nonprofit organization created by USANA Health Sciences to expand and enhance the company’s ongoing charitable efforts. The USANA Foundation provides immediate and longterm global food relief for those in severe need through a network of community-driven partnerships to nourish, equip, and eliminate hunger and malnutrition throughout the world. The USANA Foundation’s Garden Tower Initiative—developed with considerable thought and effort—plants seeds of hope across the globe. The USANA Garden Tower is a simple, powerful solution that provides sustainable, nutritious food for people in varying countries and climates. Made from a long-lasting, durable material, each tower can hold up to 120 plants and be harvested for many years. A full-grown USANA Garden Tower can provide more than five meals a week for a family of six. Garden Towers use 30 percent less water than a traditional garden. USANA has spent the past three decades working to make the world a better place through its health and wellness products and philanthropic ventures. The company announced its next big humanitarian goal—raising enough money to fund 30,000 garden towers around the world by USANA’s 30th anniversary convention this year.

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