11.12 Researching Data: Target Aims at Charitable Giving (Objs. 3â€“5)
Lauren Bacall and Robert Redford have both promoted it. And Oprah Winfrey thinks it is so chic that she pronounces its name in mock French (Tar-jay). Unlike its big-box competitors, Target is an American discount retailer that appeals to many female shoppers with trendy and edgy but affordable fashions. However, Target is also proud of its positive corporate image. The company has been praised for giving back to the community with higher-than-usual charitable contributions. At 5 percent of pretax earnings, Targetâ€™s annual donations are more than double the national average among big corporations (in absolute dollars recently as high as $157 million a year).35
Such civic and social advocacy is not without its controversies. Target was criticized for a $150,000 donation to a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate opposing gay marriage. Subsequently, the company took heat over selling T-shirts benefiting a gay-rights group. In a less divisive move, Target has pledged to give $1 billion to education causes by 2015.