GoDaddy announced today that it has already donated more money to charities in 2011 than it did all of last year, which was $3.4 million. This year, the company says GoDaddy Cares, it's philanthropic arm, surpassed the $4.2 million mark last weekend at the Make-A-Wish Ball in Scottsdale.
While GoDaddy has a history of donating to a number of charitable causes, the company is getting more attention for it now, given the recent controversy over CEO Bob Parsons' killing of an elephant in Zimbabwe. Read here for previous coverage related to that.
Earlier this month, Parsons posted a video of his trip to Haiti, where he and the company recently donated $500,000 to Hope For Haiti. Some criticized the move as a PR stunt to save some face after the elephant killing. In a press release about GoDaddy's efforts in Haiti, the company brought up the elephant ordeal, saying, “The idea that I did this to counter any criticism is nonsense. This trip was planned months ago, our donations were delivered well before my Zimbabwe trip and the people who know me will tell you, I don’t really care what people think about me … I do care about using what success I’ve had to help those less fortunate.”
Now, GoDaddy says it has set a company record for philanthropy. In the latest announcement, "We believe it is our duty to make a difference in our community and we have fun doing it. Go Daddy has always stepped up to help those less fortunate ... and as Go Daddy grows more successful, our donations get bigger and bigger too. We hope other companies will be inspired to step up and share the wealth. It's just the right thing to do."
"We serve our customers and our communities," said Go Daddy VP of Corporate Events and Community Outreach (and Bob's wife) Renee Parsons. "This year, we have been focused on helping primarily women and children in need of education and healthcare. I can tell you every penny counts."
GoDaddy is offering its customers the option of donating a few cents to charitable causes each time they make a purchase. After the whole elephant ordeal, some of the company's competitors started offering donations to elephant-related causes if they switched from GoDaddy to their services.
GoDaddy's program, called "Round Up for Charity" lets customers simply round up their purchase amount to the nearest dollar. The extra money is going to Hope for Haiti, according to the company, which says so far customers have contributed over $25,000. Parsons says he will match it all, which brings the current pot up to $50,000, which is in addition to the total of over $1 million the company has already contributed to the charity.