The UPS Foundation is the corporate foundation of United Parcel Service. The foundation supports the United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, charities in the Atlanta area and, increasingly, organizations that support minorities, women, and the environment. In addition, the foundation provides in-kind donations of shipping and logistical support to charities.
James P. Casey founded United Parcel Service in 1907 and the UPS Foundation in 1951. During his lifetime, Casey created the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs, which subsequently spun off the Marguerite Casey Foundation. 1
Annie E. Casey Foundation president Lisa Hamilton worked as UPS Foundation president between 2007 and 2010. 2
Nicole “Nikki” Clifton
Since 2020, the UPS Foundation has been headed by Nicole “Nikki” Clifton, who also works as United Parcel Service’s vice president for social impact, Clifton joined UPS in 2003 and had previously worked as the company’s vice president for public affairs before being appointed to her current position. She sits on the board of directors of the Nation’s Capital Council of the Girl Scouts of America, the Points of Light Foundation, and a task force of CARE. 3
Clifton is particularly concerned with illegal purchases of sexual activity, or “human trafficking.” In an April 2022 op-ed, Clifton said that UPS employees and the UPS Foundation had donated $7 million to the United Way’s Center to Combat Human Trafficking and that her foundation donated to Truckers Against Trafficking, which provided training to 130,000 UPS drivers on how to spot illicit sexual activity while delivering packages. 4
Boys and Girls Clubs
In 2019, the UPS Foundation donated $1.7 to the national Boys and Girls Clubs of America and $204,000 to ten regional Boys and Girls Clubs councils. 5
Much of this grantmaking goes to support the “UPS Road Code” program which teaches safe driving practices to teenagers. In 2020 UPS announced that it had donated $30 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs to support this program, which is offered in the U.S. and on American military bases in six other countries. It claimed that over 75,000 teens had taken Road Code training, with UPS drivers acting as volunteer teachers. 6 In April 2022 the Boys and Girls Clubs announced that this training program would be offered in virtual reality with the use of HTC VIVE Focus 3 headsets. 7
The UPS Foundation says that it made $68.9 million in grants in 2020 and that donations to the United Way constituted 12 percent the total grants made. In addition, UPS employees personally contributed $53.5 million to the United Way in 2020. 8 United Way says UPS was its first “global corporate partner” to donate $1 billion to the organization. 9
In 2021 UPS agreed to pay $1.1 million to nearly 6,000 employees in the New York City area, represented by Teamsters Local 804, who said that in 2019 and 2020 the company deducted $1 or $2 for the United Way from their paychecks without their consent. The Teamsters said that UPS managers would be punished if they failed to meet United Way donation quotas. 10
In 2020, the UPS Foundation announced that one of its goals was to “address environmental injustices” by planting 50 million trees by 2030. The foundation said that UPS had already planted 15.3 million trees by that time. 11
In 2019 the UPS Foundation donated $750,000 to the World Resources Institute, $750,000 to the Nature Conservancy, and $300,000 to the World Wildlife Fund. The foundation donated smaller amounts to the Earthwatch Institute and several Georgia-based environmentalist organizations. 12
Contributions to African-American Interest Nonprofits
In September 2020, the UPS Foundation announced it was giving $3.2 million to Black-associated nonprofits, including the historically Black Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, Clark Atlanta University, the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, UNCF, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. In addition, UPS said it would contribute $1 million to the National Museum of African American History and that the company would support the passage of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, which would make lynching a federal hate crime. The company said its employees would volunteer one million hours in mentoring programs for Black students. 13
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
In 2019 the UPS Foundation said it would award $11.5 million in grants to organizations that supported gay and lesbian interests, with the primary beneficiaries being the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the Global Workplace Equality Coalition, and the United Way Arise Project, which assists gay and lesbian homeless youth. 14
In 2021, the UPS Foundation, along with the Carlson Family, David Bohnett, Morningstar, and Rockefeller Foundations and the Open Society Foundations supported a report published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that said the unemployment rate for black gays and lesbians “who experienced sexual orientation-based discrimination while at a job” was 14 percent and the unemployment rate for comparable Black transgender people was 23 percent. 15
- Martin Morse Wooster, “Foundation Adrift,” Capital Research Center, October 2019, https://capitalresearch.org/article/foundation-adrift-part-1/ (accessed April 5, 2022)
- “Lisa Hamilton Named Next President, CEO of Annie E. Casey Foundation,” press release from Annie E. Casey Foundation, October 18, 2018.
-  Nicole “Nikki” Clifton, “ https://about.ups.com/us/en/social-impact/the-ups-foundation/ups-foundation-leadership/nikki-clifton.html (accessed April 5, 2022)
- Nicole “Nikki” Clifton, “” Human Trafficking’s Thrives in Pandemic,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 16, 2022. Truckers Against Trafficking received $175,000 from the UPS Foundation in 2019. 2019 UPS Foundation form 990.
-  2019 UPS Foundation Form 990.
-  “UPS’s Safest Drivers Traveled More Accident-Free Miles Than Voyager Space Probe,”: press release from UPS, February 27, 2020.
- “Boys and Girls Clubs of America Introduced Virtual Reality To Enhance Safe Driving Education for Teens,” press release from Boys and Girls clubs of America, April 4, 2022.
- “The UPS Foundation 2020 At-A—Glance,” https://about.ups.com/content/dam/upsstories/assets/the-ups-foundation/UPS-Foundation-At-A-Glance-refresh_5.7.21_vD-with-comma.pdf (accessed April 7, 2022)
- “UPS,” United Way website, https://www.unitedway.org/partners/ups# (accessed April 7, 2022)
- Davie Jamieson, “UPS Pays $1 Million To Settle Wage Theft Claims Over Charitable Donations,” HuffPost, December 17, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ups-to-pay-1-million-to-workers-over-charitable-paycheck-deductions_n_61b78e76e4b00aca716a614f
- “UPS Announces New Environmental Commitment Supporting Underserved Countries Globally,” press release from UPS, September 24, 2020, https://about.ups.com/us/en/newsroom/press-releases/local-community-engagement/news-ups-announces-new-environmental-commitment-supporting-underserved-communities-globally.html (accessed April 7, 2022).
- 2019 UPS Foundation form 990.
- Kelly Yamanouchi, “UPS Foundation contributes $3.2 Million To Civil Rights Organizations, Colleges,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 9, 2020.
- “UPS Brings Commitment and Support For Pride Month,” press release from UPS, June 11, 2019.
- “Ahead of Juneteenth, Human Rights campaign Releases New Report,” press release from Human Rights Campaign, June 17, 2021.