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How Hyatt Hotels use Donor-Advised Funds to Maximize their Corporate Giving Initiatives

Author National Philanthropic Trust

November 17, 2021

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are a flexible philanthropic giving vehicle that not only help individuals and families realize their philanthropic goals, but also maximize the potential of corporate giving initiatives. Companies continue to see the value that comes from charitable partnerships — through collaboration, they can amplify their company’s resources and experience to expand their impact.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts’ Community Grants Program, part of the company’s larger ESG platform, World of Care, is one example of how corporations can increase their philanthropic impact through corporate giving initiatives. National Philanthropic Trust’s holistic approach provides end-to-end support, from the development and review of application materials to analysis and selection of grantees. Leveraging NPT’s expertise to provide strategic guidance, manage resources and distribute grants, Hyatt’s program has granted more than $4.5 million to more than 300 charitable causes around the world over nearly 15 years.

Hyatt’s Global Impact

Hyatt’s giving initiative recommends grants from their DAF account to charities nominated by Hyatt properties worldwide, allowing hotel and office colleagues the opportunity to give to organizations that support their communities. Historically, these grants support a wide array of causes around the world, with a particular focus on job training and youth services. “When we launched our Hyatt Community Grants program in 2008, it was designed to empower our properties globally to be local philanthropists in the communities where they operate,” said Jessica Schultz, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Hyatt. “We invited properties to nominate local organizations they worked with that aligned with our World of Care pillars—caring for people, planet and responsible business–allowing us to help local communities thrive. Our grants supported focus areas of economic development, environmental sustainability, education, career readiness, plus health and wellness.”

In 2019, Hyatt launched its signature program, RiseHY, which aims to hire 10,000 Opportunity Youth – young people who come from challenging socio-economic circumstances and who are disconnected from the economy by either not working or not going to school – by 2025. Hyatt then pivoted its community grant program to focus on supporting organizations upskilling and preparing Opportunity Youth for the workforce.

Pridelines, an LGBTQ youth service center in Miami, Florida, has been in operation nearly forty years serving the south Florida LGBTQ+ community. “Our mission is to support, educate and empower South Florida’s LGBTQ+ youth and community in safe and diverse spaces to promote dialogue, wellness, and to foster social change,” said Stephanie Feldman, Pridelines’ Grant and Corporate Giving Manager. Pridelines received one of Hyatt’s grants, and has put funding to use, providing emergency housing to youth experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization plans on continuing use of the grant to support job and skills training, free transportation, and other career preparedness and homelessness prevention efforts.

Another Hyatt grantee, Communities in Schools of Seattle, received support for its in-school and after-school programs. The grant helps provide case management for students at the highest risk of dropping out, ensuring that Seattle’s students have the opportunity to continue their education. Youth Off the Streets, an Australian organization, received a Hyatt grant to support vocational education, counseling, and other services for youth experiencing homelessness. Organizations from southeast Asia to South America have received grants to strengthen the communities in which they work.

Schultz addressed the need to fund communities across the globe, saying: “We want the many places around the world we call home to be vibrant, thriving destinations where people have access to resources and opportunities to prosper. We strive to make our communities stronger because Hyatt is there.”

How DAFs Facilitate Giving Programs

NPT’s experience in donor-advised funds helps to underpin strategic and successful corporate giving initiatives. As opposed to creating a charitable foundation or making separate, individual contributions to nonprofits, DAFs relieve the administrative burdens from corporate partners and provide special care and attention to the needs of donors and grantees. With other giving vehicles, accepting contributions, managing investments, filing taxes, recordkeeping and grantmaking are time-consuming processes that can slow down charitable giving. Once established, contributing to and granting from a DAF account takes just minutes.

The advantages of creating a DAF account extend to the strategic guidance offered by National Philanthropic Trust, drawing on an abundance of expertise in philanthropic planning and strategy. NPT’s Philanthropic Services team helps donors hone their strategy, identify potential grantees, and communicate the outcomes and impact of their giving. All these factors combine to make DAFs a strong giving vehicle for corporate philanthropy and corporate responsibility professionals who wish to drive meaningful change and support the communities in which they work.

If you are interested in learning more about using a DAF to meet your business’ philanthropic goals, please contact our Philanthropic Services team at philanthropicservices@nptrust.org or (888) 878-7900.

NPT is not affiliated with any of the organizations described herein, and the inclusion of any organization in this material should not be considered an endorsement by NPT of such organization, or its services or products.

NPT does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained here may vary depending on individual circumstances.