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Oprah Mixes Charity and Chai

Oprah Winfrey
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Oprah Winfrey is a woman of many, many talents. From publishing to media, to being a serious philanthropic heavyweight, there isn’t much that she hasn’t conquered. Now, she’s adding one more notch to her entrepreneurial belt. According to Forbes, “Just when you thought Brand Oprah couldn’t extend into any new categories, the media queen can now be found in a Starbucks near you,” of the way that the philanthropic icon is finding new ways to branch out. The article continues, “At the coffee giant’s annual meeting on Wednesday [March 13th], Winfrey took to the stage with her friend Howard Schultz, CEO of the java chain, to announce a new partnership: the Teavana Oprah Chai Tea.”

A partnership between Teavana, Starbucks, and Oprah? This essentially embodies the philanthropic trifecta. Not only will Teavana Oprah Chai Tea demonstrate a strong cooperative effort between the colossal coffee company and a more up-and-coming tea brand, with Oprah at the helm, Starbucks Logoit is also going to be a charitable initiative of massive proportions. Both Teavana and Starbucks have made huge efforts to give back; Teavana has partnered with organizations such as to empower women and girls, and Starbucks and the Schultz Foundation have been instrumental in supporting education and youth-based charities. Oprah’s philanthropic efforts speak for themselves; her reach is global, and she is beloved for how many lives she has touched around the world.

At the Starbucks annual meeting Oprah explained, “Savory and spicy chai, with its deep flavor, has long been a favorite of mine. When Howard Schultz offered to have me come into the Starbucks tasting room and create my very own tea blend, I thought that sounded like such a unique opportunity and fun to the tenth power,” of how excited she was about the collaboration. An avid tea lover, Oprah hopes to share her support of both Starbucks and Teavana, as well as benefit others in the process. Reportedly, sales of the special Oprah Chai Tea will go towards philanthropic ventures focused on education, including Oprah’s South African boarding school for girls.

You can find Oprah’s special chai blend at both Starbucks and Teavana starting April 29th.


Corporations Can Compete for Best CSR Practices

IMG: Peteri /

We’re seeing more and more corporations these days encouraging and becoming more involved in philanthropy. Corporate Social Responsibility is growing in the business world as the American public has come to expect companies to do their part and give back to the community.

Each year, the Ethical Corporation awards the Responsible Business Awards to corporations that are at the top of the CSR game. By receiving one of their many awards, corporations not only gain recognition as a leader in CSR, they also get the acknowledgment they deserve for their responsible business practices and have the chance to network with other like-minded responsible corporations.

Considering how many corporations have developed outstanding CSR programs in the past few years, awards like this are both competitive and inspiring. CEOs for companies like Microsoft, Moody’s, Starbucks, and Goldman Sachs have strongly encouraged philanthropic activity among employees through gift matching and promoting volunteer opportunities.

For example, one of the most innovative scholarship programs is Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, or M3. The competition is put on by Moody’s, which is run by CEO Raymond McDaniel. Any high school junior or senior can participate in the challenge, which asks students to use applied mathematics to solve real-world problems. Teams of 3 to 5 students work together for fourteen hours to solve the problem, using only publicly available resources and data. A total of $115,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year.

Companies competing for the Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards can be considered for several categories of CSR, including Best Employee Engagement, Best B2B Partnership, Lifetime Achievement Award, and more. The judging panel includes a variety of personalities and backgrounds, such as Daniel Franklin of The Economist and Mike Barry from Marks and Spencer. Last year’s winners include the likes of Heathrow, Timberland, Marks and Spencer, and Coca-Cola.