Our philosophies and goals
The Universal Forest Products Foundation is a liberty-minded foundation that seeks to foster accountability and independence in the people and organizations we assist, build healthy communities where we work and live, operate independently and objectively, and increase our knowledge and effectiveness by studying outcome-based data from the charities and initiatives we support.
Through our charitable giving and employee volunteerism, we encourage:
- opportunity and self-improvement, by funding programs that promote values and notions we cherish, such as a strong work ethic, determination, entrepreneurialism, freedom, integrity and knowledge;
- a free society, by funding programs that support and promulgate free enterprise and the virtues of independence and accountability;
- benevolent capitalism, by helping those in need who can’t help themselves, and by providing assistance to those who need a springboard to a life of independence and personal responsibility; and
- a healthy environment, by supporting long-term, pragmatic solutions that address real environmental challenges.
Each year, Universal Forest Products, Inc., donates a percentage of its pre-bonus operation profits to the Universal Forest Products Foundation to provide the opportunity for consistent charitable giving, no matter the economic conditions or the company’s performance in any given year.
The foundation makes contributions to non-for-profit organizations that fit a number of rigorous criteria, that are based in or that impact the communities where we work and call home, and that have a positive impact on our people, customers and vendors. Organizations that meet many, if not all, of the following criteria will receive priority consideration:
- Fall into one of the four focus areas of our giving: opportunity and self-improvement, a free society, benevolent capitalism, a healthy environment
- Have programs, policies, practices and/or an ideology that support and promote free enterprise, capitalism, or personal liberty
- Work to correct, not to sustain, the problems/needs they purport to address through their programs
- Wherever possible, provide a hand-up, not a hand-out
- Have a history of success and integrity
- Promote the participation of employees of the companies of Universal (through volunteer activities, board positions, or other engagement)
- Are collaborative and innovative, and provide services not offered in other ways by other organizations, or that do not duplicate services offered in their geographic areas or for their specific audiences
Requests for contributions must be made in writing (via email or hard copy) to the Universal Forest Products Foundation, 2801 E. Beltline NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525.
If you have questions, please contact Lynn Afendoulis, 616.365.1502, firstname.lastname@example.org.