Philanthropic Costco has a Scholarship Fund

January 21st, 2009 · 1 Comment

We all know that Costco has been touted as a great company to work for because they pay well and have health benefits for even the part time workers.  And, we are all aware of some of their great environmental policies like the solar panels and skylights on the warehouse roofs to reduce energy consumption.  But do you know some of the other ways that they are good, ways that don’t help their bottom line?  Like, charitable giving and support by warehouses and regional offices for programs focusing on children, education and health and human services.  And, they also have a scholarship fund.

Helping students out

Helping students out

Who knew that Costco has a scholarship fund?  That’s right, aside from helping you out with your shopping bills, Costco is helping out under-represented minority kids (African American, Latino/Hispanic and Native American) that want to attend either Seattle University or the University of Washington.  The Costco Scholarship Fund is managed by the College Success Foundation; they are the ones that take care of dispersing the proceeds.  The big fundraising event for the Costco Scholarship Fund is a breakfast held every year in September that is hosted by Costco co-founders Jim Sinegal and Jeff Brotman.  The breakfast includes corporate, foundation and community leaders, as well as local philanthropists who support education. In past years, this breakfast alone has raised millions of dollars for the scholarship fund!  All in all, they have raised and distributed more than $15 million since the scholarship fund began in 2000.  They do accept donations from individuals, in case you were interested in making one.

If you are wondering how the Costco Scholarship Fund got started, this blurb from the scholarship website might give you some insight:

Jeff Brotman, Regent of the University of Washington, and Jim Sinegal, Member of the Board of Trustees of Seattle University, see education as one of the primary factors in creating a successful and fulfilled life. It is a springboard to getting a job, it teaches us about life and it instills in us a sense of accomplishment and a realization of what is possible. Education makes economic security possible.

For those that might be interested in applying, you can find general scholarship information, applicant criteria, as well as application details at the websites of the respective universities by using the following links:

I just thought that this is a great aspect to Costco and their outstanding corporate culture that people might not be aware of, but definitely should know about.

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1 Response so far ↓

  1. 1 Clue // 2009.01.25 at 9:21 am

    Costco is a pretty awesome company across the board. I wonder if most shoppers know how truly consumer and employee-friendly Costco is among retailers?

    Their CEO, Jim Sinegal is a true capitalist role model . One of his cardinal rules is that no branded item can be marked up by more than 14 percent, and no private-label item by more than 15 percent. (Grocers usually mark up merchandise by at least 25 percent, and department stores by at least 50 percent.) And, he pays Costco workers a decent wage and benefits, and as a result they have an incredibly low employee turnover and theft rate for the industry.

    These are just a few of the reasons why I shop Costco and bypass 3 Sam’s Clubs stores and numerous grocers along the way each week.

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