American Marketer

Events / Causes

Jaguar Land Rover grows philanthropy efforts with $130K grant to P.S. Arts

March 19, 2014


Jaguar Land Rover is increasing the efficacy of arts education nonprofit P.S. Arts with a grant that falls under the brand's overarching corporate social responsibility platform.

The one-year $130,000 grant will help the nonprofit expand its program capabilities and the number of children it reaches. Jaguar Land Rover's corporate social responsibility program aims to help 12 million people by 2020, including 2 million through education initiatives.

"This is fantastic," said George Magda, interactive marketing automotive expert in North Miami Beach, FL. "But I don’t think it will help the brand because they are not generating enough awareness.

"I don’t see how it’s going to move the needle if it's just reaching a small number of people," he said.

"I think they need to focus on social media, maybe build a Facebook page, to build some type of awareness so people know what they're doing and can participate. How can people who want to participate get involved?"

Mr. Magda is not affiliated with Jaguar Land Rover, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Jaguar Land Rover did not respond by press deadline.

Making a difference

P.S. Arts marks the first beneficiary of Jaguar Land Rover's philanthropy program in North America.

The partnership will be officially declared April 25 at the Los Angeles Modernism Opening Night event, where 100 percent of funds raised will directly benefit P.S. Arts.

More than 1,000 guests are expected to attend the weekend-long art and design exhibition. P.S. Arts' annual Express Yourself event will also be supported by the automaker.

P.S. Arts provides education in the visual arts, music, and theater in elementary and middle schools.

P.S. Arts Facebook image

The $130,000 grant will help P.S. Arts to design and deliver 30-week curricula in various art disciplines to underserved students.

Art kits will also be created with the proceeds.

P.S. Arts Facebook image

The nonprofit currently reaches 15,000 students in 40 schools in eight school districts each week. Nearly 75 percent of P.S. Arts participants live at or below the federal poverty level, 10 percent have special needs and 55 percent of students have English as a second language.

Jaguar Land Rover's platform funds projects that support education, environment, health and other humanitarian areas with the goal of advancing knowledge and improving lives.

"Given the vast amount of consumer spending and the fiercely competitive landscape in virtually every product category brands look to build authentic relationships with their customers," said Jeff Sopko, vice president for the strategic solutions group at Baesman, Columbus, OH.

"That’s said, consumers want to brands they like and support to have a degree of social conscience or social responsibility," he said.

"Especially when the beneficiary of the brands efforts resonate with the brands target audience. It makes perfect sense for jaguar Land Rover to be supporting such a cause and my feeling is it will be well received by their customer."

Great power, great responsibility

Luxury brands often leverage their influence for educational initiatives.

For instance, Italian menswear house Ermenegildo Zegna announced its plans for a scholarship program to help Italian students finance post-graduate studies or research in foreign countries.

Zegna’s Founder’s Scholarship is expected to run for 25 years and assist about 10 students each year. This program reflects the label’s Italian heritage and will solidify the house’s importance to Italian society (see story).

Also, The Ritz-Carlton expanded its efforts to help students around the world to pursue a fulfilling education by making its “Succeed Through Service” toolkit available to all.

Since the Succeed Through Service project launched with America’s Promise Alliance in 2009, the brand has helped more than 15,000 students. The persistence of children stifled in the United States educational system calls for influential companies to assist where they can (see story).

Mr. Magda said that successful philanthropy endeavors get the brand involved from top to bottom.

"The awareness isn’t out there right now and it seems like they dipped their toe in," Mr. Magda said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York