The annual honor is given to a MMSDC corporate member that demonstrates a strong commitment to increase supplies and services purchased from minority-owned companies.
You might ask, “So, what does buying supplies and services from minority-owned businesses have to do with philanthropy?”
At the Minnesota Council on Foundations, we’d like to think the answer is a lot, and in the journal’s article, John Taylor, Cargill’s director of supplier diversity, sums it up nicely:
Cargill is a global company and strives to have a supplier base that reflects the markets where it does business. We recognize that we are a stronger company when we tap into that diversity.
As stated in MCF’s Diversity Framework, grantmakers are funders and their priorities should reflect the diverse needs and opportunities of communities served through their grantmaking.
However, grantmakers are also employers, economic entities and community citizens, and through their investments and purchasing decisions, they can support minority-owned businesses and participate in the development of a healthy economic system employing a diverse workforce.
And, I’d say that’s exactly what Cargill and other MCF members are doing. Here’s how:
- Cargill set a goal last year to increase the money it spends with minority suppliers by 9%; it actually boosted its spending by 25% and aims to up it by another 10% this year!
- Cargill hosted the Twin Cities’ largest supplier-diversity symposium. About 250 minority- and women-owned businesses attended the free event and met directly with sourcing departments embedded within Cargill business units.
- The event included seminars on bidding for government contracts, securing financing and more. Cargill is planning four follow-up events in the next year around the country, designed to focus on specific categories of goods.
- Cargill offers mentoring and business-development services to smaller suppliers that are not big enough to support Cargill directly but can supply companies that do business with Cargill.
Join the conversation: What does your organization do to support diversity?
-Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate