$50 Million Gift To St. Jude Part Of $350 Million In Giving

AbbVie, a biopharmaceutical company that was spun off from Abbott Laboratories five years ago, yesterday announced another eight-figure donation as it comes closer to its goal of donating $350 million to charities this year.

The latest donation was $50 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. So far this year, AbbVie has donated $310 million to nine charities:

  • $100 million, Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • $50 million, Habitat for Humanity
  • $50 million, Direct Relief
  • $50 million, St. Jude
  • $30 million, Communities In Schools
  • $15 million, University of Chicago
  • $10 million, City Year
  • $5 million, Family Reach

There remains $40 million in contributions still to be announced of a total $350 million that had been planned for 2018.

The North Chicago, Ill.-based based company announced in January during its investor call of fourth-quarter and full-year financial results that it would make a one-time charitable contribution of $350 million to select nonprofits during 2018. It also planned to accelerate pension funding by $750 million and enhance non-executive employee compensation.

Adjusted net revenue totaled $28 billion for 2017, including $18 billion from its Humira product. At the time, AbbVie said it will experience a “one-time net tax benefit related to the timing of the phase in of provisions of the new legislation on certain subsidiaries.”

“We knew we wanted to focus on fewer, more impactful grants,” said Melissa Walsh, vice president, corporate responsibility and global philanthropy. “It was important for us to identify and vet organizations with a proven track record. Specifically, we selected nonprofits who could deploy significant resources effectively and a history of demonstrated results for students, families and communities,” she said.

The $350 million would enable these nonprofits to accelerate their strategic plans and collective impact, she said. AbbVie develops its philanthropic budget on an annual basis and 2018 was a unique year, Walsh said, with a “responsibility to increase giving” as a result.

The $50 million is the largest one-time gift in the history of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It will go toward a treatment-free floor known as the Family Commons. The Family Commons in Memphis, Tenn. will be the first of its kind at any St. Jude location. It is the culmination of months of research, including personal interviews with patients and their families, on how St. Jude could best serve them.

Slated to open in 2020, the Family Commons will feature many resources for patients and their families. They will be able to enjoy an open area that will feature a living room area, outdoor patio, and 19 resting areas, as well as an area for snacks and coffee and general store. It will feature concierge services to assist families with items such as transportation, lodging, and care and food coordination.

“Many [families] told us they would appreciate a space away from the medical setting — a place that offers them family time, creative outlets, resources, and opportunities to socialize with other families,” St. Jude President and CEO James R. Downing said via a press release announcing the donation.

The AbbVie donation will also enable St. Jude to enhance its outdoor area, creating green spaces for patients and their families. A playground will be accessible for patients with mobility issues. The Quad, a 3.5-acre green space, will add nearly 300,000 square feet of outdoor space, incorporating a walking trail. Along with the Family Commons and green space, AbbVie’s donation will cover five years of operating costs for both upgrades.