Ep 160: Corporate Philanthropy and the Paul Newman Foundation (with Miriam Nelson)

by Joan Garry

In this episode, Miriam Nelson, CEO of the Newman Foundation, joins me to talk about corporate philanthropy, purpose-driven work, and shameless exploitation for the power of good…


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Purpose-driven work is in high demand these days — especially in the midst of the Great Resignation. The nonprofit sector is dripping with opportunities to find a deeper meaning in what you do every day, but what does this look like in the private sector?

After all, people are hungry to work and become advocates for organizations that have a greater purpose than raking in more and more profits for corporate billionaires. I thought it would be interesting to explore what a purpose-driven corporate brand looks like.

My guest today is the leader of a private organization where meaning, purpose, and philanthropy are part of its DNA. Meet Miriam Nelson, the CEO of the Newman Foundation.

The Newman Foundation is a shining example of what I’m talking about here. Through corporate philanthropy, this organization donates 100% of its profits to nourishing and transforming the lives of children who face adversity. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!

Talk about touching the work!

You might think this is a unique story of the legacy of a famous actor and humanitarian, but it’s so much more than that. Miriam has some good food for thought to share about shameless exploitation for the power of good and the story of the Paul Newman Foundation and Newman’s Own food company that every nonprofit leader should hear.

Click play to learn:

  • What is the origin story of Newman’s Own? (3:21)
  • How can celebrities (and others with influence) use their platforms to make an impact? (9:57)
  • Are there any other companies that give away 100% of their profits? (20:59)
  • What are the current corporate philanthropy trends? (23:38)
  • What is a social entrepreneur? (38:12)


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About Miriam Nelson:

Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., is an American public health and nutrition scholar and social entrepreneur focusing on the areas of children’s wellness, women’s health, and sustainable food systems. She has authored hundreds of scientific studies, research papers, and policy reports, and is internationally known for her New York Times bestselling “Strong Women” books series. Nelson co-founded ChildObesity180 while at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Currently, as president and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation, she advocates for children facing adversity due to medical issues and nutrition insecurity. Since 1982, when Paul Newman first declared, “Let’s give it all away,” more than $570 million has been donated to thousands of great causes helping people in need around the world.

Contact Miriam Nelson