Sadly, in 2002, Mr. Thomas passed away but his foundation lives on with continued support. Wendy’s have donation canisters at it’s cash registers and charity golf tournaments. Craig Bahner, Wendy’s Chief Marketing Officer as of 2012 said,
While the chain had been successful in raising money for the foundation, more could be done to raise awareness and tie it to the cause. You walk into a restaurant today and there’s a canister there and you can put in some spare change, and millions of dollars have been raised that way, but we haven’t done it in a holistic way that could really drive awareness, and that really educates consumers about why it’s important and why it matters to us.
This is why in March of this year, Wendy’s decided to “put adoption front and center”, with a national ad campaign and an adoption hub on its website.
Wendy Thomas, daughter of Dave Thomas, was only eight years old when her father named their hamburger restaurant after her. In the commercial, Wendy is at first an unseen voice-over and then appears, her red hair reminiscent of the pigtailed girl in the company’s logo, strolling through a Wendy’s restaurant.
“Every child deserves a hug before bedtime, a place to call home,” Ms. Thomas says. “Wendy’s dream is to help every child waiting in foster care find the loving family they deserve.”
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is aware that children in foster care have a difficult time being matched with adoptive families due to age, mental and/or physical health problems. This is why the foundation awards grants to adoption agencies to hire adoption recruiters who focus on foster children.
Carol Cone, global practice chairwoman at Edelman, the public relations firm, said, “What Wendy’s is recognizing is that in an ever more transparent society, consumers are asking, ‘What do you stand for beyond just selling me food?’
Jockey International also supports the issue through its Jockey Being Family Foundation. This foundation provides support and services to families during the time after adoption. In 2012, according to an annual study by Edelman, when quality and price were equal, 53 percent of consumers ranked a brand’s purpose-driven activities as a deciding factor in purchasing, up from 42 percent in 2008. That, rather than a windfall, is exactly what Wendy’s aims to gain.
You can read more about Wendy’s Dave Thomas Foundation Here