This excerpt taken from the NKE DEF 14A filed Aug 9, 2006.
Charitable Contributions Report
Resolved: That the shareholders request the Company report semi-annually, omitting proprietary information and at reasonable cost, disclosing the Companys:
To the extent reasonable and permissible, the report should include the type of information requested above for charities affiliated or controlled by the Company or its executives, including The Nike Foundation.
This report may be posted on the companys website to reduce costs.
Nikes assets belong to its shareholders. The expenditure or distribution of corporate assets, including charitable contributions, should advance shareholder interests. Company charitable contributions should have a stated business rationale that describes how the contributions advance shareholder interests.
Company executives exercise wide discretion over the use of corporate assets for charitable purposes.
Absent a system of accountability for charitable contributions, Company executives may use Companys assets for objectives that are not shared by and may be inimical to the interests of the Company and its shareholders, potentially harming long-term shareholder value.
Corporate executives may disproportionately or improperly benefit personally from corporate charitable contributions. Much corporate philanthropy is far more aligned with [company executives] social ambitions than with shareholder interests. There are no studies to prove this, of course. But the society pages hold a clue: Its the CEO who is toasted at benefits and photographed for posterity. How often is the source of the funds the pockets of shareholders even mentioned? [Source: Wall Street Journal, Green-Nosing, April 3, 2006].
Principles of transparency and accountability should apply to Company charitable contributions. Such disclosure is consistent with public policy in regard to disclosure by publicly-owned companies.
Nike contributed more than $37.3 million, according to the Companys 2004 Corporate Responsibility Report. The Nike Foundation also made contributions of approximately $5.2 million during fiscal year 2004.
Shareholders are entitled to know how their company is spending its funds for charitable purposes.
Current disclosure is insufficient to allow the Companys Board and its shareholders to fully evaluate the charitable use of corporate assets, particularly with respect to how the contributions advance shareholder interests.
There is currently no single source providing shareholders the information sought by this resolution.
Nike and the Nike Foundation appear to have contributed shareholder assets to numerous organizations whose social and political agendas may be inimical to shareholder interests including: Better World Fund, Business for Social Responsibility, Ceres, Environmental Resources Trust, Population Council, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife Fund.