Press releases



KIVA and YMCA of the USA Win $1 Million Grants From Sam’s Club®

Entrepreneurs, Youth and Teens Benefit with Funds


Bentonville, AR—May 4, 2010—Today Sam’s Club announces that KIVA and YMCA of the USA will each receive a $1 million grant as part of its Giving Made Simple campaign. Entrepreneurship and youth education were the focus of the campaign and more than 125,000 Sam’s Club members and associates helped determine what portion of an overall $4 million grant eight participating organizations would take home by voting online at, on and during a one day in-club event nationwide.

Sam’s Club is also pleased to announce the following grants will be awarded to the participants of Giving Made Simple: Community Reinvestment Fund (CFR) and Junior Achievement won $500,000; and Accion USA, Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), Girls Inc. and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) will each receive $250,000 grants.

“We want to thank our members and associates who participated in Giving Made Simple and helped to make the program a successful first effort,” said Cindy Davis, Executive Vice President, Membership, Marketing and E-commerce at Sam’s Club. “With the help and hard work of these leading organizations, we are confident together we can inspire young people to continue their education and empower today’s small business owners to succeed in their ventures, truly creating an economic impact in the communities we serve.”

KIVA will use the $1 million grant to enhance and expand the reach of its microloan platform to generate approximately $10 million more in loans from the internet community, helping approximately 25,000 entrepreneurs in the United States and around the world. The YMCA will allocate its funding to enhance national urban education and outreach initiatives, including YMCA Achievers, an academic achievement and college readiness program designed to help teens set and pursue high educational and career goals.

“We are truly grateful to Sam’s Club and its members for helping KIVA win this generous grant,” said Premal Shah, president of KIVA. “KIVA’s mission is to help to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty in the developing world – and right here at home. This grant will enable KIVA to continue to provide the opportunity that microfinance presents to hard-working entrepreneurs in our global community.”

“The YMCA is committed to expanding educational opportunities both nationally and locally that help our young people become self-sufficient and capable of strengthening the communities around them,” said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “This generous gift from Sam’s Club will have a significant impact on the lives of the thousands of youth and teens we serve in attaining their educational and career goals.”

Sam’s Club launched Giving Made Simple on April 8, giving members and associates over three weeks to determine how the company would allocate $4 million in grants to education and entrepreneurship-focused nonprofit organizations. During this time, more than 125,000 Sam’s Club members and associates voted for their preferred organizations online at, on and during a one day in-club event nationwide. Additionally, Sam’s Club engaged members and the general public on Twitter by inviting them to show their support for their favorite organization during two special bonus voting days, and by giving everyone the chance to chat real-time with the eight organizations via an online Twitter party. 

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About Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., (NYSE:WMT). The first Sam’s Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Okla., in 1983. Today, Sam’s Club serves more than 47 million U.S. members with locations nationwide, as well as in Brazil, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam’s Club saves its members on average 30.4 percent over grocery and specialty retailers by offering superior values on quality merchandise and services for home or work. Saving is made simple at Sam’s Club. Visit for more information.

Sam’s Club Charitable Giving Programs

Giving Made Simple is a new addition to a long history of charitable contributions made by Sam’s Club at both the national and local level. Last year, Sam’s Club associates logged more than 113,879 hours to the company’s Volunteerism Always Pays grant program, which resulted in $948,000 worth of charitable grants to education, workforce development, environmental and health and wellness focused organizations. Sam’s Club also donated more than 38 million pounds of food last year to U.S. food banks through Walmart’s partnership with Feeding America; and participates in disaster assistance, events such as the Salvation Army Red Kettle Holiday Drive as well as Children’s Miracle Network fundraising.