Getting businesses to work for youth Arrival: The International Youth Foundation, which just moved to Baltimore, tries to promote corporate citizenship by getting businesses to assist children.

July 02, 1996|By Abbe Gluck | Abbe Gluck,SUN STAFF

The International Youth Foundation yesterday kicked off its move to Baltimore by telling local leaders that corporate citizenship is one of its first orders of business.

"Social development has to be part of the way we do business," Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II told the audience at a panel discussion at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. Zobel de Ayala, an IYF board member, is president of Ayala Corp., the largest holding company in the Philippines.

Founded in 1990 with money from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, IYF channels grants from corporate donors and foundations into existing local youth-services programs. The foundation has received pledges of $110 million over the past six years, &L including $68 million from Kellogg.

IYF's mission is urgent because by 2000, for the first time in modern history, half the world's population will be under 20 years old, said IYF President and Chief Executive Officer Rick R. Little. IYF estimates that for the 1.5 billion births expected this decade, there will be only 20 million jobs.

It is in companies' "enlightened self-interest" to implement socially responsible policies, said Arnold Langbo, president and chief executive officer of the Kellogg Co. If they ignore the problems of children, businesses "cannot have good markets in the future," he said.

He noted, for example, that Kellogg -- the largest advertiser to children worldwide -- shows a well-balanced meal in every commercial it airs.

As it focuses on business, IYF Chairman Richard Schubert said he hopes to bring 15 companies into a "corporate citizenship" program by January.

In addition to donating money to IYF projects, the companies would commit to implementing a marketing program related to problems facing youth. They will also work with IYF to improve their production, marketing and advertising as they relate to children, and encourage employees to volunteer locally.

Schubert said the foundation is talking to a number of "major global companies," although he declined to identify them.

Yesterday's panel discussion was part of the three-day gathering of IYF's board of directors. Sunday, Langbo, Maria Livanos Cattaui, secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce, and other members of IYF's board took a tour of Baltimore, which included visiting homes renovated by Habitat for Humanity on Stricker Street.

The board's annual meeting is today.

After choosing Baltimore over Annapolis, London, and Battle Creek, Mich., IYF moved its staff of 26 from Battle Creek to a temporary office at the Brokerage, at 34 Market Place, on June 17.

Pub Date: 7/02/96

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