Target changes corporate giving policies in wake of LGBT protests

Fri. February 18, 2011 3:45 PM by News Staff

Minneapolis, Minn. - Target Corporation has instituted a new system to regulate corporate political giving, in wake of last summer's scandal over a $150,000 donation to a Minnesota group that supported an anti-gay candidate for governor.

Target's new policy, outlined here, will require that political donations be run past a policy committee first.

"The use of general corporate funds for political contributions is permitted if the Policy Committee determines that would be an appropriate means of advancing issues that are important to our business," the policy reads. "Before any contribution is made, the Policy Committee: (i) determines that it supports our business interests; (ii) gives consideration to the interests of our guests, team members, shareholders and other stakeholders; and (iii) concludes that under the circumstances, it is an appropriate means of advancing our public policy position."

Minnesota Republican Tom Emmer did not win last fall's election, but the financial support given to "MN Forward" did significant damage to Target's generally positive relationship with gays in Minnesota and nationwide.

Critics of Target and the company's conservative CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, remained skeptical.

Plus, as some people pointed out on the "Boycott Target" Facebook page (83,565 people strong), most of what folks buy at Target is superfluous.

"I just need to say that since I boycotted Target and stopped my inane weekly shopping excursion to their stores: I am completely debt free and actively increasing my savings," wrote Robert Stein. "Thank you Target for allowing me this opportunity."