Helping others is a beautiful thing. Since 2016, the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation (UBCF) has been on a mission to make a difference in the communities where we live and work, particularly by improving the lives of women and families.
Our philanthropic efforts began in 2009, when we began our partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Since then, we have broadened our focus to support other organizations that help women and families thrive. We have since added two more national partners, Save the Children® and Dress for Success® Worldwide, who we support each year with monetary and in-kind donations, board leadership and volunteer service. For the first time in 2022, UBCF also donated $2 million to BIPOC and LGBTQ+-focused nonprofits, while offering volunteering and education opportunities for associates. UBCF has its own board made up of Ulta Beauty executives who help set policy and direction for the Foundation.
Breast Cancer Research Foundation
The Foundation has set a goal to donate $50 million to BCRF by 2024, equivalent to one million hours of breast cancer research. As of the end of 2022, we contributed over $47 million, putting this goal well within reach. Nearly $6 million was raised from guests and associates during our Gorgeous Way to Give campaign, held in-store and online each October.
BCRF has been instrumental. They funded me early on when I was just getting going as an assistant professor and taking my first ideas to the lab, some of which were bold and probably would not have been funded by conventional means. Without this funding, I absolutely would not be doing the work that I’m doing today and wouldn’t be as close to translating it to the clinic.”
Save The Children
Education can provide a pathway out of poverty. Together, with partners like UBCF, Save the Children helps to ensure all children in rural America have a healthy, strong foundation to thrive as learners and in life. UBCF’s support in 2022 included a “Stuff the Bus” tour, where Ulta Beauty volunteers packed and distributed tote bags containing books and hygiene essentials for students in Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston, benefiting approximately 9,000 children and families. In addition, we continued our annual Mother’s Day campaign, raising more than $2.3 million from guests and associates to provide brighter futures for children. Save the Children also supports children in need outside the U.S. In 2022, we made a special donation to the organization’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund to provide a month’s worth of meals to 3,000 Ukrainian children caught in the middle of the country’s war crisis.
Dress for Success
Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, development tools and professional attire to thrive in work and in life. Because Ulta Beauty offers products that help people look and feel their best, donating products, as well as financial support and associate volunteer time, is a great way we can support this organization. In 2022, we were excited to see a return to in-person Dress for Success programming, which meant in-person volunteer opportunities for Ulta Beauty associates, as well as a continuation of virtual programming. During Women’s History Month, Ulta Beauty sponsored programs and experiences that included a panel discussion on authenticity, a session on beauty tips and information for women whose natural hair is an important part of their identity. More than 80 people attended the beauty tips workshop, and gave it an average satisfaction score of 90%. Said one affiliate based in Virginia, “The Ulta Beauty team’s talent and expertise is just what the women we serve need to feel confident.
Donations that make a difference
With corporate headquarters just outside Chicago, it’s important that we positively impact our hometown.
We have a longtime partnership with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, and have hired over 300 job seekers through the program since 2014. In 2022, we were honored with the Legacy Award from Metropolitan Family Services (MFS) in recognition of our extensive engagement with this organization, including Ulta Beauty Chief Operating Officer Kecia Steelman’s service on the MFS board.
As our business grows, we also recognize the importance of using our resources to empower underserved individuals in communities beyond our hometown. Over the past fiscal year, UBCF donated a total of $2 million to 20 nonprofits that serve Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) communities, including Chinese American Service League, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Step Up, It Gets Better Project, Hispanic Federation and many others. We’ve planned associate volunteer opportunities with these and other organizations for the year ahead.
As another example of our engagement, in early 2022 we organized an inaugural Week of Service to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Our partners for the week included Junior Achievement, DonorsChoose and The Conscious Kid. Associates took part by contributing over 4,300 books and school supplies and funding over 470 classroom projects at schools nationwide. Volunteers also taught Junior Achievement classes that reached 875 students. Looking ahead, we are exploring ways to measure the impact of our donations and volunteer time.