Eager to expand its footprint overseas and into liberal cities in the U.S., executives at Chick-fil-A have made the decision to no longer donate to perennially controversial charities like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
After donating to more than 300 charities this year, Chick-fil-A is planning to refine its philanthropic structure, according to a report from Bisnow. And that apparently includes no longer donating cash to organizations that have been perceived by some on the left to be anti-LGBTQ.
Over the years, both the Salvation Army and the FCA have opposed same-sex marriage, a position that has apparently proved untenable for the Christian-owned Chick-fil-A, at least from a marketing standpoint.
“We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” a representative for the Atlanta-based restaurant chain said in a statement, noting the quick-service eatery will focus its philanthropy on “education, homelessness, and hunger.”
Chick-fil-A president and COO Tim Tassopoulos said that, as the company expands into more places, “we need to be clear about who we are.” He added, “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
For years now, Chick-fil-A has been on the front lines of controversy. Despite its unmatched success, the restaurant has endured a steady drumbeat of news reports calling the brand into question for its past donations to faith-based organizations that favor the biblical definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The restaurant’s first location in the U.K., for example, will soon close its doors because of targeted protests carried out by some in the LGBTQ community. Similarly, earlier this year, the San Antonio City Council worked to have Chick-fil-A taken out of the running as a potential dining option in the airport, citing the chain’s “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
“When there is a tension, we want to make sure we’re being clear. We think this is going to be helpful,” said Tassopoulos of the decision to rework Chick-fil-A’s philanthropic efforts. “It’s just the right thing to do: to be clear, caring and supportive, and do it in the community.”
Some conservative voices on social media immediately chimed in on the decision, many of them unpleased with Chick-fil-A’s shift:
You’re never going to get the support of the woke, no matter what you do. Now you’re just going to polarize people (your primary customers!!!) who liked that you supported Christian charities despite what the leftist mob said.
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) November 18, 2019
Incredibly stupid move by Chick-fil-A. They've only grown in popularity in spite of and maybe because of the backlash. They won't appease the critics by caving but they might alienate some of their customers. No upside for them. All downside. https://t.co/t5J8cCQJZK
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) November 18, 2019
— Billy Hallowell (@BillyHallowell) November 18, 2019
Shame, shame on you, @ChickfilA. You are the 3rd most successful fast food franchise in the US. You had no reason to capitulate. But you did. Yes, shame on the progressive bullies too -- yet the greater shame is yours, Chick-fil-A, you cowards. https://t.co/eTfALNMUz4
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) November 18, 2019
Faithwire reached out to Chick-fil-A but has not yet heard back from a representative for the restaurant. If the chain responds, the spokesperson’s comments will be added to this article.