Norfolk Southern Foundation

Our charitable giving foundation helps communities grow stronger

Norfolk Southern is committed to providing human and financial resources to help build stronger communities across our network. The Norfolk Southern Foundation, which directs the railroad’s charitable giving programs, helps us achieve that goal.

Since it was formed in 1983, the Foundation has distributed donations of nearly $138 million to assist communities. The Foundation’s priorities are to ensure that children have first-rate educational opportunities; that basic human services are available to those in need of them; that residents have access to enriching cultural activities; and that residential and work environments are safe, attractive, and desirable.

In 2013, the Foundation and corporate combined giving was $12.8 million, excluding noncash giving and the company’s Good Government Fund matching program.

Food banks that received significant grant funding included Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, and Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Homeless shelter providers that received grants included ForKids, YWCA of South Hampton Roads, Nicholas House, and Samaritan House.

Free clinics that received grants included the Chesapeake Care Free Clinic, Western Tidewater Free Clinic, Free Clinic of the New River Valley, Beach Health Clinic, Macon Volunteer Clinic, Shelter Health Services, and Kansas City Free Care Clinic.

Supporting the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the Foundation provided grants to a range of environmental and conservation organizations. Major recipients included The Nature Conservancy of Virginia, which protects ecologically important lands and waters throughout the commonwealth; the Elizabeth River Project, which works to restore that river’s ecological health; The American Chestnut Foundation, which reforests former coal mines around the eastern United States; The Longleaf Alliance Inc., whose mission is to preserve and expand longleaf pine forests; and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, which seeks to restore the nation’s largest estuary.

Cultural and arts groups that received funding included the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Center in the Square, the Virginia Opera, and Young Audiences of Atlanta.

Educational organizations that benefitted included Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, the College of William & Mary, Old Dominion University, the National Merit Scholarship Program, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.

The Foundation awarded more than $1.6 million to match donations given by employees and retirees to more than 500 nonprofit organizations across our network that support the arts, education, and the environment.

2013 NS Foundation, corporate, and business grants

Community Relations $3,015,695
— United Way
79 organizations
— Other Health & Human Services
110 organizations
Culture & Arts
76 organizations
71 organizations
Civic & Community
112 organizations
Environment & Ecology
20 organizations
70 organizations
Matching Gifts
1,289 gifts to 501 organizations; 473 individual donors
— Arts & culture
664 gifts to 226 institutions
— Education
580 gifts to 257 institutions
— Environment
45 gifts to 18 organizations
Total $12,826,306

Art Sale Benefits Communities We Serve

As a supporter of the arts, Norfolk Southern over the years has established a collection of visual art and historic artifacts. In 2013, merging the worlds of fine art and railroading, the company sold an untitled 1959 Mark Rothko abstract expressionist painting in our collection for $3.7 million through a New York auction.

We used $2.3 million of the proceeds to support educational, human service, and cultural organizations in communities where Norfolk Southern has a major presence.

In Norfolk, we directed $500,000 to the ACCESS College Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to students who might not otherwise be able to afford college.

College Changes Everything

“Norfolk Southern’s support of our College Changes Everything campaign assisted ACCESS in raising the capital needed to not only sustain our programs but also to deepen our level of services,” said Bonnie B. Sutton, president and CEO of the ACCESS College Foundation-Norfolk. “Through the gift of higher education, Norfolk Southern has increased the opportunity for thousands of local students to become the next generation of corporate and community leaders in Hampton Roads.”

In Roanoke, $252,000 went to Feeding America Southwest to purchase a new roof for its food bank, where Roanoke employees frequently conduct food drives and volunteer to sort donations. Also in Roanoke, we donated $25,000 to the Harrison Museum of African American Culture for exhibits and displays.

In addition, $1.5 million went to the Virginia Museum of Transportation’s “Fire Up 611!” capital campaign to restore the Norfolk & Western Railway Class J 611 steam locomotive and return it to passenger-excursion service.

A Helping Hand

In 2013, the Norfolk Southern Foundation provided more than $67,000 in disaster relief through donations to the American Red Cross. The funding assisted recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy struck the U.S. East Coast and after other natural disasters.