06/08/2012 03:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Samsung Hope for Children Raises 1.5 Million Dollars

This week, celebs and sports stars ranging from Jennifer Hudson to Swizz Beatz and Tim Tebow gathered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York for Samsung's Hope For Children Gala. In its 11th year, the initiative has raised more than 31.4 million dollars for organizations and non-profits around children's education, health and sustainability. I spoke with Samsung CMO Ralph Santana about the importance of focusing on social good in the corporate world.

What has Samsung achieved with Hope for Children over the past 11 years?

At Samsung, our drive to innovate in technology and focus on creating a superior consumer experience comes from a passion to help people explore the wonder that is all around us. We have expressed that passion through Hope for Children, Samsung's corporate philanthropic platform that focuses on helping children live healthier, happier lives by focusing on three areas: life, learning, and our planet.

We chose Hope for Children because we saw a natural fit with the goals of the company, which was to empower young-minded consumers to learn, create, and collaborate to improve our communities. Over the past 11 years, Samsung has worked with a variety of organizations -- including the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, and the Dan Marino Foundation.

How much money has been raised in the past -- what are your hopes for this year?

Our annual Samsung Hope for Children galas serve as the key fundraiser for the company. With the help of our partners and customers, we were able to raise nearly $1.5 million at this year's gala alone.

However, the gala is just one of many events that happen throughout the year. Over the course of the past 11 years, Samsung has helped more than 425 schools, hospitals, and community-based foundations throughout the U.S. through programs like Solve for Tomorrow. At the end of the day, as the world's largest technology company, we want to improve the quality of people's lives and contribute to a better society by providing them the tools and technology to succeed.

Based on recent discussions on role of philanthropy in society and the need for more public-private partnerships, how is Samsung leveraging its influence to promote or support charitable causes?

Samsung is in a unique position as the world's leading technology company. We are eager to use the recognition and impact the Samsung brand has for good. We work with not only our retail and business partners, who carry their own clout, but also renowned public figures who share a similar dedication to our cause. By harnessing the recognition across the board, we are able to raise even more attention and funds for key issues.

What's next for this initiative?
In 2011, ten years after we established Hope for Children in the U.S., Samsung announced that Hope for Children will become a global platform for the company, to focus efforts around supporting and nurturing the world's most important asset -- our children. As we look to the future, we will be developing new initiatives and programs under Hope for Children that expand our reach into various communities around the world, so as to bring hope to children everywhere.

How is your brand and company incorporating philanthropy into its business plan? Leave your stories in the comments below.