Giving Back is Good for Business: RestoringVision Partner Highlight Featuring National Vision, Inc.

The first in a series featuring RestoringVision’s corporate partnerships and global impact.

One of RestoringVision’s long-time top corporate donors, National Vision, Inc., serves as a company that is both prolific in its philanthropy and in its success. In the last two years, National Vision has continued to increase its commitment to philanthropy and the people RestoringVision serves – individuals living on less than $2 a day who lack access to the vision services and eyeglasses they need to see clearly. And in 2022, this partnership reached a major milestone – as it marks the first time in which we impacted over one million people worldwide in a single year together.

The company’s philanthropic ambition fuels its culture and ultimately its goal of solving one of the world’s biggest health crises.

“Our CEO Reade Fahs likes to say that we are only here on earth for a short time and we have this chance in our lifetime to eradicate the global vision crisis.  We want to play a major role in solving the global vision crisis – we don’t want to be sitting back on the sidelines. We want to attack it with all of our resources, all of our superpowers, and all of our partners. We want to do this together. This is an avoidable problem that can be fixed and we want to be a part of fixing it,” said Jacqueline Grove, Senior Vice President of Talent and Development; Culture; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and Philanthropy at National Vision.

National Vision, Inc. is the second largest optical retail company in the United States (by sales) with more than 1,300 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico. With a mission of helping people by making quality eye care and eyewear more affordable and accessible, the company operates five retail brands: America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Centers inside select Walmart stores, and Vista Opticals inside select Fred Meyer stores and on select military bases, and several e-commerce websites, offering a variety of products and services for customers’ eye care needs. National Vision helps people see their best to live their best through its optical products and services. While National Vision celebrates its success, profits are not its only priority: its philanthropic programs have helped to shape a strong culture that attracts top talent while also having a global impact on people in need of access to vision services and eyeglasses.

The company has its own foundation, 20/20 Quest, and a thriving consumer giving program engaging customers at the point of sale, both of which contribute to support for RestoringVision’s mission, and National Vision is now expanding its collaboration with RestoringVision with the implementation of a new program in the U.S. providing vision services and eyeglasses to indigenous populations that will initially impact over 100,000 individuals.

“Consumer giving allows us to contribute to global sustainability efforts that are happening around the world – all because of our philanthropic program. It has also helped our own associates to better understand all of the ways we are giving back because now at the register, they are able to fully explain to the customer how their donations will support people in need,” Grove said.

National Vision’s philanthropic program has inspired existing customers to keep coming back – and it has helped in the company’s own recruiting efforts, with a recent new employee stating that it was one of the reasons they wanted to join the company.

“There is an expectation that companies need to step up and give back,” Grove said. “It’s good business – and consumers have told us that is one of the reasons they shop with us.”

And while National Vision gives customers the opportunity to donate to support people in need of eyeglasses across the globe when they check out at the register, Grove also noted that today’s customers also expect the company to have skin in the game.

“National Vision matches the first $100K of donations made at the point of sale – meaning, we are with you. we are not just asking for customers alone to give.” she said.

Why? The answer is simple, Grove says: “It all goes back to the company’s higher philanthropic purpose – solving the global vision crisis.”

Looking ahead, Grove is exploring implementing a volunteer program for employees to directly participate in events that give back in their communities, with hopes that they will have the chance to volunteer at vision screenings happening in conjunction with RestoringVision’s National Vision-supported program serving indigenous populations.

“As someone who focuses on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion every day, it makes you want to help people from marginalized groups. So much of what is omitted when we go through school isn’t telling the full story of Native Americans and indigenous people in the United States. When we started looking at the facts – that the promises made around healthcare are being broken, that there is a lack of funding – and how that has impacted other health issues, it makes you want to take action,” she said.

Grove encourages other companies to get involved in creating access to vision screenings and eyeglasses by supporting non-profit organizations like RestoringVision, noting that you don’t have to be an optical company to engage in making a difference by supporting clear vision worldwide.

“It’s not as hard as you might think – there are companies out there who can help you to set up a foundation and a point-of-sale philanthropic program,” Grove said. “Consumers are responding to these opportunities to connect to philanthropic work, and there are ways to tie it into your marketing spend – it will benefit your company in so many ways. What a great opportunity to have an impact.”

Are you interested in becoming a RestoringVision corporate partner? Expand your global impact today and contact to get started.

Addressing new ways to elevate the eyecare market while doing good and engaging directly with customers, National Vision’s Reade Fahs, president and CEO, along with Jacqueline Grove, NVI’s SVP, talent and development; diversity, equity and inclusion; culture and philanthropy will join the Vision Monday Summit speaker roster at Vision Expo East in NYC this March 15. They will share for the first time some exclusive data and tactics they’ve adopted—which others in the Summit audience can use, too—in a special presentation that will illuminate the impact eyewear consumers can make to expand access to good vision.