Fashioning an American identity for IHG Charitable

Written by by Staff Writer

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG) launched its philanthropic arm in 2005, following a board meeting held in a California dinning hall — the company’s headquarters.

Almost 200 years ago, the hotel chain was founded in London as a competitor to the Conrad Hilton Hotels group. IHG’s own red-and-white colors represent British and American influence respectively.

Chief executive Mark Hoplamazian stated that the organization would build upon this heritage, sharing the successes of the historic organizations it was affiliated with, in order to bolster IHG’s ties with communities around the world. The new venture was named IHG Charitable.

Inspiration from the past

Named after the nonprofit organizations of its founding sponsors, IHG Charitable aims to raise funds for charities and initiatives the companies deem worthwhile, and to “symbolize the values IHG is committed to,” says Hoplamazian.

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In the past decade, the group has invested in a number of projects — most notably funding a National Geographic documentary, “Lost Vikings,” which explores the history of IHG’s first destinations in the Arctic Circle.

Inspired by its original owners, the 1960s American fashions that inspired IHG Charitable remain intrinsic to today’s initiatives.

Led by the CEO’s wife, Wexford, photos from IHG Charitable’s Instagram page are full of shots of outfits by American designer Ralph Lauren, and in several cases, Americans like pop icons Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson have been featured in the films of the organization.

The Sustainable U.S. Initiative, started in 2006, is a collaboration between IHG Charitable and several historic hotels and resorts. It works to restore and promote sustainable American businesses and allows members to track the impact of their own contributions to a variety of non-profit organizations.

And there’s no doubt that in 2019, successful American culture and style is part of the appeal of many IHG hotels, particularly the group’s properties in developing markets.

The group is proud of its 17% market share in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

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