The Phillips Charitable Organizations is the philanthropic brainchild of Karen and Charles Phillips. As a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization, they aim to provide quick and effective financial support to disadvantaged students who want to enter the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields, single parents, and wounded and army veterans. The board of PCO is made up of Charles Phillips and Charles Phillips’ wife Karen Phillips, Young Huh, and Eric Garvin. Over the past two years alone, the PCO has awarded more than 100 different grants.
The four board members of PCO have been friends since childhood. All four of them have supported charitable organizations individually for as long as they could. What they aimed to do through PCO, however, was to bring all those efforts together. In so doing, people in need are able to access the funds they need quickly and efficiently, and donors don’t need to put in a lot of time or effort. Larger organizations that aim to do similar things are often bogged down by bureaucracy and red tape.
The charity was established by the four board members to combat this. They aimed to create something that did not have any type of administrative overhead, thereby rendering it far more efficient. Furthermore, they wanted all decisions to be made very quickly, focusing on specific groups that the four people are interested in. Furthermore, they all took part in Habitat for Humanity builds across the planet, including in this country, something that tremendously inspired them.
PCO sets itself apart by having 100% efficiency. This is because they don’t have expenses for fundraising, marketing, brochures, office rent, or overheads. Instead, all staff works on a volunteer basis, and 100% of the money collected goes directly to those who need it.
One of the main areas of focus for PCO is single parents. This is because a number of the board members of the non-profit grew up in those types of household themselves, and all of them know people who have grown up in that way. They also wanted to focus on engineering students, because two board members have an engineering degree and have been able to build a significant career out of that. STEM education initiatives for children overall are also supported, as the board feels these are of tremendous benefit for the future. Lastly, they focus on wounded veterans. Four of the board members are army veterans, having met each other at the Air Force Academy. They want to give back to the selfless sacrifice that these brave men and women have made.
Charles Phillips and his wife Karen are two incredibly inspirational people. Coming from an African American background, they have achieved things that few other minority groups have been able to achieve, and they have paved the way for others to follow in their footsteps. This is something that continues to this day, with the Phillips’ frequently giving back to African American communities as well.