The Foundation for a Better Life
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The Foundation for a Better Life is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2000 to promote "positive behavioral values"; The Foundation creates public service campaigns to communicate its values, such as honesty, caring, optimism, hard work, and helping others. The Foundation communicates its message through television, outdoor advertising, theatre, radio, and the Internet, and is best known for the "Pass It On" campaign. Viewers are encouraged to pass on these values, with the rationale that examples of individuals living values-based lives may not change the world, but collectively they make a difference.
Founded in 2000 with a $700 million endowment from Philip Anschutz, a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (United States), the organization is headed by its president, Gary Dixon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The organization launched its first campaign on November 9, 2001. The original start date was September 13, 2001, but it was postponed due to the September 11 attacks. More than $10 million was spent on the initial campaign, which appeared on about 10,000 billboards, signs and posters nationwide. The original message of the campaign was modified to include themes which recognized the state of the nation following the attacks. Specifically, the values of "unity" and "courage" were added with images of flags and firefighters.
Prior to the launch of the campaign, Dixon contacted Nancy Fletcher, president and chief executive at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America in Washington. He reportedly was inspired by the association's billboard campaign called God Speaks, which generated enormous attention in 1999 and 2000.
The foundation continues to sponsor public service messages in various media. The foundation's "Pass It On" campaign has incorporated the likenesses of Wayne Gretzky, Michelle Kwan and Muhammad Ali.
The Foundation neither solicits nor accepts monetary donations from the public. It is not officially affiliated with any religion, instead hoping that "the values we share transcend any particular religion or nationality". The chief contributor of the foundation also serves as the chief contributor of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
- "About us". Foundation for a Better Life.
- Elliott, Stuart (November 9, 2001). "The Media Business; ADVERTISING; A campaign promotes noble behavior and the adoption of better values by everyone.". New York Times (New York Time).
- "Champion skaters makes Times Square billboard". The Post and Courier. October 7, 2003.
- "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About The Foundation for a Better Life". The Foundation for a Better Life.