WinShape Foundation

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WinShape Foundation
WinShape logo.jpg
Founded 1984 (1984)
Type 501(c)(3) private foundation
Tax ID no. 58-1595471 (EIN)
Key people Robert Skelton, Executive Director
S. Truett Cathy, President
Donald Cathy, Vice President
Revenue $26.1 million (2010)[1]
2010 Grants and Contributions[1]
Organization Grant
Lar Winshape $313,684
Fellowship of Christian Athletes $480,000
Marriage & Family Foundation $1,188,380
National Christian Foundation $247,500
Sonscape Retreats $7,500
Berry College $413,419
Atlanta Fest Foundation $65,000
Battlefield Ministries $1,050
Brackenhurst Ministries $35,000
Exodus International $1,000
Family Research Council $1,000
Helping Hands Ministries Inc $30,000
Lifeshape Inc $895,052
National Institute of Marriage $37,000
The Hideaway Foundation $25,000
Arm Ministries $1,500
Care for AIDS $1,000
Center for Relational Care $9,895
Georgia Family Council $2,500
Georgia Public Policy Foundation $1,000
Heritage Christian Church $7,500
Kumveka $10,000
Leadership Development Intl. $10,000
Lifegate Counseling Center $1,000
Paulding Pregnancy Services $1,000
Resurrection Lutheran Church $2,500
New Mexico Christian Foundation $54,000

The WinShape Foundation is an American charitable endeavor of the fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy and his family. WinShape also has a sister foundation that was started by Cathy's daughter Trudy and her husband John called Lifeshape.


The college deans anticipated the opportunity, incorporate the college and shut down Berry Academy at the end of 1983 school year to free campus space for this program. While incorporating the college, a separate non-profit entity was created to accept the money and the campus space was available. The foundation started in 1984 as a small college scholarship program housed on the former Berry Academy facilities near Berry College. Within several years, a boys' summer camp, followed by a girls' summer camp, were added. The foundation has continued to expand in its over 20 years of existence. It now includes foster homes, a challenge/ropes course, corporate and marriage retreats, and sponsors mission trips both within the United States and internationally.


In 2007, the Foundation's spending on the various projects it supports - including college scholarships, a network of foster homes and camps, and programs for marriage counseling - equalled $18 million.[2]


Mary Hall at Berry College

The WinShape scholarship currently provides students at Berry College $8,000 yearly – funded jointly by WinShape and Berry College. These funds replace the first $8,000 of any academic scholarships offered by the college and require a special application and interview process. The program originated with only several dozen students and offered a total of $10,000 over four years. Today, WinShape currently has over 400 college students enrolled per year, with over 800 alumni in just over 20 years.

The requirements of the scholarship program have varied in details over the years. Eligibility originally required current Chick-fil-A employment, high achievement and community involvement in high school, and a willingness to sign a contract including Christianity-based rules. Employment by Chick-fil-A is no longer a requirement, but the Christian-based nature of WinShape is perhaps stronger today than ever; the current contract specifies weekly meeting attendance, leadership discussion group participation, community service, and a fundamentalist Christian lifestyle, including abstaining from alcohol and drugs. Beginning in 2006, freshmen and transfer students were required to attend a week-long orientation camp known as FreshThing.

As of 2009, the foundation had awarded a total of 951 Berry College scholarships with a maximum of $32,000 per student. [3]

The foundation has awarded nearly 820 students of Berry College with scholarships of up to $32,000.[4][5]

Residential camps[edit]

The Ford Buildings

Cathy had taken his boys Dan and Bubba and his daughter Trudy to a summer camp called Ridgecrest in North Carolina when they were children. After the start of the college program in 1984, he wanted the campus to be used during the summer months. With the help of Rick Johnson who had worked for years at Camp Ridgecrest, they started a summer camp for boys in 1985 and a summer camp for girls in the Ford buildings on the main campus in the summer of 1987.[6] The camp was structured similarly to the Ridgecrest camp—a sports camp with a Christian emphasis. With the use of a native American "Indian" theme, the age groups were divided into different "tribes". Another aspect of the program included "indian ranks" that campers could achieve based on good behavior and virtues, the apex of which allowed a camper to take a test to achieve the rank of "Little Chief" for boys or "Black Comanche" for the girls.

International camps[edit]

After 25 years of doing camp in the United States, in 2009 WinShape Camps decided to start to do Camp in Brasília, Brazil. In 2010, WinShape Camps went back to Brazil to do week-long day camps around the capital city.

Foster homes[edit]

S. Truett Cathy[7] began a foster home in 1987 near the WinShape Centre on Berry College's campus. This home was designed for up to seventeen children and had full-time parents to take care of them. Out of this effort, several other foster homes have been birthed so that as of December 2007 there were 11 WinShape foster homes in the United States—eight in Georgia, one in Alabama, and two in Tennessee—as well as one in Brazil.[8][9]

Retreat center[edit]

Retreat Center, Rome, Georgia

Atop a hill behind the WinShape Center on Berry College's Mountain campus lay a dairy farm that Martha Berry had built to resemble Normandy architecture. The WinShape Center was created from the former middle/high school campus the old dairy farm. The college was seeking larger donations, so they incorporated, shut the Academy down, and remodeled the facilities as a resort. After remodeling and adding several other buildings to the complex, the Academy campus was converted into a four-star retreat center for retreats meetings, and for hosting fund raising events. The center now accommodates over 8000 guests every year.

Truett Cathy's middle son, Don "Bubba" Cathy, and his wife Cindy, also head up efforts to minister to couples in strengthening their marriages. The retreat center offers several special events for couples—ranging from couples who have healthy marriages to couples who are actively considering divorce. The program seeks to promote healthy marriages and families.

WinShape Wilderness[edit]

Started in 1991, WinShape Wilderness uses various techniques such as field games and ropes elements to create team-building experiences that help groups work through issues and experience community.[10]

WinShape International[edit]

WinShape International is an organization that seeks to mobilize Chick-fil-A operators and other leaders in the Chick-fil-A community to build young people in other cultures around the world and equip them to become leaders. WinShape International uses Chick-fil-A's SERVE model of leadership as a platform to help train young people to become servant-focused leaders.

Anti-Gay Donations[edit]

Since 2003, WinShape has donated over $5 million to several anti-gay groups,[11] including Eagle Forum, Focus on the Family, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Family Research Council, Exodus International and the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund. Approximately $2 million was given in 2009[12][13][14] and almost the same amount in 2010.[15][16] WinShape's financial support of these groups has caused gay-rights advocates to denounce[17][18] Chick-fil-A and protest against its restaurants and products on various college and university campuses including Northeastern University and NYU. Northeastern University's Student Senate voted on February 28, 2012 to cancel plans for an on-campus Chick-Fil-A restaurant[19] and an online petition against the NYU franchise was also launched that same month.[20]


  1. ^ a b "2010 IRS Form 990-PF Federal Tax Return". Foundation Center. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ Parker, Star (November 17, 2008). "Values of people like Chick-fil-A founder could help rebuild America". Deseret News. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "88-Year-Old Chick-fil-A Founder Reaches $25 Million Scholarship Milestone". Atlanta Daybook. August 24, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ "2008 Simon Prize Recipient". Philanthropy Roundtable. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Samuel Truett Cathy Philanthropy". Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ It's Easier to Succeed Than to Fail, by S. Truett Cathy. P. 176-177.
  7. ^ "It's Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men", S. Truett Cathy, 2004.
  8. ^ McCaskill, Mary Grace (October 6, 2002). "Chick-fil-A founder helps nurture children in foster care". Southern Living. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ Bernstein, Charles (February 1, 2003). "Father figure: Chick-fil-A's Truett Cathy helps shape young lives". Chain Leader. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "About". WinShape Wilderness. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ Matters, Equality. "Chick-Fil-A Donated". 
  12. ^ Devaney, Tim; Stein, Tom (November 8, 2011). "Chick-fil-A Increases Donations to Anti-Gay Groups". 
  13. ^ Winters, Rosemary (November 10, 2011). "Sugar House protesters say Chick-fil-A is anti-gay". The Salt Lake Tribune. 
  14. ^ Michelson, Noah (November 1, 2011). "Chick-Fil-A Fast Food Chain Donated Nearly $2 Million To Anti-Gay Groups In 2009". The Huffington Post. 
  15. ^ Edwards, Jim (July 5, 2012). "Here's How Much Money Chick-fil-A Gives To Anti-Gay Groups". Business Insider. 
  16. ^ Wong, Curtis (July 2, 2012). "Chick-Fil-A's Anti-Gay Donations Totaled Nearly $2 Million In 2010: Report". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Matt Rocheleau (February 28, 2012). "Northeastern cancels Chick-fil-A plans after student group denounces chain". The Boston Globe. 
  20. ^ Wong, Curtis (February 14, 2012). "Chick-Fil-A's 'Anti-Gay' Group Donations Spark New York University Protest". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 

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