WinShape Foundation

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WinShape Foundation
WinShape logo.jpg
Founded 1984 (1984)
Type 501(c)(3) private foundation
58-1595471 (EIN)
Key people
Robert Skelton, Executive Director
S. Truett Cathy, President
Donald Cathy, Vice President
$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 organization founded in 1982 by Jeanette Cathy and Truett Cathy, founder of fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. WinShape's sister foundation, Lifeshape, was started by the Cathy's daughter and husband, Trudy and John White.


After its 1983 school year, Berry College (1902–present) closed its affiliated middle and high school operations at their financially struggling Berry Academy, forming the WinShape Foundation in 1984. As a separate non-profit foundation WinShape focused on a small college scholarship program housed in the former Berry Academy buildings. Subsequently a boys and girls summer camp were each added and foundation programs expanded to include foster homes, a challenge/ropes course, corporate and marriage retreats, and United States as well as global mission trips.


In 2007, the Foundation spent $18 million[2] on the projects it supports, which include college scholarships, a network of foster homes and camps, and programs for marriage counseling.


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 requirement details of the scholarship program have varied since its inception. 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 an evangelical 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 951 Berry College scholarships with a maximum of $32,000 per student.[3]

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

Residential camps[edit]

The Ford Buildings

After inception of the college program in 1984, and wanting its campus to be used also during summer months, Cathy co-founded a summer camp (1985) for boys and girls (1987) on the Mountain Campus of Berry College (Mt. Berry).[6] with Rick Johnson who had previously worked at North Carolina's Camp Ridgecrest, where Cathy's children had earlier attended. Modeled after Ridgcrest, the new camp was designed as a sports camp with a Christian emphasis using Native American (Indian) themes to structure achievement. Age groups are organized into "tribes." The boys camp tribes include Apache (rising 2nd–4th grade), Shawnee (rising 5th–6th grade), Choctaw (rising 7th–8th grade), Navajo (rising 9th–12th grade) and Sioux (the adventure program, rising 10th–12th grade). The girls camp tribes include Chippewa (rising 2nd–4th grade), Chickasaw (rising 5th–6th grade), Cheyenne (rising 7th–8th grade), Cherokee (rising 9th–10th grade), Catawba (rising 11th–12th grade) and Creek (the adventure program, rising 12th grade). Campers achieve a hierarchy of "Indian ranks" based on Christian character and leadership. Top ranks are "Little Chief" for boys and "Black Comanche" for girls.

In 2011, WinShape begun a one-week girls camp at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia. This camp consists of three clubs: Skocean, Bumbline and Royalum. The camp is divided into junior camp (rising 2nd-6th grade) and senior camp (rising 7th-9th grade).

In 2015, WinShape begun a one-week boys camp at Truett-McConnell College.

International camps[edit]

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

WinShape Homes[edit]

S. Truett Cathy[7] began a foster home in 1987 near the WinShape Centre on Berry College’s campus. It was designed to provide a home for up to twelve children with full-time parents to take care of them. To date, WinShape operates 13 homes for children who are simply victims of circumstance. There are 9 homes in Georgia, 3 in Tennessee, and one in Alabama. A Transitional Living Home has also been opened outside of Rome, Georgia to help young adults, from the program, transition successfully from high school to independence. [8][9]

Retreat center[edit]

Retreat Center, Rome, Georgia

WinShape Center is located near the hilltop campus of Berry College and more specifically at the adjacent former middle and high school campus of the Berry Academy. Once owned by Martha Berry, the site had once been home to a dairy farm with buildings originally constructed in the architectural style of Normandy, France. After founding WinShape, the academy buildings were remodeled and new buildings were added to create the resort. The new retreat center hosts meetings and fund raising events, with over 8000 guests annually. Donald (a.k.a. Bubba) and Cindy Cathy conduct marriage counseling programs at the center, aimed at those with healthy marriages to those actively considering divorce.

WinShape Wilderness[edit]

Started in 1991, WinShape Wilderness uses various techniques such as field games and ropes courses to encourage team-building and help organizations and groups work through issues and experience an improved sense of community.[10]

WinShape International[edit]

WinShape International is an organization that inspires Chick-fil-A operators and other leaders in the Chick-fil-A community to support leadership programs for young people globally. WinShape International uses Chick-fil-A’s SERVE model of leadership as a platform to help train young people to become servant-focused leaders.[citation needed]

Anti-gay donations[edit]

Since 2003, WinShape has donated over $5 million to allegedly 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]

Chick-fil-A released a statement in July 2012: "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."[21] In March 2014, tax filings for 2012 showed the group stopped funding all but one organization which had been previously criticized.[22]


  1. ^ a b "2010 IRS Form 990-PF Federal Tax Return" (PDF). 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. ^ Cathy, S. Truett, It’s Easier to Succeed Than to Fail, pp. 176–77 .
  7. ^ Cathy, S. Truett (2004), It’s Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men .
  8. ^ McCaskill, Mary Grace (October 6, 2002). "Chick-fil-A founder helps nurture children in foster care". Southern Living (High beam). Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ Bernstein, Charles (February 1, 2003). "Father figure: Chick-fil-A’s Truett Cathy helps shape young lives". Chain Leader (High beam). Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "About". WinShape Wilderness. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ Matters, Equality. "Chick-Fil-A Donated". Equality matters. 
  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. ^ "Hate map", Get informed, SPL center .
  18. ^ Family research council labeled ‘hate group’ by SPLC over ‘anti-gay rhetoric’, Talking points memo, Nov 2010 .
  19. ^ Rocheleau, Matt (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. 
  21. ^ Robinson, Steve (July 31, 2012), Response to Recent Controversy (PDF), Chick-fil-A, retrieved October 12, 2012 .
  22. ^ Comer, Matt (March 3, 2014). "New Chick-fil-A filings show decrease in anti-LGBT funding". QNotes. 

External links[edit]