Colgate, KFC and the Rockerfeller Foundation; What do these 3 organisations have in common? The answer is tithing. That’s right, tithing!
Besides the fact they are all very big and well known organisations, these companies are all connected by the ancient Bible-based principle of tithing. The founders of all 3 organisations were serial tithers. Are you surprised? I was too. There’s an interesting story behind each of these 3 companies and their founders.
SECRET TO SPREADING: THE COLGATE STORY
Who hasn’t heard of the Colgate-Palmolive company? The Colgate brand is so widespread that in certain parts of the world, the term “Colgate” can be taken to mean “toothpaste”. If you’ve been alive in the past century then you’ve probably used Colgate toothpaste and/or one of the hundreds of cleaning agents and personal care products manufactured by the Colgate-Palmolive company which William Colgate founded about 210 years ago. Here is the back story behind the success and spreading of the Colgate brand and the Colgate-Soap company aka Colgate-Palmolive.
As a young lad William worked in a soap manufacturing shop which his Father had founded in partnership with Ralph Maher. When he was sixteen (16) years old he tied his belongings in a bundle and left home to find employment in New York City.
On his way he met a canal boat captain and as he was talking to Him, William told the captain that he planned to make soap in New York City since soap and candle making was the only trade he knew.
The captain gave him this advice: ‘Someone will soon be the leading soap maker in New York. You can be that person. But you must never lose sight of the fact that the soap you make has been given to you by God. Honor Him by sharing what you earn. Begin by tithing all you receive.’
Those words apparently made a strong impression on young William. When he arrived in NYC in 1804 he obtained employment as an apprentice to a soap-boiler and learned the business. He tithed from the first dollar he made as an employee. Later as the founder of his own company, he started of giving 10% of the earnings of Colgate’s soap products then he gave 20%, then 30%, and eventually he gave 50% i.e. half of all his income to the work of God. Some say he even went as far as giving 90% of all his income in his latter days.
William Colgate died in 1857, but his name is eternally etched in history. Last year (2015) the Colgate-Palmolive company’s annual revenue was calculated at over 15 Billion! Throughout his long and successful business career Mr Colgate was a committed and faithful tither. No wonder his company and its products spread and today cover the whole earth. He found the secret of spreading – partnership! The tooth-paste, soap, shaving cream, shampoo and other products that we use daily testify to this.