In this article, Jennifer Hartz shares key points on the far-reaching impact of corporate philanthropy with examples of successful initiatives.
Though corporate giving is a small percentage of all philanthropic monies given to non-profits in the U.S., it has an outsized opportunity to drive societal improvement and influence the hearts and minds of their stakeholders and the nation. (The organization Giving USA reports that about 5% of annual philanthropy comes from companies.)
Corporate and business owner foundations complement the work of annual social responsibility budgets. Foundations donate to non-profits to increase capacity and address targeted community needs. Corporate budgets focus on employee engagement in civic leadership, hands-on volunteering, and skills-based service, as well as involving others outside of the company. Enabling others to contribute is not a substitute for direct investments, and companies know that.
Increasingly, corporations seek to extend “philanthropic leverage.” This means using their products, services and other assets to inspire all stakeholders—employees, customers, vendors, elected officials, investors and media—to become involved with specific charities or issues. Therefore, CR departments and company foundation staffs are growing, despite an overall decrease in hiring—this is complex work. Professionals and expert consultants bring experience with for-profit and non-profit partnerships to effect change, and know how to build core business connections that drive profitability, increase stakeholder engagement, and are seamless to both operations and communications.
On the human resources side of the house, companies increase participation and benefits to the business and society with targeted programs. These include:
Company match for employee dollars donated to a specific campaign or to non-profits year round
Company match for employee volunteer hours with a donation to that charity
Sponsoring non-profit board training for promising future leaders
Supporting employees’ service with non-profits to build skills and networks
Bringing civic speakers and hands-on volunteer projects to their locations
Establishing departmental, cross-functional or cross-level team projects or events
Including families and children in company-sponsored programs
Mounting an enterprise-wide day, week, or month of volunteer service
Giving company awards for civic service, with internal and external communications
Key points include:
- Targeted programs
- Community relationships
- Re-brand sponsorships
Read the full article, How Corporate Foundations Enhance Their Civic Agenda for Added Value, on LinkedIn.