Corporate Philanthropy Reimagined
Check out social media and you will see companies doing good work, but do you know what the company does? Go to company websites and you will see a Corporate Social Responsibility or Community Relations page that highlight their philanthropic partnerships. They will talk about employee engagement and who they invest in; that is great for the nonprofit sector. They will talk about their outputs in volunteer hours and material aid to the charity of choice, this is great but is it enough?
What if they aligned their giving practices with their business goals? What is corporate volunteering became more than talking points, t-shirts and time off? What if their investment improved their bottom line? What if their engagement helped change corporate culture? What if you utilized the innovation and hidden talent of those in an organization in new ways.
This is not my original idea, others have spoken of this concept. Though I have seen it first hand and how it changes more than you can imagine. It can change corporate culture that put the values painted on the wall of the meeting rooms into action. Their is significant research that proves that "Linking CSR initiatives to specific values can resonate with employees’ personal motivations and cultivate company pride. When employees feel closer to a CSR program, they are more invested in its success and the company as a whole."
America's Charities write: “Alignment of corporate goals, employee interests, and nonprofit needs is essential. Companies can drive greater engagement but they need to align strategically to match corporate and employee interests with the genuine needs of nonprofit organizations.”
How does a company begin to re-evaluate their philanthropy/corporate social responsibility? Ask yourself the following questions: Does your philanthropic investment tell the story told about your company and what it stands for, beyond making a profit? Do your employees have a voice in your priorities from investments to activities the company chooses to engage in philanthropically? Does you current investments of time, talent and treasure match your corporate strategy, brand and culture? Does the nonprofit you partner with align with your business model?
Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the economic pillars for investment in collective change in communities in which people live, work and play. The communities that (your) company employees and your company may call home.
Companies like IBM reevaluated their CSR and established a plan that they claim created a 600 million dollar return on their 200 million dollar investment. What if the money you invest back can come back to you and more? What if your philanthropy improves brand reputation for the long haul and not just 5 minutes?
Philanthropy Delaware advances philanthropy in the first state by connecting key stakeholders to drive meaningful impact in Delawareans. As a member of Philanthropy Delaware, you can receive consultation on a a CSR strategy and so much more information to help you look at what is best for your company, people and community.
Cynthia Pritchard, President and CEO