How to do corporate philanthropy right

How to do corporate philanthropy right
Written by
Matias Salinas

Corporate philanthropy has become a popular initiative among modern companies. It involves making a commitment on an organisational level to contribute to nonprofit causes through means of support such as donation, sponsorship and volunteering.

But what's the point? Some business-minded people might argue that there's no good reason for a company to get involved in philanthropy and that any money spent on charitable causes is money that could be used to improve the business itself.

However, there are many benefits to corporate philanthropy, both for the companies themselves and for the causes they support. In this article, we'll delve into the many benefits of corporate philanthropy as well as provide some examples of businesses that are leading the way in this area.

The Benefits Of Corporate Philanthropy

We all know that the act of giving is good. But what is its value in the business world? What advantages do organisations that engage in corporate philanthropy achieve? Let's take a look.

Enhanced Employee Engagement

It's simply not enough for many employees to show up to a job day in and day out without feeling like they're making a difference in the world. They desire purpose, meaning, and fulfilment in what they do and are interested in supporting causes they care about. In fact, according to a recent study, 78 percent of employees want to actively engage in corporate social responsibility initiatives within their workplace.

Corporate philanthropy allows employees to connect with the causes they're passionate about and feel like they are making a difference in the world through their work. It creates a sense of loyalty and engagement among employees, which can lead to improved retention rates and increased productivity.

Improved Customer Engagement

Customers are increasingly interested in supporting businesses that are committed to social and environmental responsibility. In fact, 89 percent of consumers say they would likely switch to a product or service associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality.

Increased Brand Awareness and Visibility

When your company is involved in philanthropic initiatives, it can lead to increased brand awareness and visibility. This is especially true if you're supporting a cause that is newsworthy or trending.

As people become aware of your company's commitment to giving back, it can help to improve brand perception and make your company more attractive to potential customers, employees and partners.

Strengthened Relationships With Key Stakeholders

Engaging in corporate philanthropy can help to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders, including investors, partners, suppliers and the community. When your company is seen as a force for good, it can lead to improved relationships with these important groups.

Increased Sales and Profits

Yes, you read that right. While some business-minded people might argue that philanthropy is a waste of money, there is actually evidence to suggest that corporate giving can lead to increased sales and profits. A study by Cone Communications found that 87 percent of consumers would purchase a product from a company that supports social or environmental issues.

Improved Employee Recruitment and Retention

As we mentioned earlier, employees are increasingly interested in working for companies that are committed to social responsibility. In fact, according to a recent study, 75 percent of millennials said they would take a pay cut to work for a more socially responsible company.

So if you want to attract and retain the best employees, corporate philanthropy should be part of your strategy.

Companies That Are Setting An Example In Corporate Philanthropy

A number of major companies are setting an example when it comes to corporate philanthropy. Here are a few you may have heard of:

Google

Google manages multiple initiatives and programs designed to support local nonprofits and important charitable causes. Some of their most prominent include:

Bay Area Giving

Bay Area Giving supports local charities  in the San Francisco Bay Area with a focus on technology, education and the environment. Google has donated over $60 Million dollars through it over the past three years alone.

Code for America

Code for America is a nonprofit that partners with local governments to help them use technology and data to improve citizen services. Google has supported them with both financial contributions and employee volunteers.

Roberta

As a major tech company, Google is a strong supporter of robots and their potential to enhance society. That's why they launched Roberta, a fund aimed at supporting the development of social robots.

Programming Education Gathering (PEG)

The PEG program provides grants to support computer science education around the world.

Raspberry Pi 

Raspberry Pi is a small, affordable computer that can be used for educational purposes. Google provides financial support to the organisation so they can continue their work.

Apple

Apple is another tech giant that's committed to giving back. They support a number of important causes, including:

(RED)

(RED) is an organisation that works to fight AIDS. Apple has partnered with them since 2006 and has raised over $200 million dollars for the cause.

Corporate Giving Plan

After taking control of the company in April 2011, Apple CEO Tim Cook rolled out a comprehensive corporate giving plan matching employee donations to charitable causes. Since then, Apple has given away over $25 million to nonprofits.

Strengthen Local Communities Grant Program

The Strengthen Local Communities Grant Program provides financial support to local organisations doing work to improve the lives of those in their community.

Microsoft

Microsoft is another company that's doing its part to give back. They have a long history of philanthropy and support a number of important causes, including:

Affordable Access Initiative

The Affordable Access Initiative is aimed at making internet connectivity more affordable in underserved communities.

YouthSpark

YouthSpark is a global initiative that provides young people with access to technology and education so they can create positive change in their communities.

Imagine Cup

The Imagine Cup is a global competition that challenges young people to use technology to solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Microsoft provides financial support and mentorship to participants.

Employee Giving Campaign

Microsoft's Employee Giving Campaign allows employees to donate to the causes of their choice through payroll deductions. The company then matches those donations.

These are just a few examples of the many companies that are setting an example when it comes to corporate philanthropy. If you want to attract and retain the best employees, make sure that you're incorporating giving back into your business strategy. It's not only the right thing to do, but it's good for business.

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