Philanthropy

Value Added: What corporate foundations can do to enhance their philanthropic agenda

Jennifer Levine Hartz By Jennifer Levine Hartz 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 percent of all philanthropy comes from companies each year.) 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.

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Acing Philanthropy Goals

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 4.23.57 PM By The Editors Ace Hardware Foundation's president talks charity initiatives and how other businesses can follow their lead. When it comes to serving communities on a global scale, Kane Calamari understands the value of entrepreneurship and creating unique buyer experiences. /4s president of the Ace Hardware Foundation, and vice president of human resources, organizational development, and communications at Ace Hardware, Calamari oversees the world's largest hardware cooperative. The "cooperative" designation means that more than 4,800 of Ace's stores are locally owned and operated by entrepreneurs all across the globe. The organization hopes that this business model will bring added value to communities and allow each store to give back through local, philanthropic initiatives. Companies are increasingly becoming more aware of how important giving is. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, corporate giving in 2015 increased to $18.46 billion—a 3. 9 percent increase from 2014.

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Liquid Need

WaterAid reavels the "Loo with a View" at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York City on Saturday, September 27, 2015.

One organization works with companies to help global communities access safe water.

By Belinda Sharr

Clean water and access to sanitation are basic human rights, according to the U.N. However, for millions of people around the globe, having access to these necessities is nearly impossible. WaterAid is stepping in to help. The international non-profit organization seeks to improve the availability of safe water, hygiene products, and sanitation services. Through its partners, the company provided 2 million people with safe water and 3 million people with sanitation last year.

WaterAid CEO Sarina Prabasi says that the impact of clean water reaches many levels of society—some that people may not often consider.The effect of poor water quality specifically worsens the quality of life for women. "In many countries not having safe water means a young girl is collecting water instead of going to school.

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Women With A Mission

shutterstock_415082920 How Philanthropy Girls matches companies' desire to help with charities' needs By Belinda Sharr Linking corporations with a CSR program to charities who need assistance can be a challenging task. For one new company, it is their mission. Philanthropy Girls launched in October 2015, with the goal of providing an affordable "turn-key" solution to sourcing items needed for community outreach and social responsibility initiatives. Its team works with suppliers and manufactures to secure 'outreach pricing' on various items for charities. Philanthropy Girls' mission as a company is to responsibly source affordable items needed for outreach, allowing charities and corporations who do good in their communities, to do even more. The team works with suppliers, like Group Sales of Cincinnati, Ohio - the nation's leading supplier of toys - to negotiate 'Charity Pricing.' 'Charity Pricing' comes in at between 25-75 percent off the MSRP on items like athletic equipment to build a playground, educational supplies to support a classroom, books to build a learning library or toys for your holiday charitable distribution event.

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Philanthropy Spotlight: Doing Good

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 2.44.27 PM A spotlight on leading philanthropic initiatives at successful companies By Belinda Sharr Pricewaterhouse Coopers's PwC Charitable Foundation For some companies, philanthropy isn't just a small branch of the business—it's its own business. Pricewaterhouse Coopers has its own philanthropic foundation that dedicates itself to helping others. The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. supports the work of innovative organizations, social entrepreneurs, and leaders who transform education, empower veterans, inspire social entrepreneurship, and respond rapidly in times of natural disasters and other tragic events, according to the company. The foundation also supports PwC employees in times of unexpected financial hardship and celebrates them in times of achievement. The mission of PwC's foundation is to support the people of PwC and address the societal issues that impact them, their families, and their communities. According to the company, "by leveraging its knowledge, interests, goodwill and entrepreneurial spirit, PwC invests in scalable solutions to society's biggest challenges in education and humanitarianism.

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Editor’s Letter: Focus On Philanthropy

headshot Philanthropy is on the rise according to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP)'s Giving in Numbers 2015 Edition, the tenth annual report on corporate giving and employee engagement. The report provides a benchmark of philanthropy through key data provided by 271 respondent companies (including 62 of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune 500). According to the report, which is aimed at companies strategically focused on their community investment: • Measurement and evaluation are on the rise • Purpose propels performance • Company skills are being applied to solving societal changes • Doing good (beyond giving) is growing too • The role is elevating in the firm "This year's edition found 56 percent of companies increasing [their] total giving, as well as growth in five key indicators, between 2012 and 2014, proving that this work is essential to company operations," the report stated. We at CR Magazine believe that philanthropy is important.

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All Fun and Games: Welcome to Camp Corporate Philanthropy

What works in keeping volunteerism engagement high
By Ryan Scott
The holidays were approaching and a marketing team wanted to give back. But the standard company offerings just didn’t float their boat. So the team brainstormed and came up with the idea of a Virtual Giving Tree, encouraging a broad turnout of small donations to one of their favorite nonprofits. The team was excited about the idea and rumors about the plan started to swirl. The buzz built. Then, more momentum: Their manager gave them permission to invite the customers they spoke to every day to give as well.
The team drafted a quick email with a cool Giving Tree graphic and invited customers to contribute $1 to this employee-led effort, noting that the company would match all donations. The result? This giving event wound up giving back to everyone. It inspired employees, fired up customers and delivered a surprise windfall to the charity of choice.

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Philanthropy is a Team Sport

Philanthropy Is a Team Sport

By Richard Crespin
Great investors invest in great management teams. Great philanthropists should too.
In both business and social innovation we hear a lot about “failing fast, failing forward.” We hear less about how to fail fast and even less about how the relationship between the investor/entrepreneur and the donor/ social entrepreneur need to function for intelligent experimentation to occur in the first place.
I’ve never met a venture capitalist or private equity investor who invested in a great new gadget or business model. They invest in great management teams with great gadgets and business models. Yet, a quick review of the literature on the failures of philanthropy shows what Michael Hobbes, called a repeated cycle of, “[e]xciting new development idea, huge impact in one location, influx of donor dollars, quick expansion, failure.

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When Philanthropy Business Gets Business Orientation

CECP report makes case for alignment of goals

By Dennis Schaal


CECPOne philanthropy trend parallels developments in the Corporate Responsibility (CR) arena as a whole: As in CR, many corporations are aligning their philanthropy with business objectives.


The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) identified the synergy between philanthropy and business goals in a new report, “Business’s Social Contract: Capturing the Corporate Philanthropy Opportunity,” which was based in part on research conducted by McKinsey & Co.


In the McKinsey survey, which drew responses from 536 C-suite officials representing companies in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, 56 percent of “efficient philanthropists” stated that corporate philanthropy is a very or extremely effective means of meeting business goals compared with 7 percent of “all other philanthropists.

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Despite Economy’s Woes, Corporate Giving Didn’t Slow

CECP report finds two-thirds of companies hiked philanthropy in 2007

By James C. Hyatt

Corporate philanthropy at many companies rose in 2007 despite an uncertain economy.Research by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) found that “giving by large, multinational corporations increased by 5.6 percent, from a median of $24.67 million in 2006 to a median of $26.05 million in 2007.”Among other findings:

  • Two-thirds of companies increased their giving in 2007 over 2006, while 34 percent reduced giving; a similar survey a year earlier found 56 percent of companies boosted contributions in 2006 over 2005.
  • 56 percent of companies reporting lower profits increased their giving.
  • Of the eight companies in this sample who experienced losses in 2007, seven still increased their giving.

“The weakening economy did not seem to play a significant role for most companies’ giving in 2007,” the report said.

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