Corporate philanthropy is the act of contributing time, attention, publicity, products or money to a charitable cause. This concept has become a staple amongst modern business models. Increasingly, large companies are deciding to implement philanthropic programs that serve the communities in which they operate. Keep reading for three acts that fall under the corporate philanthropy umbrella.
- Donation: In the business world, donating is a common form of philanthropy. This method of corporate giving is popular because it delivers a quick turn around period from idea to action. When donating, the money or product can be provided by one of three sources: your employees, your customers or the business’ own savings/inventory. Whether donating time, ideas or goods, your organization can meet a need without having to engage in multiple tedious planning sessions to accomplish the goal. Donating can be as simple as calling a charity to learn what its needs are, then sending a company-wide email that states the cause, wish list items and the deadline. It can even be done with no employee involvement if the company chooses to front the bill itself. Below are a few ideas of different approaches to corporate philanthropy through donation:
- Donate products.
- Donate pro bono services.
- Donate technology.
- Donate expertise.
- Donate a portion of sales made.
- Donate all proceeds towards a cause.
- Match employees’ monetary donations.
- Create a program where employees can voluntarily donate an amount that will be automatically deducted from their checks .
- Host a drive (food drive, blood drive, back-to-school drive, Thanksgiving drive or Christmas drive).
- Ask customers/clients to donate to the organization, with the guarantee that the company will oversee the delivery or pickup of the donated items.
- Sponsorship: Sponsorship covers the financial backing of an activity, group or individual in hopes of providing opportunity or access that didn’t readily exist. Sponsorship can range from anonymous financial support to hands on, public involvement. For example, assistance can be limited to solely financial support, allowing the recipient to handle any required planning, maintenance or management. On the other end of the spectrum, sponsorship could entail funding, hosting and upkeep (if the commitment is long-term). Here are a few sponsorship examples:
- Sponsor an event (fundraiser, tournament, camp, class, dinner, etc.).
- Provide scholarships.
- Sponsor a group, troop, team or club (The Boy or Girl Scouts of America, a high school club, a little league team, etc.).
- Sponsor the development of a service or technology that benefits an underserved population.
- Offer grants to creators/researchers who work in a field your company aligns with.
- Raising Awareness: As a public entity, your corporation has a platform and voice that most individuals don’t possess. Your brand’s influence and reach is wide and you’ve built a large audience. All of these factors work together to create the ideal environment for raising awareness. This form of philanthropy is unique because it’s heavily dependent on the exposure you provide, rather than the funds. Raising awareness can appear as a dedicated section or link on your website, a mention in a commercial or a visual in your establishment. This approach works best when attempting to inform the public of a social issue, disease or tragedy. The goal is to inspire the reader to take action. You may champion against bullying or advocate for cancer research. You could shine a light on a global matter or provide statistics about childhood hunger. Whatever the cause, after informing, align the next steps with an organization that works in that field. The more people who empathize with a problem, the more likely it is to be addressed.
Philanthropy is a noble undertaking that should be approached with dedication. In the corporate setting, businesses have both the resources and the manpower to increase the impact of their giving. No matter which way you choose to give back to your community, the lives you touch will forever be changed for the better.