Understanding Corporate Philanthropy

What Is Corporate Philanthropy?

Not to be confused with social responsibility, corporate philanthropy is the act of a corporation or business promoting the welfare of others, most commonly through a charitable donation. After a string of natural disasters, such as Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, corporate philanthropy picks up. Private funds like these are so beneficial to the safety and well-being of those affected by these natural disasters, and they play a big role in helping to rebuild communities. Corporate philanthropy doesn’t have to stop there, though.

A Unique and Personal Approach

Alan H. Fleischmann is the Founder & CEO of Laurel Strategies, a global business advisory and strategic communications firm. Fleischmann often counsels clients who are worried their donations will be perceived as insufficient or poorly targeted. He explains to them that the key to successful corporate philanthropy is to remember that there is not a “one size fits all” approach. Instead, consider giving in a way that is unique to your company. Really evaluate the situation and what your company has to offer. You could use your position to help advocate for worthy causes or have employees volunteer and offer their specific skills and expertise. Fleischmann also recommends talking with employees to find out what causes matter to them and what they think will benefit those causes the most. In his experience, the most successful philanthropic efforts are those that effectively leverage the passions and interests of employees.

Unexpected Benefits of Corporate Philanthropy

Today’s workforce wants a job that gives them purpose and reflects their values. They are also more interested in customizing their giving and feeling as though they have truly made an impact. By making corporate philanthropy a part of your overall business strategy, you are helping employees fulfill their desire to make a difference. In research conducted by Great Place to Work and Fortune, it was found employees who had a positive experience of giving back at work were four times more likely to say their teams were willing to give extra to get the job done. This is because charitable efforts help connect employees to their work and their organization’s mission, which leads to an overall more productive and engaged workforce. Listed below are additional benefits of corporate philanthropy as listed by Virgin Pulse:

1. Participating in activities that give back to the community give employees a break from the hustle and bustle of work. Giving back allows them to slow down, reflect, and feel gratitude, which helps to reduce stress.
2. Hands-on corporate philanthropy programs help employees feel connected to the world. It is a reminder that we share a world with people from varying walks of life and a multitude of experiences. Feeling this kind of connectedness shows employees that they are serving a purpose as members of a global community.
3. Giving back, especially in ways that get employees out of the office, strengthens the bonds between co-workers. Helping others is is a great way to work together and contribute to the community.

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