By Pete Parker.
Creating corporate giving programs can be both exciting and challenging. There are many opportunities associated with advancing the greater good.
Taking the first step towards developing the plan might just be most difficult, yet empowering step taken. Do you hire staff…a consultant…or do it yourself? How much time, energy and funds do you allocate to developing the plan? Whom do you involve? What are your goals? How or do we leverage the giving program for the corporation’s financial growth?
In Susan Hyatt’s “The Benefits of Strategic Philanthropy”, she identifies ten reasons why businesses should implement giving programs. These include enhanced visibility, sales, awareness, productivity and corporate results. These benefits can place considerable impact on the business, positioning it for greater advancement as a corporation and, at the same time, leave an indelible mark within the non-profit sector.
Caroline Preston’s article entitled “Corporate Philanthropy Grapples With How to Create Giving Programs”, she mentions how “many companies are interested in finding models in which they can simultaneously improve the world and their bottom line”. I couldn’t agree more. While there are many altruistic and intangible reasons for business to be more community-engaging, they have a responsibility to increase market share, increase awareness, and meet corporate objectives. Citing a quote from from Ms. Preston’s article as voiced by Akhtar Badshah, senior director of community development with Microsoft, “we need to be careful about whether we’re looking at this as a revenue generator versus profit.”
Corporate giving programs can take various shapes and forms. What’s important is that businesses address their giving situations and assess the many ways a structured program can enhance their corporation both internally and externally.