RE: Philanthropy Blog

As the new year sprints forward, I am struck by the amount of new thinking and new literature surrounding the topic of corporate social responsibility, particularly philanthropy. In meteorological terms, a new weather front has arrived and continues to generate unsettling conditions.

As I am now days away from my one-year anniversary at the Council, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the state of the Re: Philanthropy blog and where we go from here.

What does Jeremy Lin have to do with the future of philanthropy?

As a librarian, one of the services I provide is digital content procurement and licensing. Part of that process is negotiating the most beneficial terms of use for the organization. Sometimes, however, there are terms that a vendor just won’t budge on, which means giving staff members news they may not want to hear. Even if you don’t always understand the reason for these decisions, it is important to follow your librarian’s advice on acceptable access and use since intentionally violating a contract can quickly become a time-consuming and expensive proposition.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We hear that phrase and understand that the most difficult tasks are accomplished one step at a time, with resolve and long-term dedication. And I would add, with the help of each other.

Every year, International Corporate Philanthropy Day is observed on the last Monday in February to “raise awareness of corporate-community partnerships and inspire businesses around the world to engage further.” But did you know that the three most important words in the previous sentence are corporate-community partnerships?

I’m just back from an incredible visit to the Angkor Temple complex in Cambodia. It’s an area I’ve wanted to visit for some time, and I also have the added benefit of being able to see American Express philanthropic dollars at work there.

Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation announced combined community giving of $38 million in 2011, compared with $36.8 million in 2010. The annual giving results were released in recognition of International Corporate Philanthropy Day, which celebrates business-community partnerships around the world.

Daniel Lee

TIME magazine provocatively named “The Protester” as its 2011 “Person of the Year” for its riveting influence on last year’s social and political unfolding in Egypt, Syria, and Wall Street. As courageous citizens connected with each other to express dissent and organize public actions, social media tools spurred activism and social change in unprecedented ways.

It’s International Corporate Philanthropy Day, when the business community celebrates achievements in philanthropy and corporate community partnerships. At General Mills, we’re celebrating by releasing the results of our global volunteer survey, which shows that our employees, no matter where they work around the world, are deeply committed to improving the lives of our neighbors in the communities where we work and live.