The Council is introducing Corporate Philanthropy 2012, a research initiative designed to recommend ways corporate philanthropy and foundations can respond most effectively to global social needs and challenges. The Council’s goal is to create a new agenda for corporate philanthropy and equip the field with a vision and strategic framework that elevates and transforms the practice and profession to create value for society and businesses alike.
Context and Purpose
Corporate philanthropy made significant contributions to society in the 20th century. Today, expectations of business are changing dramatically as its role in society transforms. Society now looks to business for more than charity. Corporate philanthropy is expected to be an active partner with government and society to find new ways to address our profound social and environmental challenges.
Consequently, companies are searching for the best ways to marshal all of their capabilities and assets to make significant and sustainable contributions. Within a shifting construct of corporate engagement with social issues, the question we now face is: What is the role of corporate philanthropy and corporate foundations?
Goals of the Project
Our goal is to create a new agenda for corporate philanthropy and equip the field with a vision and strategic framework that elevates and transforms the practice and profession to create value for society and businesses alike.
The framework for the new agenda will help corporate philanthropy leaders:
- Understand and manage corporate philanthropy as both an expression of company values and an “investment” designed to create value for both society and the business
- Be empowered to become more effective leaders and managers by equipping them with tools, resources, and learning opportunities to enhance their professional competence
- Communicate, educate, and engage stakeholders—internal and external to the company—with a new narrative for corporate philanthropy that demonstrates its collective or shared value as a triple benefit: to the community to provide solutions to global and societal issues; to the company to increase shareholder value, brand value, and business opportunity; and to the employees to expand their skills, support their development, add to their value, and support their community interests.
Elements of the Project
- Under the auspices of the Council’s Corporate Committee, work through a group of leading global companies to guide the project’s research, strategy, and communications
- Solicit input from and engage in an ongoing dialogue with corporate philanthropy leaders through regional meetings, webinars, the Council’s Annual Conference, online surveys, and other avenues
- Interview key corporate philanthropy stakeholders from (1) the broader philanthropic field; (2) business units internal to the company that are critical allies to the giving function; and (3) academics, professional consultants, and colleague organizations that support and contribute to the thought leadership of the corporate philanthropic community
- Communicate ongoing, emerging insights from the project to the corporate philanthropy field and a wider set of stakeholders
- Identify tools and resources that support the elements of the project’s strategic framework and make recommendations for new tools
- Publish a report that summarizes the operating environment of 21st century corporate philanthropy, assesses the current state of the corporate philanthropy field, and advances a new strategic framework and recommendations for the field to navigate the future
- Disseminate findings through Council workshops, webinars, and other programs in collaboration with others in corporate philanthropy, where appropriate
Corporate Philanthropy 2012 is chaired by Council on Foundations board members Ann Cramer and David Etzwiler. The Council is grateful for the support and advice of philanthropy leaders from the following companies: Amgen, ArcelorMittal, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, General Mills, IBM, ING, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Medtronic and Pfizer Inc. For additional information, please contact Kim Young.