The State of Corporate Philanthropy
Earlier this year, in honor of International Corporate Philanthropy Day, 55 CEOs from some of the world's largest companies convened for the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy's fourth annual Board of Boards CEO Conference to discuss this year's theme, "Global Leaders: Confronting a Crucial Decision."
Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., and NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw led discussion about the importance of corporate-community investment in these times.
During the gathering, CECP polled attendees regarding the future of corporate giving. Key findings from the poll, listed below, offer nonprofits valuable insight into the kinds of partnerships many corporations are seeking to foster with charities.
- Elevate and prioritize the social contract. Corporate leaders recognize the interdependency between business and society, and the pressing need to regain public trust. Eighty-two percent of attendees indicated that philanthropy can help restore trust in the business sector, signaling their belief that corporate giving can support a regenerative cycle in distressed communities.
- Refocus on core strategies. Attendees stated that in the current economic climate, aligning philanthropy with company values, practices and goals is imperative. Conversely, philanthropy conducted in isolation from the rest of the business will fail to deliver optimal social and business benefits.
- Initiate an inclusive dialogue. Eighty percent of participating CEOs consider their employees and customers to be the most important constituencies when crafting giving strategy. However, factors such as government support of threatened industries, stimulus packages and intensifying public scrutiny are swiftly expanding the number and size of stakeholder groups.
- Leverage resources creatively. The economic downturn has been much longer and more severe than even the worst commonly held predictions of a year ago. While this likely will have an effect on cash contributions, CEOs in attendance expressed their willingness to fill funding gaps as much as possible.
Click here to download the executive report.