Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Corporate philanthropy - why its good that its not just about the money anymore...

there's a growing trend in the financing of our 'third' sector - increasingly private businesses (cue the usual 'boo - hiss') are investing in charities and social enterprise through gifts, support, sponsorship, philanthropy and other means.

Some see this as a cynical 'green wash' campaign on their part, others as a sign of the increasing maturity of our society as those leading such corporations realise that it is not only possible, but also beneficial, to consider the role of their companies in doing more than just making money.

Historically, these philanthropists have had a mindet that meant they wished to 'give something back' and so handed over the money and let the recipients 'get on with it'. But increasingly, and likely coupled with the shifts in demands for greater transparency and accountability that all sectors are experiencing, philanthropists today are wanting to get more 'hands on' and do more than just hand over a cheque and have the usual accompanying photo shoot.

For many groups, this will likely cause a knee-jerk reaction along the lines of "how dare they presume to tell us how we should be doing things - we're not like big private businesses!", but that's missing the point - these corporate philanthropists have great skills in financial management, raising money, marketing, HR, ... exactly the sorts of areas that we as a sector increasingly accept that we are in need of strengthening ourselves in.

So lets embrace this new generation of philanthropists - and a recent ebook (free to download) sets out some interesting and useful theories and structures to support us to do this:
'Just Another Emperor? by Michael Edwards'

1 comment:

  1. Those who complain loudest about the evils of profits are also first in line to seek charitable contributions. Their self-imposed higher moral ground is a hypocrisy that will not withstand any scrutiny.

    When anyone, no matter how rich or how poor, contributes money toward a social cause, the money should be received with appreciation and expended with skill. Requests by donors to use scarce money effectively should be honored, not subjected to criticism because it comes out of profits.

    Social enterprises as a new sector in the world has much to learn, but this process will be slowed by jargon plagued discussions about mission before profits without understanding the underlying economics.

    Karl Dakin, CEO
    DaVinci Quest