Philanthropic efforts in today’s modern companies are becoming more common

Corporate philanthropy is common these days, and although the amounts given have taken a hit over the last 18 months, the trend is still positive. The coronavirus has had a severe impact on companies, however, with businesses in the US giving around 6 per cent less to charities in 2020 than they did in 2019. The was partly due to a drop in profits but also from large fund-raising events like walks and runs being cancelled.

This situation is obviously something of an anomaly, and the amount donated to charity by individuals actually rose by 2.2 per cent. This resulted in an overall rise to a record $471 billion.

Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), a coalition of 250 of the world’s biggest companies, recently conducted a survey looking at philanthropic donations. It found the amount given by companies to charitable causes between 2016 and 2018 rose by 11 per cent to reach $25.7 billion. This is mirrored across the globe by companies of all sizes.

For most businesses, donations to charities can be part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or an ongoing program with a favored organization. CSR is embedded in modern corporate culture and is essentially the idea of private businesses being accountable to stakeholders and contributing to society. This involves acts of philanthropy, charitable activities, volunteer work, and other ethically sound practices.

The concept of CSR has been around for decades but has recently seen a surge of participation. For example, in 2011, fewer than 20 per cent of companies in the S&P 500 Index published CSR or sustainability reports. In 2018, that number rose to 86 per cent.

Corporations often run philanthropic programs for employees. In the CECP survey, 92 per cent of organizations had at least one gift-matching program, and 78 per cent had two.

Another popular method for companies that sell goods and products is to give a percentage of sales to charities. For example, AmazonSmile donates 0.5 per cent of all purchases to various charities. Smaller companies tend to pick one or two beneficiaries. At Gluteboost, a portion of sales is donated to ‘Feeding America’ and other international organizations. As a female-focused company, Gluteboost also gears social sustainability efforts toward women’s mental and physical health.

This is what corporate sustainability, responsibility, and philanthropy are all about—giving back to those who need it most, in alignment with company and employee ethics. The pandemic might have temporarily dented how much organizations gave last year, but as charitable donations as a whole went up in 2020, the future is looking good.  

The Tycoon Herald