Three quarters of top executives questioned for a report by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) said that they believe philanthropy is an effective way to meet consumer’s rising expectations of social responsibility on the part of business.
The report, ‘Business’s Social Contract: Capturing the Corporate Philanthropy Opportunity’, based on research by McKinsey & Company, including interviews with 700 top executives, said that successful corporate philanthropy can achieve social return and business benefits.
The report highlighted three imperatives for philanthropic impact: “lead from the top, align philanthropic programmes with business strategy, and manage philanthropy as a business investment.”
It also said that the positive effect of philanthropy to a company was not limited to an enhanced reputation or brand.
However, the authors noted that, “A significant gap still exists between leading companies in corporate philanthropy and the average state of practice.”
Various examples of best practice are cited, including Genworth Financial, whose Chairman, CEO and President Mike Frazier said that the company’s “corporate philanthropy plan looks like a business plan.”
The report also recommends that where companies work with non-profit partners, they should “place a growing importance on defining and outlining specific goals and on identifying ways to tangibly demonstrate progress.”
- The report is available for download from the CECP website.