Lessons in Corporate Philanthropy

By: Tim
Tim is a participant in Allowance for Good's Fall 2015 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy class in the Elmhurst location. 

"I am a catalyst for good because...
I want to improve the world"
Tim, at the ELP Elmhurst class.
Corporate philanthropy is the giving of profits or resources from a corporation to a charitable cause. When asked about philanthropy, most people think about cash.  However, facilities, services, and time are also considered types of philanthropy.

Certain employers offer matching gifts programs.  With matching gifts, a company will match an employee’s cash donation to an eligible nonprofit organization at some set ratio. With grants, the company provides a nonprofit with money to accomplish an agreed-upon purpose.  The company can also provide volunteer grants, in which the time of the corporation’s employees is also donated.

Reasons for corporate philanthropy could come from a commitment to the common good, a sense that the company is making a community investment, or even that it is a good marketing tool. Whatever the reason, research has shown that corporations with sound corporate philanthropy perform better than those without it. Emily taught me that corporations should have a social responsibility toward philanthropy.  She taught me that employees of a corporation play a significant role in corporate philanthropy.  Using matching gifts, employees can make a larger donation to their charity.

Employees can also donate their time and expertise, which can be as valuable as money. If a corporation doesn’t currently have a philanthropy program, the employee can be instrumental in providing rationale as to why corporate philanthropy is important and then assisting the company in setting one up. When I am in the working world, I can see myself becoming involved in philanthropy by providing donations of both time and money. I enjoy working with other people towards a common goal, and employing our unique abilities to accomplish it.