Corporate Philanthropy – The New Paradigm: Volunteerism. Competence. Results.

Corporate philanthropy, social innovation, and corporate citizenship are no longer merely buzzwords
for companies. Giving back to the community has now established itself within corporate
DNA. To get a handle on how companies are approaching corporate social responsibility (CSR),
why they do it, what they perceive the benefits are, and how they are allocating their resources,
Forbes Insights surveyed top-level management at consumer, financial services, technology,
energy, and healthcare companies. In addition, this report spotlights CSR programs at three
companies—Hewlett-Packard, Eli Lilly, and MasterCard—to showcase the way three industry
leaders are engaging this issue. Key findings include: • Achieving business goals via philanthropy is closely tied to volunteerism. Seventy-eight percent of
respondents from companies that consider themselves successful at achieving their business goals via
philanthropy say that their involvement in corporate volunteerism is more important now than three years ago.
• While the concept of volunteerism stays the same, its shape is evolving and influencing other areas of
corporate philanthropy. Over two-thirds of respondents state that volunteerism is evolving from being
hands-on to skill-based, and that they now look to make financial donations primarily to causes that will allow
employees to volunteer.
• To meet business goals through philanthropy, it helps to have the CEO on board. More respondents
who believe their companies have been successful at this report that their chief executives are actively involved in
several aspects of corporate philanthropy.
• The motivation behind corporate philanthropy has an impact on giving and volunteering. More
respondents from corporations that are motivated by social benefits in their philanthropy—the latter defined
as betterment of the community and world—report giving and volunteering, as compared with respondents
from corporations motivated by a commercial benefit, defined here as betterment of the company’s brand
and bottom line.
• Social and health services, community development, and the environment are the issues most
respondents say are addressed by corporate philanthropy. Over the next three years, the biggest increases
in priorities should come in fostering entrepreneurship, higher education and K-12 education. • Respondents from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) seem to be the most commercially
minded when it comes to the primary motivation for corporate philanthropy and community involvement.
• In terms of amount of money or value per grant, the Asia-Pacific region had the largest percentage of
respondents (67%) who reported increases over the past two years, and they expect more increases in
the next 12 months. In other regions of the world, roughly a third of respondents indicated past and future
increases in the amount of money or value per grant.
• Smaller companies—with less than $1 billion in revenue—seem to be using philanthropy less than
larger companies—over $10 billion—for focused business goals, such as learning about potential markets
and opportunities, or managing current or potential risk.
• Volunteerism is a common denominator among companies of all sizes, as more than two-thirds of all
companies, irrespective of their revenues, say that they believe their focus on volunteerism will increase over the
next three years and that volunteerism is an essential part of their company’s leadership development strategy.