The best of corporate philanthropy
Corporate philanthropy can be extremely relevant when it is strategic. While it is fine for corporate philanthropy to align with short-term marketing objectives, which makes such philanthropy more likely to be sustainable over time, it is most strategic when it meets the long-term needs of its philanthropic partners. Best is when it helps to build capacity so that effective organizations can grow to scale and have a management core that is as strong as its programming. As is the case with most leadership challenges, marshaling support in corporate philanthropy for investments that may not pay off until the long-term is the toughest task of all, but also promises the greatest return on investment.
As a director on the board of Timberland I've seen what corporate philanthropy can accomplish in building the capacity of high-performing organizations like City Year, and also in leading on issues like climate change and reducing the carbon footprint. And as the founder of a nonprofit anti-hunger organization, Share Our Strength, I've seen what partners as diverse as American Express, ConAgra Foods, C&S Wholesale Grocers and many others can accomplish when they are willing to go beyond the desire for short-term publicity and engage in the hard work of understanding a partner's needs, as well as clearly identifying their own, so that a mutually beneficial relationship can be attained.
Posted by: LStarr3 | November 19, 2009 4:35 PM
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