Corporate Philanthropy

Corporate Philanthropy and Wendy Kohli

There can be little doubt that a certain amount of corporate philanthropy is simply good business and works for the long-term benefit of the investors. 
John Mackey

In recent years, corporate philanthropy has been on the rise the several nations of the world. Many corporations see corporate philanthropy as a means to pay back to the society. Corporate philanthropy is a commitment that has moved beyond writing checks or making grants. Today, corporate philanthropy covers a wide spectrum of activities ranging from cash contributions, donations, salary sacrificing, offering free products/services to giving money for global initiatives, corporate donations for natural disaster relief funds. The last trend in corporate philanthropy which is fast catching on nowadays is corporate investing, wherein the big conglomerates invest in charitable organizations or programs that hold a vast social appeal like funds for education loans or housing projects.

Derived from the Greek word “love for mankind”, philanthropy is a universal expression of one’s love for humanity and its betterment, for the benefit of all concerned.

But it’s a common fallacy to assume that philanthropy is the preserve of wealthy individuals of the past and present, including Bill Gates (through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), and Andrew Carnegie. Far from it. The fact of the matter is that philanthrophy, at all levels of life, has the potential to empower and create profound changes in both the lives of those who receive its life-enhancing benefits, and also those who provide it.

On a basic level, philanthropy can mean giving small amounts to charity street-collectors (such as the Poppy Appeal in the U.K. each November for veterans and their relatives)

At the corporate level, philanthropy (previously viewed as an “expense” which had little or no relevance to the bottom-line), has now become a central pillar of each and every company, the reflection and lifeblood of the purpose of its very existence, and serves as a valuable link between the company and the local community. Major multinationals now factor in such philanthropic activities into their annual budget.

Corporate philanthropy can take many forms. Since people are every company’s major asset, a series of incentivization programs have been developed, whereby company staff members can contribute their time, effort and skills to working in certain sectors of the local community, such as teaching children in underprivileged areas, working in overseas development programs, or assisting in construction of assistance courses for the elderly or young families in their community.

Not only does this help those in the local community, it also empowers the company employees to both “give something back”, and feel in control of their destiny (as the company gives them the opportunity to choose which field they wish to work in).

Throughout this important two-way process, companies are looking to achieve measurable returns on this investment. These returns do not necessarily have to be financial, and can take the form of increased goodwill, the creation of a safer and better business environment, the personal growth of both those giving, and those receiving this philanthropic care, and the accomplishment of its greater social and “good business” goals, by creating healthier, more vibrant and more productive local communities.

It can also open up all manner of new and hitherto untapped areas for development and self-discovery in such fields as education and the arts, to human services and the environment.

For those interested in enhancing the bottom line, philanthropy of this nature helps to enhance the corporate reputation and brand recognition, attracts better employees (and encourages them to stay with the company longer by building greater loyalty, morale and team ethic), and strengthens the relationships with customer, clients, and vendors.

Moreover, such inward investment of time and resources can bear more fruit in the future, by way of finding and enhancing the employees of the future, right on the company’s doorstep… Something Wendy Kohli, the Founder of FundaKohli, places huge importance on…

“Corporate philanthropy is no longer an option for companies – it’s an absolute necessity, something which cannot be judged or operated in isolation, and a key pillar of all business functions,” says Kohli.

Our 21st-Century business world demands a fresh and dynamic perspective, one in which the interdependence and interrelated core competences of both the business and local community is of paramount importance.”