Corporates seek business benefits from philanthropy

13 Mar 2008

Nearly 90% of enterprises with corporate philanthropy programs seek business benefits from their donations, a McKinsey survey has found.

Only 14% of a survey of 721 C-level executives worldwide said they did not think finding business opportunities was a part of their CSR or philanthropy efforts.

Far and away the biggest benefit was the improvement to corporate brand, with 70% saying they believed their community and philanthropy initiatives improved their image. 44% cited building employee leadership skills, 42% said it helped recruitment and staff retention and 38% believed it provided competitive differentiation.

McKinsey said corporate philanthropy way had changed significantly from the traditional form of companies donating to schools or hospitals in local communities. Society's rising expectations of corporations means they are expected to address a growing list of needs, McKinsey said.

Companies that 20 years ago were accountable only for their own direct actions 'today find themselves held to account for the consequences of their actions in areas as disparate as offshoring, obesity, excessive consumer debt, environmental sustainability, and the governance of resource-rich, low-income nations,' McKinsey said.

'Although today's expectations are wide-ranging, three-quarters of the executives who responded to this survey say corporate philanthropy is at least somewhat effective in meeting the expectations.'

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