Corporate philanthropy has changed a lot since its origins. In the beginning, many companies used to provide their employees with funding to start social projects. These days, employees are more likely to be using corporate money for their own initiatives instead of organizing them through the company itself.
This change is based on two circumstances: an increase in employees’ average salary and an increase in companies’ share of social responsibility.
Notable Changes Within the Corporate Philanthropy Realm
One aspect of the evolution of corporate philanthropy is shown by companies changing their way of working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Today, instead of donating money directly to NGOs, many companies give them free advertisement or public relations services. Companies often use this kind of service to promote their brand image instead of for philanthropic purposes.
Another aspect, which can be observed in this evolution, is that traditional forms of corporate philanthropy are slowly disappearing. This fact has already led to the creation of new, alternative ways of donating. Some examples include crowdfunding (where people ask for contributions from individuals via the internet) and giving to social enterprises (companies aimed at solving social problems using business-like techniques).
Other changes include employees’ expectations of companies. There are many ways in which employees can spend their free time, but if they choose to do so through their company, they often expect them to help out with administrative costs or provide financial support. These changes have a large influence on company strategies to attract and retain talent.
The Future of Corporate Philanthropy
In the future, companies will likely have increased responsibilities towards society, even while facing financial difficulties. Several factors can explain this trend: an increase in job insecurity, political pressure, the desire of both the public and employees for more socially responsible businesses’ and an aging population. In fact, a recent study shows that 85% of millennials think businesses should make it a priority to create positive social change in society.
In summary, corporations can expect to increase their involvement in social projects since the public wants them to support NGOs and help solve social problems. They will also have more responsibilities towards their employees, who will also be more involved in social projects, thus increasing companies’ involvement.