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Charity, business can be good for each other

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By Todd Cohen

Charity and business can seem an odd couple.

Charities can be wary of philanthropy flowing from wealth built by businesses that hurt competitors, workers, consumers or communities.

And businesses can steer clear of charities not wed to the bottom line.

But charity and business stand to gain by joining hands.

Good corporate citizens are more attractive to customers, employees and investors, a new report says, yet only one in four Americans believes companies are good at being socially responsible, a second report says.

And while they are giving more and better tracking their giving, companies can do more to treat philanthropy as a product integral to their business, says a third report.

Companies also increasingly expect a return on their charity, and want it to boost their business, creating a challenge for charities to show the link between charity and the corporate payoff, says a recent article.

Strategic charitable giving can be good for business, and effective business practices can be good for charity.

If they work together and learn from one another, both charity and business can grow, improve and add value to themselves and each other.


Todd Cohen is the Editor and Publisher of the Philanthropy Journal.

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