Corporate leaders name what works

A recent roundtable of business leaders agreed that successful corporate philanthropy is a matter of finding the right fit and niche, and then building in sustainability, a new report says.

Thirty-five corporate CEOs and board chairs gathered on Feb. 26, National Corporate Philanthropy Day, for the Board of Boards Conference, convened by The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy and The McGraw Hill Companies.

The group agreed that aligning a company’s philanthropic goals with its business culture, and having the outspoken endorsement of the CEO, is critical in engaging employees, customers and shareholders in corporate-giving efforts.

Companies also must approach philanthropy with the same types of market research applied to business decisions, the report says.

That means understanding globalization and other forces that can have an impact on the philanthropic landscape of communities.

Such research, coupled with an understanding of the corporate culture, allows businesses to identify opportunities that benefit both the company and the community.

To ensure community efforts endure, businesses need to direct resources toward measurement and communications, so that employees, customers and shareholders can understand the value to the business of corporate philanthropy.

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