Research a Fortune 500 company, but do not use the same company you used for the Week 1 “Social Responsibility” assignment. Examine the company’s strategic philanthropy and how it impacts profits, brand, image and turnover, as well as society as a whole.
Also, address any disadvantages or associated costs the company experiences as a result of its strategic philanthropy practices.
During this week’s lecture, we will be discussing strategic philanthropy as well as the key factors in implementing strategic philanthropy.
Let’s first begin by defining what strategic philanthropy is and why it is important. Strategic philanthropy is a powerful way for an organization to help society’s well-being by associating themselves with a not-for-profit organization or cause. By doing this, the organization strategically works for the common good of their community, or society as a whole. The measurable benefits for an organization can be increased exposure of brand, better employee attraction and retention, as well as an increase to their bottom line.
In their book, “Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy”, Paul Brest and Hal Harvey state, “The key to successful philanthropy is not the size of the gift, but rather the efficiency of the strategy.” They go on to discuss how many strategic philanthropic attempts by organizations do not fail due to a lack of appropriately thought out risk taking, but rather they fail due to unclear goals and poor strategies on behalf of the organization.
Let’s shift gears and now discuss some of the key factors in implementing strategic philanthropy.
As we discussed above, strategic philanthropy is based on the thought that organizations will benefit when they work to improve their communities. Over the last several years, many organizations have found themselves caught between people wanting a higher level of social responsibility from organizations and their investors wanting more profits. In response to this, many organizations are now moving away from more traditional types of philanthropy such as giving to charities, to a more strategic philanthropy such as sustainability or human rights.
In my personal business experience, there has always been a lot of talk about the development of a good strategic philanthropy plan, however, very little talk about the best way to implement it. I have always held the opinion that a good strategy, be it whatever you are trying to do, is going to be useless if it isn’t implemented properly.
The key to implementing a successful strategic philanthropic program is the ability for the organization to understand its own abilities and to be realistic with its goals. In reality, it doesn’t matter how influential an organization thinks it is, they need to understand that they can’t solve all the world’s problems. If an organization attempts to do so, it quickly may find itself in financial trouble.
During this week’s lecture, we will be discussing the community relations function as it relates to business.
Let’s begin with defining what community relations mean. Simply stated, community relations refer to the ways that companies try to establish and maintain a relationship with the communities in which they operate.
A smart business understands that taking an active interest in the well-being of its community can be beneficial to them in ways such as increased community support and consumer loyalty. They also understand that taking an interest in their community boosts their public image and the morale of the employees, which can lead to increased productivity.
An important lesson organizations are learning is that rushed community involvement programs are not likely to be effective until trust is established. Developing strong relationships based on trust with the community is similar to developing any other type of relationship. Trust between the organization and their communities needs to be earned, cultivated, and built up over time. A well organized and continuous community relations program can help a business increase their visibility and bee seen as a good community citizen. Some great examples of well-organized community relations programs would be when they back programs that will improve life in their community such as urban renewal projects, sponsoring local sports teams, and creating scholarship programs.
As the scandals of recent years have made increasingly clear, an organization’s reputation and the way it is viewed in its local communities is vital to its success as well as its survival. An organization’s reputation in its community plays a major role in its success and is a very important asset. It affects an organization in a numerous ways such as its stock price and its ability to attract and retain customers and employees.
A smart organization will want to be seen as a good citizen in their local communities where it operates. With this thought in mind, an effective community relations program should be comprehensive and constantly evolving. An organization should implement several continuous programs to help improve their relationship with their communities. It has been shown that when communities see an organization supporting local activities and programs that will improve their communities, the way people view the organization will be enhanced.
When it comes to community relations strategies, smart organizations are now more closely aligning them with the organization’s goals and priorities.