Over 13,000 books are listed on Amazon associated with key words Corporate Social Responsibility. Two-hundred-and-twenty-eight of them were listed in 2012 alone! At the heart of the books I endorse are those that show you can actually make a difference and make money . . . at the same time.
One book in particular called Good Works, Marketing and Corporate Initiatives that Build a Better World and … the Bottom Line (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1118206681/ref=rdr_ext_tmb), by Philip Kotler, David Hesselkiel, and Nancy Lee states:
“Businesspeople who mix cause and commerce are often portrayed as either opportunistic corporate “causewashers” cynically exploiting nonprofits, or visionary social entrepreneurs for whom conducting trade is just a necessary evil in their quest to create a better world…Good Works is a book for… capitalists with the hearts and smarts to generate positive social impacts and bottom-line business results.”
This book outlines two concepts to achieve the promise of “positive social impact and bottom-line business results”: marketing-driven initiatives and corporate-driven initiatives. The section title written for Corporate Philanthropy is spot on: “Expressing and Advancing Your Company Values and Objectives.”
Yes, your stakeholders may experience goodwill along the way and experience increased job satisfaction. Yes, your brand equity may increase because the public deems your company as do-gooders. But, at the end of the day, a well-executed philanthropic strategy expresses the heart of your organization and in turn, should increase your company’s productivity, help you achieve your business objectives and create positive social impact both internally and externally.
I work with clients to create a strategy for Corporate Philanthropy in line with their business goals and brand. Without a strategy, your time, money and other resources may be wasted on little to no impact at all. Is that a risk you are willing to take?