Over the years, FSG has worked with many corporate foundations connected to multinational companies, including SAP, Mars, and Ares Management Corporation (Ares), to help develop and articulate their global philanthropic strategies. Building a global strategy is a crucial component of ensuring that the foundation’s activities are aligned with core business goals and relevant to employees around the world. However, the next step for foundations is to then develop localized strategies—whether they be city, country, or regional—that are based on the global philanthropic strategy while still being grounded in local context and informed by each of the distinct communities where the company is pursuing social impact.

Through these engagements, we have identified three lessons for global corporations and foundations to consider when building local (e.g. city, country, or regional) strategies for social impact:

  • Utilize systems thinking to define your approach: Use systems thinking to map existing assets and opportunities across your company to define your unique capabilities and align on a shared vision for impact.
  • Be responsive to communities by contextualizing existing barriers and opportunities: Conduct asset-based and equity-centered landscape analysis to understand both challenges and opportunities within your target issue area and geography and develop community-led and locally appropriate responses.
  • Embed equity in action: Use targeted universalism as a framework to address the root causes of the barriers faced by the populations you serve and devise strategic approaches that are responsive to those specific communities.

Read the full article about global philanthropy strategies by Chirlie Felix, John Harper, and Christine Auwarter at FSG.