A change is underway in the world of corporate philanthropy on the question of “why.” A decade or so ago, the question was simpler: Why philanthropy? Today, however, many C-suite executives find themselves with the sense they are not achieving the full benefits they expected.

If this sounds familiar to you, your organization could be on the cusp of something truly exciting, because the question you are really asking is, “Why strategic corporate philanthropy?”

I’d like to offer five ways strategic philanthropy delivers to your bottom line, with insights from executives along the way.

  • Strategic Philanthropy is Authentic: TPI’s conversations with corporate leaders make it crystal clear that authentic actions are of utmost importance to all stakeholders.
  • Strategic Philanthropy is Integrated: If you “really think through it and get a smart start,” notes one CEO, you avoid the scenario of a disjointed program, with marketing, human resources, product development, and customer service each heading off in different directions.
  • Strategic Philanthropy is Multi-Layered: Giving is more than handing over a check, and corporations have multiple tools to leverage that reinforce progress on the issues of concern. Supporting volunteerism and the events employees participate in on their own time, or matching donations, multiplies their impact and yours in turn.
  • Strategic Philanthropy is Open-Minded and Creative: Strategic philanthropy requires companies to “start talking to people who don’t look like you and start talking with those who are on the receiving end.”
  • Strategic Philanthropy is Transparent: A company needs to be authentic in its philanthropy in order to be transparent. Companies evolve and issues arise, and a company’s character and track record on honest, thoughtful, and clear communication with stakeholders is often measured by how it manages its philanthropic programming.

Read the full article about corporate development by Leslie Pine at The Philanthropic Initiative.