Two years ago on this blog, we observed that many company leaders had started to shift from asking “why do philanthropy” at all, to “why do strategic corporate philanthropy?” The broader business community had accepted that philanthropy delivers positive change on the bottom line as well as in the world around them, and companies were realizing that being strategic could be as important to nimble and effective philanthropy as it is to business operations. We offered five pillars on which such an approach consistently rests.

Fast forward to 2020 and a year of unprecedented crisis and change that continues to test us all. Yet even within these past few months, companies that built upon the pillars of strategic philanthropy have realized the flexibility to pivot in crucial ways, becoming even more connected with communities and stakeholders. Being strategic with your company’s philanthropy is as – or possibly more – important as ever. All eyes are on businesses’ responses to world events, and how companies step up to make a difference when and where it is needed most. As your company addresses change and examines ways to adapt effectively, the five pillars of strategic corporate philanthropy remain as steady guideposts for evaluating current programs and next steps:

  1. Strategic Philanthropy is Authentic
  2. Strategic Philanthropy is Integrated
  3. Strategic Philanthropy is Multi-Layered
  4. Strategic Philanthropy is Open-Minded and Creative
  5. Strategic Philanthropy is Transparent

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