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Companies have a lot of power in the community and in the national economy.

They
control a lot of assets, and may have billions in cash at their disposal for so
cially conscious investments and programs. Some companies may engage in "greenwa
shing", or feigning interest in corporate responsibility, but many large corpora
tions are devoting real time and money to environmental sustainability programs,
alternative energy/cleantech, and various social welfare initiatives to benefit
employees, customers, and the community at large.
Corporate Philanthropy is the act of a corporation or business promoting the wel
fare of others, generally via charitable donations of funds or time. With corpor
ations donating more than $15 billion per year to nonprofit organizations and ch
arities, corporate philanthropy has become a hot button topic, and a source of i
ncome that charities shouldn t overlook.
Some brief points about corporate philanthropy:
Charity and philanthropy are often used interchangeably, however, this is not al
ways the case. According to Philanthropy in America: A History, the difference bet
ween the two is charity relieves the pains of social problems, whereas philanthro
py attempts to solve these problems at their root. Corporate philanthropy is ofte
n focused on treating the issues that nonprofit organizations exist to serve.
Corporate philanthropy can come through a variety of channels
monetary donations
or gifts of time and talent (in-kind donations). These may be more commonly kno
wn as matching gifts, volunteer grants, and any other type of product or service
donation that is non-monetary.
So, we ve offered a brief synopsis of corporate philanthropy, but how does this ap
ply to you, the nonprofit organization? Let s get into more detail on how corporat
e philanthropy most commonly occurs
through monetary donations.
Types of Corporate Philanthropy
There are several channels of corporate philanthropy, as mentioned above. These
can include matching gifts and volunteer grants, which are two types we ll explain
in further detail below. Corporate philanthropy can also include (in short), pr
oduct and service donations. For example, Microsoft donates, on average, about $
2 million per day in software to nonprofits around the world! The key to Microso
ft s corporate philanthropy successes is really about communication.
Corporate citizenship
The degree to which organizations are socially in charge of meeting lawful, mora
l and financial obligations set on them by shareholders. The point is for organi
zations to make higher expectations for everyday comforts and personal satisfact
ion in the groups in which they work, while as yet protecting gainfulness for pa
rtners.
As demand for socially responsible corporations increases, investors, consumers
and employees are now more willing to use their individual power to punish compa
nies that do not share their values. For example, investors who find out about a
company's negative corporate citizenship practices could boycott its products o
r services, refuse to invest in its stock or speak out against that company amon
g family and friends.