The Why, What and How of Purpose Led Corporate Giving This is part 1 in a three part series distilling our research and what we’ve heard around three key questions 1. WHY should corporates adopt a purpose led approach to giving? 2. WHAT does best practice, purpose led corporate giving look like? 3. HOW can corporates embed social purpose within their organisations?
WHY SHOULD CORPORATES ADOPT A PURPOSE LED APPROACH TO GIVING? Purpose led corporate giving is strategic investment that focuses giving to causes aligned with the purpose of your organisation, consumer market and employees Despite two decades of increasing philanthropic support for Not for Profits (NFPs), major social and environmental challenges remain pervasive in Australia and around the world. This experience indicates that NFPs alone do not have the capacity to effect systemic change; that Government alone does not have the capability to address the root cause of many social issues; and that corporates alone do not have the ability to tackle the issues plaguing today’s society. To solve the most pressing problems of our time, Corporates, NFPs and Government with a shared sense of purpose must work together, be open to testing new solutions, and focus on generating both more and better giving. And when we refer to “giving”, its not just about giving funds, but also time, skills, experience, goods and services. The findings from the Giving Australia 1 research have been echoed in our conversations with Corporate Australia. Many of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Managers we speak to report that, despite exploring various technological and strategic solutions, they are still falling short of their employee giving and volunteering targets. Conversely, the employees we speak to consistently report that they feel disconnected from the causes made available to them, or are unable to find the right avenue to meaningfully contribute in their already busy lives. 4
This suggests that there is still a significant gap between the strategic, corporate led motivations for giving and the deeply personal, emotionally led motivations of employees. In short, corporates are failing to effectively encourage the core driver for meaningful and sustained giving: the fulfilment of one’s social purpose. When it comes to creating impact and strengthening engagement, we must find better ways to help employees discover their purpose, and pursue it in ways that are easy, meaningful and impactful. While the above issues are not new, our recent engagements suggest that the corporate giving landscape is on the cusp of a revolution. Leading corporates are being more strategic in their giving, and charities are exploring approaches to make giving more meaningful via virtual reality, and more transparent with the likes of blockchain. There is growing evidence to support the business case of adopting an authentic and engaging approach to giving that positions corporate and employee purpose at the heart. 5