Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Participating in #GivingTuesday? Corporate giving may be its own reward, but there are other benefits, too…

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Nov 21, 2017 12:06:43 PM
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For the past five years, the first Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving has been known as #GivingTuesday, a day set aside to encourage organizations around the world to celebrate and act upon the values of service and giving back.

#GivingTuesday offers a focused opportunity for companies to connect with their employees, community partners, and customers, all in an effort to champion a worthwhile cause. While corporate citizenship is best considered an ongoing and ever-evolving process, Tuesday, November 28, 2017 is noteworthy as it provides an opportunity to appreciate all that can be accomplished when stakeholders collaborate by way of corporate giving. Below are just a few ways strategic corporate giving delivers both business and social value, along with example #GivingTuesday activities from our Center member companies.

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Your employees feel happier and more dedicated.

According to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s 2015 Community Involvement study, engaging employees plays a key role in corporate community involvement efforts by participating in workplace giving programs. Research has shown that when employees are involved in a company’s philanthropic efforts, they tend to be more committed to the firm—and more likely to advocate for it.[1]

During a recent #GivingTuesday, Texas Instruments enlivened their delivery of 550 Meals on Wheels by inviting employees to come cheer on the efforts, making the contribution a true team effort.

Your company is seen as collaborative and responsive.

Corporate giving creates the chance for goodwill to feel shared. Relevant research suggest that, when determining their corporate giving efforts, companies are most likely to model their giving programs after the efforts of peer firms that operate in the same industry and are headquartered in the same geographic area.[2]

For instance, for this upcoming #GivingTuesday, TD Bank and National Grid—both of which have a large presence in New York City—have teamed up to support the Brooklyn Community Foundation by matching donations given to support local nonprofit change-makers in the running to win the Foundation's "Spark Prize".

Your high-impact messaging will inspire your customers. 

Research underscores the benefits of tailoring consumer-focused messaging around giving according to the type of issues being addressed. Consumers are more likely to donate money when there is a specific action that will be taken to address a social issue (e.g., serve a meal) versus a more abstract notion (e.g., address hunger), and are more likely to donate time when the social issue is more abstract rather than when there is a specific action.

For 2016's #GivingTuesday, in addition to sharing a video showcasing their targeted donations, Morton Salt collaborated with Snap to create a special lens Snapchat users could utilize in order to celebrate the Morton Salt Girl's "unstoppable spirit to make a real, positive influence on the world"—the language was just right to inspire curiosity and engagement.

Related resources:

As you are developing and implementing your #GivingTuesday initiatives—and conducing your corporate giving efforts throughout the year—be sure to check out Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship resources to ensure your work is effective and impactful: Trends in Workplace Giving2015 Community Involvement study; and Corporate foundations, funding, staffing, & governance FAQs. And happy #giving!

View all Community Involvement resources on the topic page:

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

 

[1] Raub, S. (2016). When Employees Walk The Company Talk: The Importance Of Employee Involvement In Corporate Philanthropy. Human Resource Management.

[2] Marquis, C., & Tilcsik, A. (2016). Institutional Equivalence: How Industry and Community Peers Influence Corporate Philanthropy. Organization Science, 27(5), 1325-1341.

Topics: Philanthropy, Engaging Employees, Giving, Corporate Community Involvement, Value of Corporate Citizenship

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