The following is excerpted from Issue 19 of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you can use your unique resources to ensure your corporate giving efforts are delivering business and social value, visit the Community Involvement topic page.
Say the word philanthropy and people generally think of contributing money. There are many other resources corporations have to give—volunteer time and products and services, for example— but here's one you may never have thought about: giving data—either directly, or through analytics and expertise.
In the current digital era, nearly all companies create, collect, and mine data as part of their business, and this data has quickly emerged as a vital asset to mitigate common challenges, from tracking diseases to relieving traffic congestion and aiding development. For nonprofit partners, access to the right data—and the analytic capability to make the most of it—is essential for community involvement success. Data philanthropy achieves many of the goals sought by traditional corporate social charity: It allows companies to give back in a way that produces meaningful impact, and reflects the businesses’ core competencies while preserving or expanding value for shareholders.