Building a strong, long-lasting relationship with a nonprofit is a great way for your company to engage in corporate social responsibility. In our June webinar, titled “Foolproof Partnerships – A relationship management guide,” representatives from three organizations discussed how to take advantage of existing networks, connect your philanthropy to the core of your business, and engage employees, executives, and customers as you establish a foolproof partnership.
The notion of “partnership” is central to the corporate citizenship agenda. Partnerships can serve as strong, unifying forces, gathering the complementary skills and inputs of the public sector, the private sector, and civil society in order to tackle complex social and environmental problems. Partnerships draw diverse resources together and, therefore, are a means to get things done that individual organizations cannot achieve alone.
The definition of what it means to be a good corporate citizen has evolved over the years. It varies according to a company’s resources, giving priorities, corporate culture, and even with time. Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM) underwent a period of internal reflection as it sought to develop a more strategic corporate citizenship program that produced greater impact on the local community.
First Niagara is committed to community investment and development as a part of its corporate giving platform. Its primary focus areas are supporting youth and education initiatives. Both of these areas are the focal points of First Niagara’s signature program, Mentoring MattersSM.
Mentoring Matters is First Niagara’s company-wide, charitable giving program that provides monetary and employee volunteer support to exemplary mentoring organizations. Established in 2007, the program connects First Niagara with innovative mentoring program providers throughout the bank’s primary service areas in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In 2012, First Niagara awarded nearly $1 million to 33 impactful organizations through the 2012-2013 Mentoring Mattersgrant program.
In 2001, an alarming number of very low performing schools and students were causing great concern throughout the Silicon Valley region, especially among businesses. In response, Applied Materials set a new philanthropic strategic course through its Education Initiative with the goal of increasing the number of students who graduate from high school inspired and prepared to have success in college and life. Today with consistent emphasis on system transformation, Applied Materials has a success story and a strategy worth sharing. Students and schools are achieving performance scores at levels previously considered unattainable. Michele Walker-Moak, Global Community Affairs Manager, recently shared some insights behind the initiative with the Center.
Launched in May 2011 in China, Amway’s Spring Sprout Project is a prime example of how a company can use strategic partnerships to further its CSR goals and address a social problem. Developed by the Amway Charity Foundation (ACF), the initiative has established more than 700 kitchens to fight childhood malnutrition in rural China. ACF has pledged to build 1,000 kitchens in total in order to feed 500,000 children each day.
Aflac has a long-standing commitment to pediatric cancer research and treatment, having raised more than $75 million to support such efforts. And now Aflac is ramping up its support by aligning employee volunteerism with the pediatric cancer fight.
Employees have already demonstrated a commitment to the cause through donations and volunteer activities at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta. To further its dedication to pediatric cancer, Aflac recently established a partnership
On May 1, 2012, Dassault Systèmes launched its first ever Day of Service at its new Boston campus. More than 200 employees were involved in over 15 volunteer activities in the community and at the office. Activities included preparing and serving meals to the homeless, painting murals with children at the Waltham Boys and Girls club, sorting food at the Greater Boston Food Bank, writing letters to soldiers abroad, and harvesting crops at local farms, to name just a few.
Much like a corporation manages its investments with a portfolio that is apportioned strategically, corporate/community partnerships should be managed as a strategic portfolio.
In a workshop session with Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship's Director of Executive Education Billy Brittingham and Wells Fargo Regional President for Arizona Community Banking Pamela Conboy, taking a portfolio approach to relationship management received high emphasis.