Philanthropy and community engagement have become integral parts of business, but there are many ways and means by which companies can organize and manage such efforts. For some companies, foundations offer a convenient mechanism to oversee social investments, while others may choose to give solely from within a corporate giving platform. We know that society’s expectations of firms are high and there are therefore many reasons a company may decide to give, including:
- Providing a highly visible demonstration of a company’s community engagement and commitment.
- Unifying disparate efforts, particularly in a context of change or distance (merger, acquisition, or decentralized environment).
- Interacting with key stakeholders in ways that are unavailable in corporate dealings.
- Streamlining processes and procedures (and even staff efforts).
- Encouraging a formal structure around giving so that goals and multi-year commitments remain consistent.
- Creating a legal separation between the business and the philanthropic commitments to ensure compliance and avoid conflicts of interest or self-dealing.
While the benefits of foundations are numerous for many firms, they are not necessarily right for every company, and can present a number of challenges, as they are at times less connected to and aligned with company strategy, and are subject to increased regulatory oversight. If your company is evaluating the merits of whether your work is improved by a foundation, you are not alone.
Newer mechanisms such as donor advised funds require different expertise and understanding as well. To keep up with the rapidly changing philanthropic environment, companies are adjusting their strategies to match.
If you are a member of the Center exlore the topic in more detail by watching an on-demand webinar. This one hour webinar presented by KPMG’s Director of Corporate Responsibility Anne Gross, KPMG’s Managing Director Anita Whitehead, Disney’s Director of Corporate Citizenship Kim Sams, and The Home Depot Foundation’s Director of Financial Services Ashley Luft, explores the specifics of corporate giving vs. foundation giving so that you are able to make an even more informed decision about what is right in your company. Click here to view the webinar!