publication date: Jul 29, 2011
author/source: James Temple
People often ask me, "So what is corporate responsibility
anyway, and how is it changing the ways businesses donate money to nonprofits?"
To preface the conversation, the term "corporate responsibility" has been a
work in progress over the past decade or so.
Businesses have gone through a fundamental shift in the ways
they look at supporting their communities.
Textbook philanthropy has been transformed into something much more
strategic and holistic. Today, savvy
businesses look beyond simple philanthropic initiatives and ask how those
operations align with the social, environmental and economic values of their
It's no longer about how a business spends its money
(philanthropy included). It's also about how a business makes
its money. That means digging deep and looking at supply
chain management, human rights and procurement practices.
In this context, the wheel of opportunity has become much
larger for the fundraising community. You
can frame your pitch to look at how a partnership with you would help to
strengthen the key areas of a corporate responsibility portfolio. You can specifically
address such issues as governance, transparency, environmental sustainability
or diversity - areas a potential corporate funder has likely identified as a
priority for its business.
January 2011 issue of the Harvard
, an article called "Creating Shared Value" described a
growing number of companies developing new approaches to integrate and
communicate their "intersection between society and corporate performance."
them have begun to take the emphasis off what the business is "telling"
society, and shifting towards a conversation among their many stakeholder
groups. Here's where a not-for-profit
can play a part. I cite my previous
articles on how not-for-profits can empower businesses through a common language
and/or help companies better
understand issues such as advocacy
within the sector.
Here are two ways your not-for-profit can create this new
Consider the intersections between the goals
and values of your not-for-profit and the business
a funder's areas of focus or how programs align with funding streams. Ask yourself how your values align with the
company's own approach to corporate responsibility. Look at how your operations integrate good
social, environmental and economically transparent practices into your
Talk about how your programs help strengthen a
company's corporate responsibility goals
Once you understand
how your prospect company approaches the creation of shared value through its
own programs, look at how your similar processes and approaches can augment the
company's story and build upon its success.
help to educate employees through training and development. Or you might
describe how your approach to diversity, the environment, or human rights
aligns with their business goals. Every little bit helps your business case.
corporate responsibility looks at ways to integrate good values into decision-making
processes. As the breadth and depth of
this conversation increase, so do fundraisers' opportunities to highlight how
their not-for-profits can help strengthen material outcomes. It's about creating shared value through a
win-win approach to strengthen organizational effectiveness: otherwise known as
James Temple is the
director of corporate responsibility for PricewaterhouseCoopers
Canada and director of the PricewaterhouseCoopers
Canada Foundation. He oversees a team responsible for integrating good
social, environmental and economic values into PwC's decision-making
processes. James is a featured presenter
at international conferences, speaking on the value of developing strong
corporate-community partnerships. He co-chairs
the Association of Corporate Grantmakers
sits on the Advisory Board for the Institute at Havergal College.
Contact him at
or visit http://www.pwc.com/ca/corporateresponsibility.