Dr. Jason’s Speak Life™ Newsletter – Volume 7 Issue 12
Inside This Issue
• Corporate Giving Strategies
• Message from the President
• Consulting Focus: Corporate Image
• Industry Perspectives
Corporate Giving Strategies
Corporate philanthropy, or corporate giving, is the act of businesses donating some of their earnings or resources to charity. Donations may come directly from the company, or through a separate foundation or public charity sponsored by the company.
Today, giving interests often complement the business interests of corporations. They usually consist of programs that benefit their employees, their families, or communities where the company conducts business. Employee matching gifts programs are increasingly common vehicles for giving.
Donations can be given in the form of cash, but also things like donated goods, services, use of corporate facilities, and access to staff expertise. Most companies actually prefer non-cash gifts because of the increased tax deductions. Payroll deduction is one of the more popular forms of business giving.
Corporate community engagement is evolving and becoming more focused to correspond to company interests. According to CECP, (formerly known as the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy):
• Giving grew for 64% of companies between 2010 and 2013, and it increased by more than 10% for 52% of companies.
• 76% of companies are measuring and tracking the societal outcomes and/or impacts of their investments and starting to use to the data to inform their core programs.
• 50% of companies provided pro bono service programs in 2013, up from 34% in 2010.
Corporate philanthropy attracts customers, builds brand loyalty, improves employee morale and boosts the reputation of the firm. Getting employees excited about the company’s giving initiatives will increase involvement levels and lead to greater success. Corporate giving also provides a unique opportunity to bring employees together from throughout the company for events. This serves the dual purpose of being a team-building exercise that reinforces company values.
With the right communications strategy, organizations can build excitement and make clear connections between their business objectives and their giving program. Communicating through public channels outside of the company brings customers and the community into the efforts as well.
Consider how your organization can participate in corporate philanthropy this holiday season and beyond.
Message from the President
“Christmas is the season of giving because the greatest give ever know was given to the world…”
In keeping with the theme of giving, this month I reflect on the true meaning of this Christmas season. As important as celebrating time with family and friends is, or exchanging gifts with others, there is much more to Christmas. Christmas is the season of giving because the greatest gift ever known was given to the world on a day we commemorate on December 25.
This event was so great that angels announced it to shepherds in a field, a star shined over the birthplace, and magi traveled from far-away lands to see and honor this precious gift. Over 2000 years later, the world still celebrates this wonderful gift.
In much the same way as this gift was given, we give to others out of the love we have for them. In the midst of all our holiday festivities, let us not forget the reason we celebrate. Merry Christmas!
Consulting Focus: Corporate Image
Corporate image is what the public sees when the name of an organization is mentioned. It is a psychological impression that can change over time. This image may not be representative of the actual state of the business, but is rather the perception. The image should express the values and goals of the organization. Image can include things such as the company logo, place of business, service offerings, products and employees. It takes time to build an image, but unfortunately, it can be changed in an instant.
Many organizations work diligently to keep a positive image in front of the public. A good corporate image is an asset to a company. The success of the business may depend on this reputation. This applies to organizations of all sizes and scopes. Some companies go as far as to hire a public relations firm to manage that image for the outside world.
An organization can have different publics, and each can have a different perception of that firm. For example, customers may view a business much differently than a stock analyst or their competitors. Image can also vary among different demographic groups. The media can have a profound impact on corporate image, especially with the immediacy of social media. One incident posted on social media can go viral and greatly affect the image of a business either positively or negatively.
The use of surveys can be a means to evaluate corporate image. The feedback obtained can be valuable in assessing image and taking steps to improve it, if necessary. What type of picture do people have in their mind when the name of your organization is spoken? Hopefully, it is a positive one.
For the short term, there is growth projected for consulting firms, due to pressure among clients to keep head counts low. Rather than hire full-time employees, businesses are engaging consulting firms on a contract basis. This is a cost savings in human resources. Organizations seeking consultants are looking for individuals with very specific knowledge in areas that require technical expertise. The consultant can then help the client develop its own resources. It is now common practice to include management team members of the client firm in the consulting team. This helps with implementing recommendations and can commit the client to buying into new ideas. Relationship consulting is also becoming more standard. This involves working with a company over many years to ensure continued monitoring, discussion and implementation of new ideas.