2007 CEO Conference
Imperatives for Corporations Investing in SocietyOn February 26, 2007, 35 CEOs gathered for a roundtable discussion of “Imperatives for Corporations Investing in Society.” The program followed the structure of a business plan in recognition of the fact that corporate philanthropy is a form of social investment. This report offers a summary of the conversation. Report highlights include:
- Reflect the Corporate Culture. A successful philanthropy program should mirror the culture of the company, be genuine in its intentions, be endorsed by the CEO, and resonate internally and externally with company values, products, practices, and goals.
- Analyze Market Forces. Shifting dynamics that affect business performance, such as globalization, also exert their influence on philanthropy programs. Just as companies forecast change in setting overall business strategy, so too must they account for these factors in their community programs.
- Pinpoint Opportunities. To reach the “sweet spot” of business and social returns, companies need to establish focus areas, execution models, and nonprofit partnerships that integrate many facets of the business — such as research and development, human resources, marketing, and branding.
- Build Sustainability. Customers expect transparency and shareholders expect specificity in understanding the business value of corporate giving. Therefore, corporate philanthropy programs should be actively monitored and managed with communication and measurement efforts that ensure long-term success.
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