Opportunity and Responsibility

by Alessandra Cavalluzzi

Corporations have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to make an impact on the communities where their employees live and work, but many business leaders, fearing that the process will be expensive and antithetical to a company’s bottom line, are deterred from creating community partnerships.

You may think that corporations are already leading the way in nonprofit funding. Think again. The vast majority of nonprofit funding comes from wealthy individual donors or foundations. According to Charity Navigator, in 2014, donations from individuals accounted for roughly 75 percent of all donations. Add gifts from bequests and family foundations, which are essentially gifts from individuals, and the category accounts for nearly 90 percent of all giving.

According to the Small Business Administration, there were 27.9 million small businesses and 18,500 firms with 500 employees or more in the United States in 2010. Imagine if each of these businesses had a charitable giving or philanthropic program. The impact they could make by working with nonprofits and community groups to solve social, environmental, and financial issues could be tremendous. Indeed, for decades human resources professionals and business leaders have been alert to the importance and impact of Corporate Social Responsibility. Numerous articles, white papers, and books discuss why it’s in a company’s best interest to adopt charitable giving as part of a business strategy. Yet when it comes to the how of creating such a program, the available information either skims the surface or targets only large corporations with big budgets. As a result, many smaller to mid-sized companies are dissuaded from starting giving programs and getting involved in their community because they incorrectly assume that they don’t have enough money and/or resources to make a meaningful impact.

No effort is too small, but getting started can feel daunting.  That’s why I wrote A Million Dollars in Change.  I want to help you get started.  Sign up for updates on my book's release date and keep an eye on this blog for more information and tips for engaging your employees in community service.  You can also reach out to me directly with questions about starting a program.  Click on "Contact" for information on how to reach me directly.