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Purpose Is The Buzzword In Global Corporate Giving

By Sarat Pratapchandran

Image: IKEA Foundation

Is your business led by purpose or profits? Purpose is now the buzzword in global corporate giving as businesses worldwide are focusing on creating a purpose-driven culture that keenly listens to societal needs and engages employees. According to Giving in Numbers: 2015 Edition, a joint effort of CECP, in association with The Conference Board, societal investments by businesses are playing a critical role in their financial performance.

The report provides an in-depth review of corporate giving and employee engagement among CECP member companies across all industries whose revenues sum to $7 trillion annually. A key highlight is that most businesses are now looking at adding value in the long-term and are moving away from short-term thinking.

The world’s leading companies are also thinking of doing good beyond just giving. Besides financial gifts, pro-bono skills of employees are widely used in improving their immediate community. Education remains the most popular cause being supported by the top companies and socially responsible investments now have a direct correlation to their financial performance.

Customers are also demanding greater social commitment; especially millennials who want to align their values with the purpose of the business. If it is something they don’t like, they simply leave. The legacy of purpose-driven companies have further been highlighted by academicians like Raj Sisodia in his book Firms of Endearment where he found that purpose-driven companies outnumbered others by at least five times in market value.

The report clearly shows that community building and employee engagement is key to long-term growth for major global businesses. During the 2012-2014 period, 56% of businesses tracked by CECP increased their giving while 36% showed a decline.

Sarat PratapchandranFounder of Lettersnatcher.com, Sarat Pratapchandran’s career spans philanthropy, corporate social responsibility & content management. A graduate from Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, he worked as a journalist in India, the Middle East and the United States and now advises and mentors individuals at kanthari, an international organization focused on creating social visionaries around the world. Sarat is also on a personal mission to help 50 orphans by age 50.