Practicing Philanthropy

In most cases, individuals are not hurt by giving to others.  My co-author, Noriko Chapman, emailed me last week about royalties on our book, Second Chance, and how the funds would go to charity.  While I looked at this book as an opportunity to provide assistance for nonprofit organizations, it was her idea to leverage our written work over the long-term. 

Noriko, who is a DENSO production manager, selected the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (Maryville) as part of her MBA project.  We pledged 30 percent of the book proceeds to this organization.  Noriko’s giving attitude helped the Center’s financial needs.

However, it provided unintended consequences by bringing more media attention to this cause and the public in general. In fact, it landed the Center’s director an expense paid visit to DENSO in Japan.  Therefore, philanthropy can start from small beginnings.

Individuals can build a philanthropist mindset when giving to organizations or people. Social responsibility is a buzzword in a society demanding more accountability from its corporate citizens.  Social responsibility speaks to a company’s stance on the way its managers and employees view their duty or obligation to make decisions that protect, enhance, and promote the well-being of stakeholders and society as a whole.

Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, argue about the importance of social responsibility: “The way a company announces business problems or admits its mistakes provides strong clues about its stance on social responsibility.”

With the economic crisis, there are many institutions in trouble.  According to Merriman-Webster.com, philanthropy is defined as an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes. Most people associate philanthropy with the wealthy. 

However, philanthropy must start with a mindset and attitude for giving, regardless of where a person stands on the economic ladder.  Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO of salesforce.com, built his organization with a philanthropy-focus.  Salesforce.com is a cloud computing company with a mission of ‘The End of Software.” 

Benioff has had a history of successful business ventures, including Oracle Corporation and Macintosh Division.  However, he noted for the achievement of designing a new philanthropy model.  The Salesforce.com Foundation aims to inspire companies across the globe to give 1% of their resources to support charities and social causes. Other companies like Google have embraced this model. 

This 1%; 1%; 1% philanthropy model includes one percent of company’s time, one percent of its equity, and one percent of its products donated to charity.  For Salesforce.com, this model means giving employees 6 paid days of volunteer time to use over the course of the year.  To date, Salesforce.com employees have donated over 178,000 hours.

The Salesforce.com Foundation has supported giving of products to 8,000 nonprofits in 70 countries.  On the equity front, one percent of founding stock is used to offer grants focused on technology innovation in nonprofits and youth development programs.  The company has given over $20 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. 

Therefore, a philanthropist mindset can carry great rewards in sustaining meaningful programs in society.  It is not exclusive to the most wealthy people.  

Discuss your personal experiences on this topic.

© 2011 by Daryl D. Green

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Practicing Philanthropy

  1. This post is an excellent way to expose the pro’s and con’s of philanthropic business side of hospitals. It was found over many years of giving free healthcare away in the emergency departments (ED)to destitute patients that in all actuality it increased overall profits. In the last couple of years many hospitals are now advertising their ED services and wait times. For example; “In 2001, Dallas-Fort Worth area hospitals spend a combined $4.3 million of advertising dollars. That number grew to $18.9 million in 2006”. The cons are specialist physicians aren’t to excited about being on-call without reimbursement from the admitted patients from the hospital ED.

    ‘Grateful patient syndrome’ good for hospitals, philanthropists say. (2007, October). Health Care Strategic Management, 25(10), 12. Retrieved December 6, 2011, from ProQuest Health and Medical Complete. (Document ID: 1353906181).

  2. I think this post is an exceptional way to expose the positive and negative sides of philanthropic business of hospitals. As an example, Coca-Cola, an American classic and one of the most recognized brands in the world, bases its corporate citizenship on four core values. The first is Marketplace, which is the best product for the consumer. The second is Workplace, which is to uplift their employees and make sure they are treated with respect and dignity. The third is Environment, which strives to protect and preserve the environment. The fourth and final value is Community, which helps to develop sustainable communities and partnerships. Another staple of America and an internationally recognized company that contributes thousands of dollars to charities is McDonald’s. The Ronald McDonald Houses can be found all across the world. They provide a home away from home for 13 families with children in the hospitals. The temporary residence is ideal for families that have to travel great distances to receive medical care. The McDonald’s Corporation covers all administrative costs for the houses. Ronald McDonald House Charities also give out scholarships to students who face limited access to a quality education. In any business, somea activities in the value chain are always more critical than others. (Pag. 215)

    Gamble, J., & Thompson, A. (2011). Essentials of Strategic Management. The Quest for Competitive Advantage. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

    • Philanthropy is not in how much one donates, but in the meaning behind it. Much like woman at the well in The Bible, even the poorest of our communities can be the biggest philanthropists there are. We can all find ways to give unselfishly to others. Some may do this by serving food at homeless shelters. Some may volunteer their time helping families recover from terrible disaster such as those in New Orleans and Japan.

      Willian, you bring up some very good points about how much the Ronald McDonald house helps children and their families. I was one of those children that was impacted by this philanthropic organization. I was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of three. While I was receiving treatments, my family stayed at the Ronald McDonald house to be able to afford to come visit me on a daily basis during treatments. We would not have been able to afford this otherwise. Organizations and people like this make a difference on a daily basis. I am forever grateful to organizations like this who have helped me to get to where I am today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s