Board of Directors Society

Board of Directors Society

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Stephen D.

Stephen

Corporate Giving............Should we or Shouldn't we?

CEO. Day Capital Partners, Inc

Should public companies financially support charities?
Is so, then how?
Lets assume we are Board Directors of a $600 Million publicly traded companies. The CEO wants to contribute substantial donations to his favorite charities. He makes the argument that the firm needs to be socially responsible. But what if the Directors have different charitable interests? Or the employees? Does their opinions matter?
But should the shareholders be aware or agree to a company's charitable donations? Who should be the ones who make the decisions on which charities get support and which do not? The CEO? The Board? The employees?
Is there a fair and equitable manner to choose to support charities? Is so, what are the criteria for decisions?
How does your firm (s) deal with charities?

The days of corporate philanthropy being about cutting checks for charity dinners and new buildings are over—or if they’re not, they should be, and fast. That was one of the messages at the conference here this week of the...

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  • June 12, 2012
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  • Dr. Phaedra W.

    Dr. Phaedra

    Dr. Phaedra W.

    Business Manager at Arthur Weiler, Inc.

    This is something that is tough. Charitable giving sometimes must stay within the community that the organization is part of. More organizations are having employees assist in volunteer projects throughout the community, even though out-right giving has gone down. This allows the organization to still be present in the community in other ways. Donating to the local shelter, employees assisting at the shelter, or refurbishing a local school. There are many things that an organization and the employees can do without a major influx of cash.

    Just some thoughts.

  • Stephen D.

    Stephen

    Stephen D.

    CEO. Day Capital Partners, Inc

    Phaedra,
    I personally have struggled with some of these issues. I have seen large companies assign one or more mid-level manager to spend all their time on a charity. At first blush, it seems great. But usually these companies are large, established firms, like Verizon or GE. It would be great if a small firm could afford to donate an employee full-time to such an endeavor, but we know that is usually impossible.
    Question to you about the " Charitable giving sometimes must stay within the community that the organization is part of." What if the company is headquartered in New Jersey, yet has substantial operations in other cities and in other nations....Who gets what? How do you decide?

  • Dr. Phaedra W.

    Dr. Phaedra

    Dr. Phaedra W.

    Business Manager at Arthur Weiler, Inc.

    Stephen, I worked for larger corporations who were active in many of the communities that had substantial operations. There was never a problem. I think it is important that organizations become active in all aspects of communities were the organizations are present for a few reasons. First, they employee people. Two, they contribute to the ecosystem. No matter how big an organizations presence is in a city it is important to be active no matter how big or small.

    An organizations ability to be active in the many cities helps promote good faith and also is a way to advertise for the company.

    Just some thoughts.

  • Brian S.

    Brian

    Brian S.

    Board Member/Program Council at The Whale Center

    Thanks for a good one Stephen. I have worked for large companies and small NGOs. I have even argued with Milton Friedman over the social responsibility of the corporation. I have heard CEOs complain about not being able to find good, qualified workers locally. I have watched these same century old companies go bankrupt and shut their doors.

    I look at charitable giving as an investment. It's an investment in a future supply of good workers. It enhances the companies ability to draw good, qualified employees at less than top wages. Invest in schools, parks time, good works. Invest in the future not the next quarter.

    Yes Stephen, the corporation has a social responsibility to the community that supports it.

  • John JH O.

    John JH

    John JH O.

    Executive Director AIEBC

    Financing not for profits such as our organization is a positive return on any companies investment, we take proven companies, mentor our clients with those companies and after that person has gone through the process, we will assist them in starting their own business, doing a feasibility study, business plan, assisting in obtaining their MBE status and then assist in the clients first contracts, they then go through an incubation period but we are working with people that have a number of barriers before we even start. We do this at no cost to our clients.
    Today, more than Twenty Six-Thousand Native Americans are living in the Kansas City area with a 68.5% unemployment rate, a Labor department research study released in 2010 showed that between 2002 and 2007 there was significant growth in minority business’ in the State of Missouri, African American firms grew from 22.3% to 60.5%, Asian owned firms grew from 40.8% to 62.7% and Hispanic Companies realized a growth from 43.7% to 91.4% yet in the Native American Business community we have seen a -24.1% to -11.5% growth and yet the quality of our clients has never been higher.
    If a person cannot or does not feel that starting their own business is right for them, we have given them some tools to be successful with and pass on a viable candidate (employee) who is trained, knowledgeable and experienced in the various facets of business.
    We do not receive Federal Funding, Grants, State assistance etc. we rely on big businesses and Corporations who see the value in investing into skills, training and education versus just feeding people

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