Corporate foundations with a goal to maximize long-term social impact strategically apply their resources, expertise and connections to make a difference. While the parent company can create sustainable change, the foundation is often in a position to provide the practical framework, including social funding, opportunity to innovate, and governance and transparency structures.
Corporate Citizenship has released a new report, “The Game Changers: Corporate Foundations in a Changing World,” which reveals that corporate foundations are becoming more closely aligned with businesses. The report, based on a global survey of foundations from more than 20 countries, points to the emergence of foundations with new operating models that are innovating to solve some of society’s biggest challenges.
Corporate foundations are moving away from traditional philanthropic donations and towards a more strategic approach to social impact. Thinking about investments as a tool for social change, game-changing foundations are embracing social investment models that generate both financial returns and social impact.
According to the report:
Nearly three quarters (73%) of corporate foundations say that their giving strategy is linked to its parent company’s business focus – this has increased from 58% in 2013.
Around two-thirds of corporate foundations say they can imagine their foundation developing a new product or service that delivers a social benefit to society in the future. The aspiration for game-changing innovation is high.
Just over half (54%) of the corporate foundations surveyed measure their impacts, whilst almost three quarters (74%) want to measure their long-term impacts.
Some of the key corporate foundations highlighted in the report include:
The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization committed to reducing poverty in Africa. With share capital from the MasterCard IPO, the foundation has grown its impact over the last 10 years. The MasterCard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.
The Vodafone Foundation
Since it was founded in 1991, The Vodafone Foundation has been contributing to charitable activities worldwide through 27 local foundations. The main slogan of the foundation is ‘Connecting for Good’, and it aims to connect communities using its mobile technology around the world to improve lives.
The eBay Foundation
Since 1998, the eBay Foundation has donated more than $39 million to nonprofits around the world. Its vision is to harness the power of inclusive entrepreneurship to create a world where any individual – regardless of geography or circumstance – can fully participate in the global economy.
The BMW Foundation
The BMW Foundation brings together leaders from across communities, cultures and countries to drive social innovation, promote global dialogue, and encourage responsible leadership. The Foundation addresses a number of financial inclusion topics, through pro bono and engagement, emerging economies, social intrapreneurship and social entrepreneurship.
The Alibaba Trust
The Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund is a not for profit initiative that was launched in November 2015 by the Alibaba Group, China’s leading e-commerce company. It provides support to young entrepreneurs from around the world, helping them to establish their foothold in Hong Kong and Taiwan and make use of the Alibaba platform to scale up their operations across the world.
According to Amanda Jordan OBE, Co-founder of Corporate Citizenship and Chair of ACF, for many business leaders, a foundation is the surest route to demonstrate a commitment to society. It provides an arms-length vehicle for creating social change, and a framework of good governance and transparency.
Source: Corporate Citizenship
Image Credit: Corporate Citizenship