Recently, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled a comprehensive list of Fortune 500 companies that have donated the most amount of funds to charities and various philanthropic causes last year.
Goldman, the fourth biggest corporate donor of 2015, is also guiding the market with regard to economic growth. According to a report conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the corporate giant gave $276.4 million in cash in 2015. This donated amount is 10% more than was the firm had given the previous year.
To compare, in 2014, the California based biotech company named Gilead Sciences gave the most monetary contributions. According to various reports, Gilead Sciences had contributed over $446.7 million to a plethora of causes. The other companies in the top five were not industry specific, with brands ranging from retail to international petroleum corporations. Within the top five in 2014 consisted of companies such as Walmart totaling $301 million, totaling $281.2 million, and ExxonMobil with $268 million.
Similar to Goldman Sachs, various other Fortune 500 corporations have reported that philanthropy and social responsibility programs helped their business expand and flourish in various internal areas. Specifically, these areas include employee satisfaction, increasing overall customer loyalty, and reducing issues or problems that could potentially become liabilities. The prime example of this particular success story is Walmart.
Walmart’s CEO, Douglas McMillon has guided the creation of the company’s charitable arm, the Walmart Foundation. The Walmart Foundation has unveiled a $100 million pledge to make retail jobs more attractive industry-wide by increasing wages and generating more flexible schedules for their employees across the board.
“We want to accelerate mobility of frontline retail workers not only within Walmart but in retail as a whole, and really elevate the role that retail can play in workforce in America and more broadly,” says Kathleen McLaughlin, who serves as both chief sustainability officer and president of the Walmart Foundation.
While some individuals may prefer to donate time or funds from an altruistic standpoint, it is still important to note that corporate giving as a percentage of pre-tax profits is slowly declining.
Check out the full list of The 20 Most Generous Companies of the Fortune 500 to see more about the non-profits and charities that benefited from $3.5 billion in donations last year.
It can be quite overwhelming to look for new causes to support, let alone find an organization that happens to be aligned with your morals, missions and general way to approach fundraising. Although for some this is not necessarily a confusing or extensive process, for many, successfully narrowing down a philanthropic organization or charity that suits you can be a daunting task.
Recently, an organization named “GiveWell” is primarily focused on helping individual donors find and give funds to charitable or philanthropic organization that is essentially aligned with their set goals.
GiveWell’s and extensive case studies are also supported by statistics, quantitative data and other qualitative forms of research, making this process far easier for individual donors. According to recent research, individual donors actually give more to charitable causes than other foundations, corporations and companies combined.
Therefore, it is clear that giving or providing individual donors with the appropriate tools is vital for further growing and charitable giving across the country.
GiveWell basically emphasizes a dual focus track as an organization geared towards funding the best, most useful options. Their first goal is to research various programs that would allow victims of extreme poverty or devastating illness to find help in their respective areas.
The second portion of this dual-focus mindset is to then decipher which are the most effective, cost-efficient approaches to the specific issue at hand. Recently, the organization’s most recent research study, they found that providing families or individuals with bed nets is a far more effective option to reduce malaria than simply providing micro-loans as another option available.
After this process of thorough research has completed, GiveWell will then give their data to other third party organizations in order to holistically assess whether or not these proposed programs are well thought out and feasible for these organizations to implement. In addition to data analysis, GiveWell also reviews charity operations starting from reports and ranging to budget allocation, additional funding, etc.
A key driver in GiveWell’s mission is the ability for a philanthropic body or charity to be entirely transparent with their donors. The organization announces top charities they believe function most effectively in various areas such as money management and internal operations which make their mission not only uniquely planned, but also creates interesting fundraising campaigns.
Some major donors in the private sector also use GiveWell’s data as a basis to make large donations to specific charities the organization has approved.
Dustin Moshovitz, Facebook’s co-founder, has used research and data from GiveWell to decide which organizations exhibit transparency, along with finding the most productive ways to implement new programs. For the entire list of the top charities by GiveWell, please take a look at this link.
With nearly forty-seven percent of Millennials stating they would prefer volunteering for an organization, 16 per cent said they would give financial support and around thirty-three percent would be inclined to give both time and money to a meaningful charity related to their interests.
As a result of these positive statistics pointing out inclined millennials are to engage in philanthropic or charitable work, it is evident that companies and organizations alike need to collaborate to create necessary steps to utilize this interest. The below are a few salient ways you can engage in a two way dialogue with millennials during the fundraising campaign process.
Motivations are key
Millennials are a culture defined by a deep desire to affect change and receive instant gratification for their efforts. As products of the digital era, millennials are aware of global issues at lightning speed, which therefore can act as a catalyst to provoke interest, resulting in a clear motive that allows for charity spectators to understand the organization’s mission. If you happen to compare data or findings to see how you are interacting with your younger audience base the difference between the two will provide some insight as to what you need to change in your current or next fundraising campaign.
Call to action
It is no surprise that Millennial digital experts desire a certain level of immediacy that other generations may or may not be accustomed to. For this generation of young people, a plethora of information can be accessed from the tip of your finger. As a result of needing this immediate response time Make the donation process as simple as possible – it should take two clicks at most from start to finish.
Crafting a strong foundational base of millennials is not only important when fundraising for charities or philanthropic bodies, it has increasingly become a fundamental as more and more young adults are entering the workforce. Since it can be difficult for millennials to commit or consistently donate to a specific cause, it’s vital to remember that the key is to maintain engagement for the longest period of time possible.
Cultivate a strong online community of advocates through community management of your social media pages, by showing each person that interacts with your organization that their input or engagement actually matters. Maximizing public relations as a resource not only allows people to feel special, but it also produces a mentality in which they feel that their opinions matter. Responding to questions or liking comments guides allows your organization to engage with fans in a more personable way via social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.
Showing transparency in terms of organization expenses, changing goals and potential alterations within the organization’s functions is essential to winning the trust and respect among millennials who are interested in your charity.
International Volunteerism can be a very noble thing to do especially if you are doing it for the right reasons. The whole point behind international volunteerism is to help others, but unfortunately sometimes people get involved for other reasons such as to travel, to pass a class, to boost a resume, etc. Here are three guidelines that can help you make sure that your participation in international volunteerism is more helpful than harmful.
Be ethical in your choices
One of the first things you can do is study the organization you plan to get involved with. Inquire about how they plan to sustain your efforts long-term. Ask how they involve locals and community members as part of their volunteer efforts. Going off of that, find out how involved these communities are in terms of deciding what the volunteers should be helping with. Also find out how the organization spends your fees and allocates their resources. Do they hire locals for staff positions? How much do they spend on administration versus volunteer programs?
Don’t get involved in international volunteerism if you are expecting to change the world in one day. Change takes time, so be prepared to not see much of an impact from your efforts (unless you stay for years). Instead, you should focus on seeing your contribution as being part of long continuum of volunteers’ efforts and contributions. Even though you should be very aware of the bigger goal of the organization, don’t underestimate the power of small acts of kindness – a smile and a hug can go a long way. The key is to balance between the big picture and the immediate picture. And most importantly, always keep in mind that while you are playing an important role in a community, the future of those efforts are the community’s, not yours. The best you can do is assist them in improving whatever they want to improve.
Before traveling to any overseas community, make sure you take the time to learn about the specific place you will be visiting. Understanding a community in terms of their history and how they go to where they are now, will allow you to understand their needs and better help them. Studying their political and social contexts will also help you remain realistic of how far your efforts will be able to go. Being informed is great because it will allow you to remain open-minded, which is key to international volunteerism.