PMA Consulting, LLC

Has Corporate Philanthropy Changed?

Corporate philanthropy as we have known it is going through a transition. A recession and business strategies aimed at improving bottom lines have caused companies to rethink their philanthropic objectives.

Say goodbye to writing checks and say hello to volunteerism. A Chronicle of Philanthropy survey revealed companies were encouraging employees to volunteer more because of the recession. Cash is taking a back seat to both the giving of goods and volunteerism.

The type of volunteer work is changing too. Many are focusing on areas in which they have expertise. Rather than cleaning up a park or hammering a nail, expert consultants are offering their services to organizations who typically couldn’t afford them.

New graduates entering the workforce have different ideas of what philanthropy means as well. Most high schools and colleges have some kind of service volunteerism requirement, so philanthropy to graduates means more taking action and less handing over cash.

Companies are responding to the changing landscape by making their own adjustments. It’s not uncommon for employees to do volunteer work for nonprofit organizations as paid time at their regular job. We’re also seeing companies focus on specific causes relative to their particular skills and knowledge.

As corporate philanthropy becomes more hands-on, organizations and businesses alike will have to change their strategies. Companies will have continued pressure on the bottom line – while nonprofits, particularly arts and cultural organizations, will have to seek out new ways to be an attractive option, or risk being left out.

 Great Examples of Corporate Philanthropy


Conservation International

Gap - This Way Ahead

Microsoft Innovation Centers