Social responsibility has always been a vital aspect of corporate culture. In 2023, the corporate philanthropy landscape will likely see several important shifts in both thinking and strategy.
Here are four trends to consider rolling into your corporate philanthropy strategy this year.
Employee-Driven Philanthropy Programs
Looking ahead, employee-driven philanthropy programs are poised to gain significant traction among corporate social responsibility teams.
Employee-centric programs extend beyond contributing to company-selected causes. As the vast majority of employes today already support a number of charities, outside of work, that are near and dear to them, these programs are designed to encourage employees to donate in a more collective format while also providing opportunities:
- for donation matching
- additional in-kind support and
- social awareness through company platforms.
This philanthropic approach can help companies build more meaningful relationships with their employees, boost recruitment and improve retention rates.
A growing body of research shows that employees are more likely to stay with a firm that reflects their values and considers their voices important when making decisions around which causes to support. This is especially true for new up and coming generations, like Generation Z, who are becoming a large part of the workforce.
As an example, when Harbourfront Wealth began working with Food Banks Canada last year, we had incredible participation from our nation-wide team.
ESG in 2023
Environmental, social, governance (ESG) is only increasing in importance and for good reason.
In recent years, more and more businesses have recognized the importance of ESG and have begun to add everything from sustainable and social investments into their portfolios to creating ESG policies and teams.
Harbourfront’s Senior VP of Corporate Strategy, Coby Bucci, recently spoke to the Globe and Mail about how “investors want and deserve choice.” The same goes for employees.
Employees play a large role in pioneering new and appropriate ESG policies and practices. By bringing them into these conversations, businesses can take a more holistic approach to addressing issues and building new solutions that truly encompass the true meaning of ESG.
Corporations looking at this strategy must ensure social causes and investments they choose, both equally reflect the values of their business and their long-term goals as well.
Corporations don’t have to do everything on their own — even if it’s relatively easy to make it happen without help. As stated above, creating connections is one of philanthropy’s most significant benefits.
Shared philanthropy is when a company splits responsibilities with one or more nonprofit organizations. This helps maximize the impact of the funds donated by corporations, and brings together the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
Many such programs can also work by building partnership and collaboration among several companies in the same industry. This type of philanthropic partnership has several benefits, including generating more significant funds, reducing administrative costs, and being more visible in the local community.
Diversity and inclusion have now become a key focus area for many companies. A crucial trend in corporate philanthropy in 2023 will involve supporting organizations that address social disparities and promote equality and demonstrate their understand of equity within their communities.
Inclusive partnerships focus on specific communities that lack resources for aiding individuals and small businesses that need to overcome societal barriers to succeed. These partnerships can elevate a company’s reputation while creating a pipeline for entrepreneurs in need of a little help.
Boosting small businesses can improve economic conditions for entire communities.
Corporate Philanthropy Still Matters
In 2023, philanthropic trends are expected to shift, while corporate philanthropy in general will continue to grow in importance as social responsibility comes to the forefront.
Corporations that embrace these trends and align their philanthropic strategies with their business values will have the best chance of making a positive impact on society while simultaneously enhancing their reputation among their customers, community, and employees.