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28 Aug. 2017 | Comments (0)

In recent weeks, a number of corporate leaders have announced significant contributions to nonprofits like the SPLC Southern Poverty Law Center that battles racial and social injustice, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that combats hate and protects communities. JPMorgan Chase is donating $1 million to both of these nonprofits that fight hate groups. Apple will also contribute $1 million to the two nonprofits, according to Tim Cook, and the company will match “two-for-one” employee donations to these and other human rights groups. This is a new phenomenon for businesses to take such public stands, contributing to organizations that might previously have been considered too controversial or political.

This kind of corporate philanthropy shows that companies recognize that their success can be deeply affected by social, economic, and environmental conditions in the communities where their employees, customers, and suppliers live and work.

Companies value human capital

Companies are also at the forefront of protecting LGBT rights, and the interests of other marginalized groups of people who have been mistreated. In Texas last week, major corporations killed “the bathroom bill” in the Texas State Legislature. This bill would have restricted which bathroom transgender people can use in public buildings and schools. IBM took out full-page ads opposing the bill in major Texas newspapers, and CEOs of American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, Facebook, Google, Kimberly Clark, Southwest Airlines, Tenet Healthcare, Texas Instruments, and dozens of others took a stand against the bill.

Companies want access to the best people for their workforce. Limitations on civil and human rights, such as access to bathrooms, threaten business employees and their families. Businesses are indicating that they will no longer have a presence in communities where their employees’ rights will be restricted.

Hate is bad for businesses, our communities, and our country

Violence and injustice destroys communities where employees, consumers, and suppliers live and work, and some companies are taking a stand. GoDaddy, Airbnb, and PayPal condemned the violence in Charlottesville and will monitor and restrict hate groups from access to their resources and platforms.

We are in a new era where companies are learning how to mitigate risks, reduce costs, and grow value by finding innovative solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges. Taking a stand for civil and human rights, and fighting hate, is part of the deal.

  • About the Author:Alice Korngold

    Alice Korngold

    Alice Korngold advises companies and NGOs on strategy, board governance, sustainability, ESG, and diversity and inclusion. She is the author of  A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solv…

    Full Bio | More from Alice Korngold


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