Corporate Philanthropy with a Global Footprint

How can corporations develop an international philanthropy approach that recognizes each region’s uniqueness and achieves meaningful outcomes for both the recipients and the firm?

Moving beyond the home town and home country

As the worldwide footprint of US business continues to expand, companies face new questions as to what is the proper range and scope of their global philanthropic program. Multi-national corporations from around the world seek insights on how to provide targeted social investments that best serve a wide variety of areas and populations, while adding to the larger value of the company at home and abroad.

The need for a framework for practicing global philanthropy

Faced with a complex landscape as they extend their corporate philanthropic practices into new locations, many companies are looking for a “map” of that landscape, and a sense of what globally effective philanthropic practices look like. This September, The Conference Board will convene a Research Working Group (RWG) that would address these issues.  This RWG includes member companies such as American Express, Caterpillar, Intel, Deere & Co., CIGNA and others who will work together with researchers on following questions:

  • What does the philanthropic landscape look like beyond the US? How does philanthropy work in the many different regions in which multi-nationals from different home countries operate?
  • Can firms incorporate the best philanthropic practices from around the world to create excellence wherever they operate? How can US practices be applied in these different landscapes?  What do practices elsewhere have to teach the U.S. tradition? What practices will work, which require adaptation, and which may need to be abandoned?
  • How do forward-thinking companies invest in and benefit the local community and create value for the parent corporation, e.g. by enhancing its brand image?
  • Is it possible for multi-national corporations to productively work together, as well as with local civic organizations and foundations, to increase the effectiveness of their philanthropic work?
  • How can companies balance the demands between various communities and regions? How should they prioritize the needs of the head office community, and other communities in which the firm has a significant work force or other market presence?

Our approach will be to select 5-8 countries/regions to conduct an in-depth study of the political, legal, cultural and social environments for effective corporate philanthropy. This would lead to individual game plans to guide an effective approach for philanthropy and corporate citizenship in these countries/regions. One or two of the three in-person meetings will be held overseas to provide the opportunity to see corporate programs in action.

Who should join: Senior executives responsible for global corporate philanthropy strategies.

RWG Participation fee: The cost of the RWG is $15,000 and will cover all meetings, materials, access to all research and reports. This will enable two executives from each company to participate, but does not include travel and hotel to in-person meetings.  Ideally, the participating executives will represent two different business units or regions of their corporation to provide a deeper impact. Research Working Groups are only open to member companies of The Conference Board.

Contact us for more information.

2013 RWG on Measuring the Impact of Corporate Social Investments
"We have found great value in connecting with our peers and getting exposure to the industry's subject matter experts through this Working Group. The first meeting alone helped mold our team's 3 year vision for measurement at Target. Additionally, a peer in the group helped us think through how Target uses technology for data collection & reporting. The group's input and examples on shared value helped me craft our exploration of shared value for Target. Overall, we've been thrilled with what we've learned through this RWG."

Mark Muckerheide, Sr. Group Manager, Target Corporation