The way beyond the self-limiting altruistic corporate charity of the 20th century is business integrated community involvement, which brings charity to the core of business operations and makes business interests central to community involvement. This 2.0 version of corporate giving synergistically melds commerce and charity to the point of making them indistinguishable.
A sales representative might educate clients about reducing their carbon footprint while trying to sell a product upgrade or a corporate call center might staff a community help line in addition to taking customer calls.
While business-integrated community involvement might still be novel, pioneering enterprises ranging from the utility serving portions of New Hampshire to the technology company ranked largest in the world are proving its feasibility and demonstrating its impact. It is becoming evident that businesses do more to alleviate societal ills when they stop trying to be altruistic and, instead, support societal causes as the self-interested entities that they are.
For more on this topic, please read Bea Boccalandro’s new white paper for UBM‘s non-profit CSR event, Business4Better: Stop The Charity And Start The Impact: How IBM And Others Have Reinvented Corporate Giving to Better Serve Society And Business