Submitted by: Imagine Canada
Posted: Nov 14, 2008 – 07:00 AM EST
New Research on Corporate Citizenship
New Research on Corporate Citizenship
TORONTO, CANADA. - November 14, 2008 - A new research study from Imagine Canada finds that the community investment initiatives of many of Canada's largest corporations have moved beyond "cheque-book philanthropy" and are leveraging their assets in more ways than the public, or even the charities and nonprofits they support, might think.
"While the demand for these companies to give is persistent and increasing, they are doing more than just cutting a cheque for charities that have asked for help," says Dr. Michael Hall, Imagine Canada's Vice President of Research. "What really stood out in the research is their strategic approaches to community investment and the ways in which they are engaging their employees and their broader stakeholder networks - clients, customers and suppliers - to leverage their philanthropy. They are putting a lot of thought into how and where they give, and are quite innovative in their approaches."
This focused research report - Corporate Community Investment Practices, Motivations & Challenges: Findings from the Canada Survey of Business Contributions to Community - puts a spotlight on 93 of Canada's largest companies (annual revenues exceeding $25 million) and their community investment practices. It is based on findings derived from a broader study (Canada Survey of Business Contributions to Community) that looked more generally at business contributions to charities and nonprofit organizations in Canada. This research provides the first-ever, comprehensive portrait of business contributions to charities and nonprofit organizations in Canada. The research is part of a multi-year program funded by EnCana Corporation.
"This research tells me that you can't just put a dollar value on corporate giving anymore," says Mary Ann Blackman, Manager of Community Investment, EnCana Corporation, and a member of the Study Advisory Committee. "Large companies are stepping up to the plate and devoting a wider range of their assets and resources in the name of building healthy communities, and they are doing it in unique and diverse ways."
Since this research is meant to help Canadian businesses assess and improve their community contributions practices, it does point to the need for some improvements in terms of giving levels, measurement tactics and philanthropy targets. For example, the total value of contributions from large corporations as a percentage of pre-tax profits is actually lower than that of the broader business community (median value of 1.0% vs. 1.25% respectively). Large corporations also give less as a percentage of revenues (median of 0.06% compared to 0.63%). Further, the large corporations tend to focus the bulk of their support on a narrow spectrum of more mainstream charities and nonprofits, and overlook less-known or emerging charities.
Highlights from the research include:
This report includes case studies that profile the diverse philanthropy approaches of five companies. These include Cooper's Office Furniture (Toronto), First Calgary Savings (Calgary), EnCana Corporation, Pfizer Canada and Manulife Financial. These case studies are available upon request.
Imagine Canada has been championing the need for Canadian businesses to support charities since 1988 when its predecessor, the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, established the Imagine Caring Company program.
Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization that looks into and out for Canada's charities and nonprofit organizations. We deliver research that puts the sector on the map and raises its profile in the minds of Canadians. We influence public policy and build support, encourage collaboration and engagement from businesses. We deliver tools, resources and networking opportunities directly to nonprofits and charities to build and strengthen the sector one organization at a time. Together, they contribute to social progress and vibrant communities.
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For more from this organization:Imagine Canada