Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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Submitted by: Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy
Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions
Posted: Feb 26, 2007 – 04:16 PM EST
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 26, 2007--More than thirty five CEOs from Fortune 500 companies convened today to discuss the Imperatives for Corporations Investing in Society. As part of the annual meeting on National Corporate Philanthropy Day, CEOs representing companies such as Citigroup, Deloitte, GlaxoSmithKline, Hasbro, The Interpublic Group of Companies, JP Morgan Chase & Co., McGraw-Hill, Prudential Financial and Wachovia shared best practices and outlined philanthropic priorities.
As the only meeting of its kind gathering CEOs to focus on the business case for corporate philanthropy, this group found that the most successful corporate giving programs are inspired by employees and CEOs alike and are relevant to the core values and business objectives of the company. The consensus was that in order for employees to engage, a commitment to corporate philanthropy must be part of a company's culture. The business case for philanthropy is strong, as CEOs are seeing giving as more strategic and advocate that it must be more transparent.
The CEOs also agreed that in order to expand programs globally, a priority must be placed on engaging employees locally. They believe that there is a real opportunity to change the perceptions of the U.S. on the global stage as companies embark on more ambitious philanthropic efforts to geographies in need.
"Philanthropic outreach should be an integral part of the corporate culture and value system. In addition, corporations should put programs in place that encourage and support employee volunteerism. Giving back to the communities where we live and work helps ensure that we stay connected with the people who are at the heart of a corporation's mission," said Prudential Chairman and CEO Art Ryan.
"Employee empowerment is critical. Companies that rally employees around programs that make a difference in the world are going to secure more loyalty and value from them. Our employees know that this is a priority from the top and we lead by example," said Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com.
At the same time, the most recent matched set findings the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) report demonstrates that giving has increased by 15 percent, clearly showing that philanthropy is a priority for business leaders.
"Our members recognize that employees, consumers and shareholders have growing expectations for business. The demands are difficult to meet but companies must proactively integrate corporate philanthropy strategy into their business model," said Charles Moore, CECP Executive Director. "This conference is a means to discuss best practices for executive leadership in making the most impact on society and their businesses through effective philanthropy programs. By analyzing market forces, pinpointing business/philanthropic opportunities, and building sustainable programs, companies can use their core competencies and, more importantly, work together to support society while growing the bottom line."
Founding co-chairs Paul Newman and Ken Derr established CECP in 1999 and membership now includes more than 145 CEOs and Chairpersons, comprising a powerful network of senior executives committed to corporate philanthropy. Members' companies are responsible for more than 40 percent of charitable corporate giving in the U.S.
The 'Board of Boards' CEO Conference is part of the larger celebration of National Corporate Philanthropy Day. U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have officially recognized February 26 as National Corporate Philanthropy Day, endorsing the extensive philanthropic work of companies in their communities.
Hosted by The McGraw-Hill Companies and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, the 'Board of Boards' CEO Conference includes presentations by discussion leaders Terry McGraw (Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies) Anne Mulcahy (Chairman and CEO, Xerox) and Ken Thompson (Chairman, President and CEO, Wachovia).
The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) is the only international forum of business CEOs and Chairpersons pursuing a mission exclusively focused on corporate philanthropy. CECP's mission is to lead the business community in raising the level and quality of corporate philanthropy. Engaging with the public, private, and independent sectors, CECP members seek and create opportunities to serve as corporate giving advocates, practitioners, educators, and spokespersons to advance the case for philanthropy and to inspire other business leaders to make a lasting commitment to community giving. www.CorporatePhilanthropy.org.
Copyright Business Wire 2007
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