According to Merriman-Webster.com, philanthropy is defined as an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes. When most people think about philanthropy, they think about the wealthy among us such as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Personal philanthropy can be so much more than that. In fact, individuals can have the same philanthropist mindset when giving to organizations or people. Social responsibility is a buzzword in a society demanding more accountability from its corporate citizens.
Social responsibility speaks to a company's stance on the way its managers and employees view their duty or obligation to make decisions that protect, enhance, and promote the well-being of stakeholders and society as a whole. Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, argue about the importance of social responsibility: "The way a company announces business problems or admits its mistakes provides strong clues about its stance on social responsibility." With the economic crisis, there are many institutions in trouble.
However, philanthropy must start with a mindset and an attitude for giving regardless of where a person stands on the economic ladder. Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO of Salesforce.com, built his organization with a philanthropy focus. Salesforce.com is a cloud computing company with a mission of 'The End of Software." Benioff has had a history of successful business ventures, including The Oracle Corporation and the Macintosh Division. However, he is noted for the achievement of designing a new philanthropy model.
The Salesforce.com Foundation aims to inspire companies across the globe to give 1% of their resources to support charities and social causes. This 1%; 1%; 1% philanthropy model includes 1% of its company's time, 1% of its equity, and 1% of its products be donated to charity. For Salesforce.com, this model means giving employees 6 paid days of volunteer time to use over the course of the year. To date, Salesforce.com employees have donated over 178,000 hours. Other companies like Google have embraced this model.
The Salesforce.com Foundation has supported the giving of products to 8,000 nonprofits in 70 countries. On the equity front, 1% of its founding stock is used to offer grants focused on technology innovation for nonprofits and youth development programs. The company has given over $20 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. Therefore, a philanthropist mindset can carry great rewards in sustaining meaningful programs in society. It is not exclusive only to the wealthiest people.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green
Dr. Daryl Green has done extensive research on cultural issues impacting today and future leaders. His last book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today's College Students during Economic Turbulence, has been rated number one on Amazon.com. For more information, you can contact him at www.darylgreen.org or www.nuleadership.com.