A reader in Brazil wrote asking for the definition of HR Philanthropy. Frankly, I was a bit stumped. It wasn’t a term I heard mentioned before. A quick Google search pointed me toward corporate philanthropy (sometimes referred to as corporate citizenship or corporate social responsibility).
I wrote a white paper on corporate citizenship years ago. If you want to check it out, you can click here. The premise is that companies benefit when they include social good in their mission. Employees like knowing that they are doing work that helps the community and the shareholders. Consumers will spend their money with organizations that work to fix social problems or produce goods/services with a social conscience.
Basically, I think this is a concept we can all embrace. We want to know that businesses are thinking of society and community while still growing profits and market share. There’s no reason businesses shouldn’t be able to do both. But, I don’t know that we have always been keenly focused on it. Maybe the volume of information available to us via social media is making us more aware of corporate practices?
Nonetheless, it really hit home how much people are tuned into spending their hard-earned dollars in a responsible way when the articles about JCPenney hiring Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson surfaced last week. A group loudly protested the decision and JCP said they were sticking with their choice. Now, say whatever you will about JCPenney and Ellen and the decision. On some level that’s immaterial. But go check out the JCP Facebook page. Here are a handful of comments:
- I will officially shop at JCP first, on behalf of everyone and anyone I know who deserve to be treated fair and square and by the Golden Rule… Love it!
- If we had JCPenney, I’d shop there just for this.
- I haven’t shopped at JCP in years. You have just won me back as a customer.
- Thank you JCPenney for doing what’s right. I love Ellen and I’ll be spending lots of my money at your store because you promote “real” family values.
These a real example of people using their wallets to show their support for a social decision. People have money. And they are willing to reward / spend it with companies that embrace shared values.
At some point, our social record will become a trademark of who we are and what we stand for. Right along with stock price, market share and EBITDA. How our company acts and behaves is the new Facebook timeline.
Image courtesy of Henrik Moltke0