As the curtains are about to go up on the first state-side Transformational Giving seminar of the year (today in Seattle, followed in rapid succession by Portland, Phoenix, Colorado Springs, San Francisco, and Los Angeles; register now and you can still beat my flight into town), I figure that a lot of the posts for the month will derive from seminar questions and comments and happenings, so now is a perfect time to sneak a horse of an entirely different color into the TG stable.
When I was in Korea doing the TG seminar last week, I received a question about whether Transformational Giving appied to corporations as well as individuals.
My reply? Absolutely–in almost a straight one-to-one parallel.
Jessica Stannard-Friel, author of the Reimagining CSR blog (and sister of Sean Stannard-Stockton, the author of the Tactical Philanthropy blog to which I owe the awareness of his sister’s great post, offers an example of a corporation mobilizing its unique assets on behalf of a cause.
Writes Stannard-Friel about her previous posts:
I argued that companies should focus their corporate philanthropy programs on contributing resources to which they uniquely have access, resources that they can provide at a cost that is lower than the beneficiary would pay on the open market. As such, I argued that most companies should donate primarily expertise and perhaps products, giving cash only to leverage such donations.
Stannard-Friel then goes on to talk about San Francisco-based pharmaceuticals distributor Mckesson, which departed from its traditional practice of giving money through its corporate foundation to instead provide ‘charitable chronic disease management’:
According to McKesson’s new strategy, while grantmaking will continue to be a component of its philanthropic strategy, the company will also operate its own social engagement programs – something along the lines of the corporate operating foundation Carrie mentioned in her comment. The company will be contributing its expertise in chronic disease management, which I believe will enable it to contribute resources of greater value than the cash it could contribute for the same cost to the company. Currently, the Foundation is investigating the feasibility of a diabetes cell phone project, whereby automated calls are made to diabetes patients, who respond with information about their blood sugar levels; the technology flags patients that require follow-up.
How does this relate to Transformational Giving? It’s all about a company being ‘all in’–contributing not just ‘support dollars’ but its own unique assets toward the furthering of the cause.
Beats asking a corporation to sponsor a banquet table for $350.