Corporate philanthropy

Corporate philanthropy, or the practice of businesses giving back to their communities through charitable donations and social impact initiatives, is more important than ever. Not only do philanthropic companies help to address pressing social and environmental issues, but it can also have a positive impact on the businesses themselves. Odyssey is passionate about pursuing the positive impact philanthropy can have on businesses and their communities. 

By engaging in corporate philanthropy programs, businesses can improve their reputation and build stronger relationships with their employees, customers, and the broader community.

What Is Philanthropy?

Philanthropy involves charitable giving to worthy causes on a large scale, but it is much more than just a charitable donation. It represents an individual’s or organization’s altruistic desire to improve human welfare. Wealthy individuals often establish private foundations to facilitate their philanthropic efforts. Nonprofits that support various social causes, such as education, health, science, public safety, and human rights, play a crucial role in philanthropy. the un

What are the different types of philanthropy?

Philanthropy takes myriad forms, demonstrating its adaptability and inclusivity. Here are the main types:

  • Individual Philanthropy: Personal contributions whether through direct donations, funding, scholarships, or volunteering time.
  • Corporate Philanthropy: Businesses and corporations give back to communities and charitable causes.

Benefits of Philanthropy

The benefit of philanthropy extends beyond individuals. Here are some of the many benefits of philanthropy:

  • Philanthropy contributes to creating a more just and equitable society.
  • By supporting various causes, philanthropy enhances the well-being of communities.
  • Being philanthropic fosters personal fulfillment and happiness.
  • It can alleviate stress and improve emotional health.

There are many other amazing benefits of Philanthropy, but nothing tops the feeling of self-fulfillment.

Which is the most important type of corporate philanthropy?

There are many different types of corporate philanthropic initiatives, but which is the most important? That’s a tough question to answer, as each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, we think the one important type of corporate philanthropy involves employee volunteerism. Employee volunteerism is present when employees are willing to engage in a philanthropic opportunity. One way companies can increase their employees desire to be engaged is by working with a team, such as Odyssey Teams, to facilitate their employees engagement journey in a philanthropic program. 

Employee volunteerism has a few key advantages. First, it’s a great way to engage employees and get them involved in something outside of work. This reignited company identity can lead to increased morale and motivation, as well as a stronger sense of team spirit. And finally, it’s a great way to give back to the community and make a positive impact.

There are some challenges to employee volunteerism as well. For example, it can be difficult to find opportunities that match the interests and availability of all employees. Additionally, it is very difficult to make someone want to participate in a new activity.

At the end of the day, though, we believe that the benefits of investing in employee volunteerism outweigh the drawbacks. Getting employees to be involved in philanthropic opportunities is a great way to engage employees, build skills, and give back to the community – all while making a positive impact on your bottom line. It also gives employees a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their future work endeavors.

Are there any risks associated with corporate philanthropy?

There are a few risks associated with corporate charitable efforts, but they are generally manageable. The biggest risk is that the company’s charitable donations may be perceived as an attempt to buy goodwill or influence public opinion. This can be avoided by collaborating with corporate philanthropic experts regarding how to manage where to donate and the most beneficial strategy for a company wide opportunity.

Another risk is that the company may not have a clear strategy for its philanthropic activities, which could lead to wasteful spending or ineffective use of resources. This is why inspiring people have created programs to provide companies with direction and results for philanthropic opportunities. 

Finally, companies should be aware of the potential repetitional risks associated with their charitable activities, such as becoming associated with controversial causes or engaging in activities that could be interpreted as self-serving.

Overall, these risks are relatively minor and can be easily managed with proper planning and oversight. When done correctly, corporate philanthropy can be an extremely effective way to build goodwill, improve organizational relations, and make a positive impact on society.

How can businesses get started with corporate philanthropy?

There are a few different ways that businesses can get started with corporate philanthropy strategy. One way is for the business to donate a percentage of its profits to a nonprofit organization or causes of its choice.

Another way is for the business to provide employees opportunities to participate in philanthropic events. Odyssey Teams is one of the leading providers of life changing corporate philanthropic events!

Some Corporate Examples – Odyssey Teams has worked with some of them before.

#1 Kraft Heinz and Rise – The Fight Against Hunger

Rise Against Hunger Logo

Huddle to Fight Hunger is a digital charity initiative launched by Kraft Heinz in 2011. Each Facebook “like” resulted in a donation to food banks equal to the cost of one meal. This campaign integrated charitable giving with social media promotion and name recognition.

In the wake of the first campaign’s success, the two parties decided to work together on an ongoing basis. To put it simply, Rise Against Hunger is a global organization with the mission of eliminating world hunger. After three successful years, Kraft Heinz and Rise Against Hunger are celebrating their fourth year of hosting an annual meal packaging event.

Over 20,000 meals were packed during this year’s event, with funding provided by a $2.5 million donation from Kraft Heinz.

Marketing, monetary gifts, and in-kind contributions were all part of Kraft Heinz’s philanthropic programs. They did an excellent job of coordinating various forms of corporate charity. This CSR approach may be replicated to boost ROI and have a greater social effect.

#2 Johnson & Johnson’s Corporate Giving Initiative

Johnson & Johnson Logo

Johnson & Johnson places an emphasis on the health of women and children, works to improve the quality of the healthcare system, and makes sure everyone can afford necessary surgical procedures. Not only does the firm give catastrophe aid and goods donations, but it also offers new solutions to worldwide illness concerns. The organization uses partnerships, cooperation, technology, and creative programming to make a difference on a global and local scale.

For active workers, the company matches employee donations two to one (up to $20,000), while retirees will get a matching donation of one dollar for every dollar they provide (up to $10,000).

#3 Microsoft’s Volunteer Program

Microsoft’s Volunteer Program

Microsoft consistently ranks among the best corporations in terms of their CSR efforts. Their CSR efforts include a grant program for volunteers. In exchange for each volunteer hour, the program will make a $25 contribution to the charity of the employee’s choosing. More than three million hours of volunteer time are contributed each year by Microsoft employees.

There are several reasons why Microsoft’s grant program for volunteers has been so successful. To start, it provides incentives for staff to participate in corporate volunteering. Second, it gives workers more say over the organizations they support. The corporate office of Microsoft may decide to make a large gift to a charity. Allowing workers to donate to a cause of their choosing increases participation and buy-in.

The return on investment (ROI) of your CSR approach may be greatly improved by allowing employees some say in the matter. Think of introducing employee-enriching initiatives or providing resources. This enables people to have an effect on the issues they care deeply about.

#4 Penguin Random House and Its Student Loan Discount Program

Penguin Random House Logo

“Charity begins at home,” as the saying goes. Some businesses really do this by contributing to their workers’ education debt. Such a contributor is Penguin Random House, among other businesses. Each employee receives $1,200 annually to put toward student loan debt.

One other method of corporate giving is to assist workers in settling their student loan debt. One with tremendous potential for a direct effect in the immediate vicinity. The $1.5 trillion in student loan debt owed by Americans is a problem that might affect the quality of your staff. One of the best ways to get people to participate is to improve their financial status. The result is an improved rapport with staff, which in turn increases employee retention.

#5 ExxonMobil matching gift program for employees

ExxonMobil Logo

Some of the more well-known methods of corporate giving include matching gift programs for employees. Companies often provide matching gift programs in which they will match a portion of their workers’ charitable contributions. A firm like ExxonMobil that has a matching gift program is one example of this. Every year, they give up to $22,500 as a matching gift for each employee who contributes $1.

While some matching gift schemes are more successful than others, all have the potential to be really interesting. Currently, 63% of Fortune 500 businesses provide employee-matching contributions. There is a consistent nine percent median involvement percentage among employees.

Complex programs and a lack of staff understanding are major contributors to the issue. Simplify the process of implementing a matching program as part of your corporate social responsibility plan. Employ charity selection and matching tools that simplify the process for workers. The next step is to create a plan to inform staff members about the initiative.

#6 Google Corporate Giving

Google Logo

Recently, Google declared a 5-year goal of awarding $1 billion in grants and contributing 1 million staff volunteer hours. Nonprofit organizations that work to better society in areas such as education, economic opportunity, inclusivity, and others benefit from Google’s top tools and resources.

Google will double the amount its employees donate to organizations each year, up to $6,000, and will double the amount they donate to disaster assistance, up to $6,000 each year. Grants for volunteers are given out for a minimum of one hour of service with a donation of $10 per hour.

#7 Apple’s give back to the community

Apple Logo

Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world, last year Apple workers donated over $125 million and contributed over 250,000 hours via the company’s philanthropic giving program.

There is no minimum number of hours required for the corporation to give $25 per hour of volunteer work, and the company’s volunteer grant program will match employee contributions to most NGOs up to $10,000.

#8 Walmart Foundation’s Resource Donations

Walmart Foundation’s Resource Donations

Many businesses that have access to tangible assets choose to lend or give these items to nonprofits in lieu of making monetary donations. Walmart’s countrywide network of refrigerated food trucks is available to customers. This enables Feeding America to provide nutritious meals to those in need. As part of their charitable contributions, Walmart offers the use of its vehicles and logistical skills.

Donating useful items may help spread the word and have a greater effect than monetary contributions alone. Think about the assets your company has and where you could have spare capacity that local organizations might utilize if you want to donate resources.

#9 ConocoPhillips’ Charity Initiatives

ConocoPhillips Logo

ConocoPhillips is committed to the welfare of the neighborhoods in which it operates and does so through philanthropic donations, employee volunteering, and the provision of civic leadership. Over $5.6 million was donated by employees, retirees, and the corporation itself to eight separate United Way initiatives last year. They have also volunteered for over 44,500 hours throughout the world.

The corporation will double the amount of each employee’s contribution up to $10,000. Furthermore, it provides team volunteer grants, individual volunteer grants, and grants for those who have retired from the company.

#10 Dell’s Corporate Giving Initiative

Dell Logo

Dell has lately dedicated itself to sustainability by recovering 2 billion pounds of abandoned electronics and employing sustainable materials in its products, and it has established a target of volunteering 5 million cumulative hours of service over the course of many years.

When workers volunteer for more than 10 hours in a given quarter, the firm will donate an additional $150 on the employee’s behalf to a qualified 501(c)(3) charity.

#11 Aetna’s Corporate Responsibility Initiative

aetna Logo

Over the course of its history, the Aetna Foundation has granted more than $445 million in pursuit of its mission to improve people’s health, access to healthcare, and overall quality of life. The firm is committed to improving the communities in which it operates and the planet in which we all live by contributing its resources whenever possible, even in developing countries.

After an employee has volunteered 20 hours with a charity, Aetna will make a donation of $300 to the group in their name. This applies to all employees, whether full-time, part-time, or retired.

#12 General Electric’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative

General Electric Logo

General Electric has a matching contribution program to encourage staff involvement in their local communities and local nonprofits. In 2017, GE donated $129 million, $30 million of which came from matching grants.

General Electric will match the contributions of all employees up to $5,000.

#13 Expedia Group’s Corporate Responsibility Initiative

expedia group logo

Volunteerism and charitable giving are important causes for the Expedia staff, and the company is proud to support them. In order to show their appreciation and further the work of the organizations they care about, they have decided to provide matching gifts and volunteer grants.

Expedia will double the charitable contributions of its full- and part-time workers up to $4,000 and pay $15 for each contributed hour, with a five-hour minimum.

#14 Build a Bear Foundation

Build-A-Bear Workshop Logo

The Build-A-Bear Foundation has collaborated with a wide variety of nonprofits throughout the years, donating over $50 million to these groups as a result of the awards it has given. Since 2016, Build-A-Bear has donated 65,000 stuffed animals to organizations that help kids in need.

Over 120,000 protective masks were supplied to healthcare professionals, and the corporation also gave money to numerous charities during the epidemic. These organizations included the St. Louis Community Foundation, the Columbus Foundation, the American Red Cross, and Baby2Baby.

#15 Verizon’s Corporate Giving Initiative

Verizon Logo

Across the United States, Verizon contributed more than $4.6 million to relief efforts last year. Employees of Verizon contributed $8,109,604 to charitable causes, while the company itself contributed $9,175,405 to those causes.

Verizon will double the amount of an employee’s gift to an accredited college or university (up to $5,000) or a qualified charity (up to $1,000). Verizon offers a $750 volunteer incentive to its staff who log 50 or more hours of service over a given year.

#16 ThriftBooks Charity Program

ThriftBooks Charity Program

ThriftBooks gives the most attention to three areas of social responsibility: giving to charity, helping people learn, and how the company affects the environment.

They have donated over $100 million to their nonprofit partners over the last decade thanks to book sales. ThriftBooks also collaborates with other organizations to facilitate worldwide literacy projects and aid underprivileged areas via book donations and volunteerism.

In the meanwhile, non-charitable books and other materials are transferred to recycling factories, where each ton of 100% post-consumer copy paper saves 24 trees, 7,000 liters of water, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, and 60 pounds of air pollution.

#17 RealNetworks Corporate Giving Initiative

Real network Logo

RealNetworks has established the RealNetworks Foundation in order to fulfill its promise to contribute 5% of its post-tax revenues to charity. The Foundation provides funding to nonprofits and will double or even triple the amount of an employee’s philanthropic contribution or volunteer hours.

For all workers, the firm will match up to $10,000 in contributions, and for those who volunteer for 10 hours or more, they will get $15 per hour (4 hours if part of a team event).

#18 Allstate’s Corporate Responsibility Initiatives

Allstate Logo

Allstate employees have year-round access to the Giving Campaign, allowing them to donate to causes and organizations close to their hearts. Agents and workers have contributed $6.48 million in the last several years, and the corporation has matched $2.4 million of that.

Good Hands is Allstate’s matching grant program for colleges and universities, while The Giving Campaign is their initiative for charitable organizations in general. A grant of $1,000 is available to agency owners who volunteer for 16 hours in a calendar year, while a grant of $500 is available to workers who volunteer for 16 hours.

#19 Nike Foundation’s Community Impact Fund (NCIF)

Nike Logo

Over $400 million has been invested by the Nike Community Impact Fund (NCIF) between 2015 and 2019 to help causes that improve communities via things like education, leadership training, coaching, youth empowerment, and mentoring.

Another admirable effort to encourage more children to play outside is Nike’s Made to Play worldwide project. To do this, Nike collaborates with regional organizations to expand coaching education for female athletes and expand access to sports for girls from underprivileged backgrounds.

It is estimated that the corporation spent over $23.2 million on this project and over $89.8 million on projects in its impact portfolio during the 2020 fiscal year.

#20 Time Warner Philanthropy Program

Time Warner is dedicated to providing its staff with opportunities for personal growth through community service. Corporations in the United States will double the donations of their employees to qualified 501(c)(3) charities.

The highest employer contribution it will match is $1,000 on a per-employee basis, and it applies equally to both full-time and part-time workers. Each year, Time Warner employees who put in at least 30 hours of voluntary work are eligible to receive $500 volunteer scholarships.

Below we will answer some of the FAQs of corporate philanthropy in the real world, and provide 20 inspiring examples.


Why do companies engage in philanthropy?

Some of the most common reasons for a corporate philanthropy program include:

  • Giving back to the community: Many companies want to make a positive impact on the communities they operate in. They may do this by supporting local charities, organizing an event or by running their own corporate foundations.
  • Building employee morale: Engaging in philanthropy can be a great way to build team spirit and boost employee morale. It can also help attract and retain top talent.
  • Improving corporate image: In today’s competitive business landscape, companies are under pressure to show that they are good corporate citizens. Philanthropy is one way to demonstrate this commitment.
  • Generating goodwill: Goodwill is an intangible asset that can be very valuable to a company. By engaging in philanthropic activities, companies can create goodwill with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
  • Reducing taxes: Many countries offer tax incentives for companies that engage in philanthropy. This can be a significant motivation for some businesses.

Final Thoughts

Corporate philanthropic efforts are a great way for businesses to give back to the community and make a positive impact. There are many different ways to get involved, so there’s sure to be an option that fits your company’s values and goals. Odyssey Teams has multiple customizable philanthropic events that can fit you company team objectives and impact a community of your choice.