There is a rising trend in business that incorporates philanthropy into business strategy. Businesses are aspiring to make a social and environmental impact on their world. Instead of revelling in a consumer-driven atmosphere, and vying for the biggest piece of the consumer pie, businesses are creating wealth (both social and financial) for themselves by supporting others. Charles H. Moore, Executive Director of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, explains that the definition of shareholder has changed to include “government, employees, consumers, activist groups, the non-profit sector and others”. Tightly woven into the fabric of new corporate responsibility is the ground-breaking notion that one can do well, by doing good. Corporate philanthropy is about inspiring trust, goal-setting and action towards ending social and environmental strife.
For a while now, corporations have begun to understand the importance of giving back to the community, basically, not being an island unto themselves. It is understood that a company is part of the community, and must engage with it as such. While some organizations have grasped this better than others, it is something that society now demands if they are going to invest in the future of that company.
As a young business person, I have found it increasingly important to think about giving back to my community and the world around me. While I believe it is important to start at home, before trying to help people in other countries, it is important to gain a global perspective on the landscape around us; how systems are interacting on a global platform to impact our everyday lives and decision-making processes. About a year and a half ago I worked for a Philanthropreneur who opened my eyes to the world of philanthropy, and the idea of Microfinance, Microloans, etc. From there, he shared with me the concepts of MacroFinance, and Macroloans. This world helped me to delve into the contemporary definition of philanthropy (and how we may come to see it tomorrow – the Philanthropreneur I worked for is ahead of his time).
Especially with the introduction of the Internet, people have started to believe that nation-state lines are blurring, and that we are becoming part of a global community. Civil upheavals such as the ones that took place in Libya and Egypt, were not confined to the nation-state as its citizens used the Internet, specifically, social media, to communicate globally. Despite the global communication, is the term “global citizenship” truly exemplified across sovereign-state borders?