Philanthropy means the act of donating money, goods, time or effort to support a charitable cause in regard to a defined objective. Philanthropy can be equated with benevolence and charity for the poor and needy. Philanthropy can be any selfless giving towards any kind of social need that is not served, underserved, or perceived as unserved or underserved. Philanthropy can be by an individual or by a corporate. The Etymological origin of the word is from Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthrÅpia, from philanthrÅpos loving people that is phil- + anthrÅpos human being. It is the active effort to promote human welfare. Corporate Social Responsibilty on the other hand is about how a company aligns their values to social causes by including and collaborating with their investors, suppliers, employees, regulators and the society as a whole. The investment in CSR may be on people centric issues and/or planet issues. A CSR initiative of a corporate is not a selfless act of giving; companies derive long-term benefits from the CSR initiatives and it is this enlightened self interest which is driving the CSR initiatives in companies.
ADVANTAGES OF GOOD CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP
Business cannot exist in isolation; business cannot be oblivious to societal development. The social responsibility of business can be integrated into the business purpose so as to build a positive synergy between the two.
1. CSR creates a favorable public image, which attracts customers. Reputation or brand equity of the products of a company which understands and demonstrates its social responsibilities is very high. Customers trust the products of such a company and are willing to pay a premium on its products. Organizations that perform well with regard to CSR can build reputation, while those that perform poorly can damage brand and company value when exposed. Brand equity, is founded on values such as trust, credibility, reliability, quality and consistency.
2. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities have its advantages. It builds up a positive image encouraging social involvement of employees, which in Government regulation and public policy tend to bring the bare minimum involvement by the corporates towards their corporate responsibilities beyond this legal framework should come up voluntarily. turn develops a sense of loyalty towards the organization, helping in creating a dedicated workforce proud of its company. Employees like to contribute to the cause of creating a better society. Employees become champions of a company for which they are proud to work.
3. Society gains through better neighborhoods’ and employment opportunities, while the organization benefits from a better community, which is the main source of its workforce and the consumer of its products.
4. Public needs have changed leading to changed expectations from consumers. The industry/business owes its very existence society and has to respond to needs of the society.
5. The company's social involvement discourages excessive regulation or intervention from the Government or statutory bodies, and hence gives greater freedom and flexibility in decision-making.
6. The internal activities of the organization have an impact on the external environment, since the society is an inter-dependent system.
7. A business organization has a great deal of power and money, entrusted upon it by the society and should be accompanied by an equal amount of responsibility. In other words, there should be a balance between the authority and responsibility.
8. The good public image secured by one organization by their social responsiveness encourages other organizations in the neighborhood or in the professional group to adapt themselves to achieve their social responsiveness.
9. The atmosphere of social responsiveness encourages co-operative attitude between groups of companies. One company can advise or solve social problems that other organizations could not solve.
10. Companies can better address the grievances of its employees and create employment opportunities for the unemployed.
11. A company with its “ear to the ground” through regular stakeholder dialogue is in a better position to anticipate and respond to regulatory, economic, social and environmental changes that may occur.
12. Financial institutions are increasingly incorporating social and environmental criteria into their assessment of projects. When making decisions about where to place their money, investors are looking for indicators of effective CSR management.
13. In a number of jurisdictions, governments have expedited approval processes for firms that have undertaken social and environmental activities beyond those required by regulation.
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