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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Strategic CSR - Philanthropy

The article in the url below contains good news (Chapter 3: How Much Does CSR Matter? p64):

According to the Aspen Institute’s most recent Grey Pinstripes report, a biannual survey of business school education, 36 of the world’s business schools now offer philanthropy-related courses. The movement has also taken off at the undergraduate level. According to Campus Compact, a national coalition of universities and colleges that promotes civic engagement, there are approximately 100 courses offered across the country on the topic. Many classes give students a set amount of money that they can donate to local nonprofits in their community.

I found this statement interesting, though:

In the last few years, interest in philanthropy and fundraising classes has grown as more business schools emphasize ethics and corporate responsibility in the curriculum.

I am still trying to work out what exactly is the connection between CSR and philanthropy (Chapter 3: How Much Does CSR Matter? p56). The more I think about it, however, the smaller it seems to be. Although there are specific tax advantages to a for-profit firm in donating money (as well as marketing-related benefits if employed strategically), unless there is a direct connection to business operations, the argument for firms donating large sums in areas in which they have low levels of expertise is difficult to make.

Have a good weekend

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Philanthropy Gains Eager Followers in B-Schools
Bloomberg Businessweek
By Alison Damast
Aug 18, 2011
MBA and undergraduate courses on philanthropy are proliferating as interest grows among a generation of B-school idealists