Release Date: 30 November, 2021
Philanthropy is no longer a corporate tick-box
Philanthropy has always been treated as a ‘nice to have’ and not so much a ‘must have’.
Many corporates have done their social responsibility interventions mostly as a ‘tick-box’ within their family or corporate foundations (and or disciplines) and not so much an essential, conscientious response to the societal challenges around them. This has been evident mostly where certain donations, be they monetary or in assets, have either been underutilised or completely deemed off the mark when it comes to the needs of the recipient because usually the donation itself is not informed by an actual need on the ground, but more of a spray-and-pray approach. In other instances, the donation would be akin to a ‘garage sale’ where companies that need to get rid of excess assets (and not necessarily responding to a specific need), simply find charities to whom they can push assets they no longer need and, frankly, care less if their generosity has any meaningful impact.
But who complains, after all, a gift is a gift, right?
Well, the unfolding humanitarian crisis, sponsored by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has all but taken the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands the world over and displaced many more, has brought to the fore the need for a scientific approach to philanthropy and not as a mere corporate discipline that can yield tax incentives to the donor. As a matter of fact, according to the IPASA Philanthropy Symposium, this year held in Cape Town, ‘We stand at a critical time for our world, where we are confronted with an urgent need to find, fund and support transformative solutions at a far greater pace than ever.’ The symposium, also raised issues about the need to grow philanthropy practices; future-proofing philanthropy against climate change; next-generation philanthropists and taking advantage of deep impact and inclusionary innovation, through regenerative economic practices.