Forbes Philanthropy article featuring DEMA Global Affiliate members; Renovation Angel
Robert Reiss, Contributor
We recently entered the 4th phase of the corporation. First, in the 1920s Alfred Sloan created the concept of the corporation with General Motors; second in the 1950s Peter Drucker codified the discipline of management; third, in the 1980s Japanese introduced team and quality. And now we are in the fourth phase — the epoch of integrating purpose and profit. The leaders of integrating purpose and profit are redefining the concept of philanthropy. Below are five leaders — all with very different industry leading models — who share their thoughts on philanthropy.
– Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP www.cecp.co
– Suzanne DiBianca, EVP, Corporate Relations and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce.com www.salesforce.com
– Steve Feldman, Founding CEO, Renovation Angel www.renovationangel.org
– Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick’s Foundation www.stbaldricks.org
– Dan Sullivan, CEO, Collette www.gocollette.com
Robert Reiss: Describe your philanthropic model and why it’s so important
Daryl Brewster: While CECP has roots in philanthropy, the organization has advanced its engagement model to what CECP calls a “social strategy.” Today, CECP is a CEO-led coalition uniting 200+ of the world’s largest companies that collectively represent $7 trillion in revenues, $18.6 billion in societal investment, 13 million employees, and $15 trillion in assets under management. CECP helps companies transform their approach to deliver societal and business benefit, boost the effectiveness of their social strategies, and live the strong values stakeholders are looking for. CECP seeks to communicate the positive impact companies make as they uncover the business case and competitive advantage of community engagement, and accelerate the progress of companies by imparting best practices and making connections with relevant resources and peers.
Suzanne DiBianca: Salesforce is committed to equality and we believe philanthropy should be integrated into the fabric of a company. Since day one, we’ve been making the world a better place through our 1-1-1 model of integrated corporate philanthropy, which leverages our resources for public good: donating 1% of Salesforce’s product, equity and employee time to help nonprofits achieve their missions. Salesforce is the world’s fastest growing top five enterprise software company, and as we grow, so does our ability to give back to the community. Since 1999, Salesforce has powered technology for more than 31,000 NGOs; provided $160 million in grants; and logged two million volunteer hours. In addition, more than 1,800 companies have adopted our 1-1-1 model through Pledge 1%. Giving back early has been the best decision we ever made — it created a culture that enables us to attract and retain the best and the brightest.
Steve Feldman: Renovation Angel, an “entrepreneurial charity” established in Greenwich, CT, earns non-traditional revenue through demolition and renovation donations. Renovation Angel transforms a wasted resource, thousands of luxury kitchens headed to overcrowded landfills, into millions of dollars of new jobs and funding for other charities – feeding hungry children and job training for youth-at-risk. Since 2005, over $17 million of jobs created, over $2.2 million distributed to other non-profits, and over 29 million pounds diverted from the landfills. Renovation Angel discovered a market void in America — the recycling and repurposing of pre-owned luxury kitchens, furniture and renovation items. Donors receive a full tax deduction and free, white-glove, insured removal. Consumers can purchase “luxury bargains” at a 43,000 square foot retail showroom in Fairfield, NJ. Our donors are high-net worth property owners including members of the Forbes 400, celebrities, and sports stars. Renovation Angel is self-sustaining and does not fund-raise or accept government grants.
Kathleen Ruddy: In the U.S., more children are lost to cancer than any other disease. However, the pharmaceutical industry devotes less than 1% of its cancer budget to pediatric research, most cancer charities focus on adult cancers, and the U.S. federal cancer budget dedicates only 4% to childhood cancers. This lack of funding inspired the St. Baldrick’s Foundation employs volunteer power to engage people from all walks of life. Our best-known program involves events where volunteers shave their heads. On the surface, we shave to stand bald with kids who lose their hair during treatment. But the true goal — to cure childhood cancer — is accomplished as our shavees raise funds for lifesaving childhood cancer research. To date, funds raised total more than $200 million in life-saving childhood cancer research grants, making us the largest non-governmental funder — and proving that every person can have an impact on children’s futures.
Dan Sullivan: Collette’s philanthropic model is important because it is part of the fabric of Collette. Every employee receives four paid hours each month. Employees routinely get out into their communities to get involved directly in our mission, from feeding the homeless and spending time at food pantries to mentoring at-risk youth. We are launching impact travel programs (in both Ecuador and South Africa) to take this to the next level. Giving back to our communities at home and our communities that we travel to make the world a better place and this is a key value that the Sullivan family has as part of our core values.
Reiss: What are the global community issues that you believe CEOs should focus on most?
Sullivan: I believe CEO’s have a responsibility of leading their organization in making the world a better place. A big part of that responsibility is making the communities their company is involved a better place. At Collette we believe that education and nutrition are key areas that help the children in that community thrive. Without food children cant learn and without education they cannot become the future leaders that will make their community thrive. CEOs have a bigger role than just the bottom line, they have a responsibility to make their communities a better place.
Ruddy: Cancer is the #1 non-communicable disease among children in every country in the world. In developing countries, opportunities exist to increase survival significantly, for a relatively low financial investment. St. Baldrick’s is helping to create these opportunities by funding the training of physician-scholars to become pediatric oncologists, and improve their capacity to do good research.
Feldman: Creating jobs through new industries that are solving both economic and environmental issues. New enterprises must be a “win-win” for all stakeholders — the owners, the employees, the consumers, and the earth.
DiBianca: Any company can give back because every company has employee time, financial resources and a product or service. At Salesforce, we want to ensure that the technology revolution makes the world a more equal place. This translates into a focus on education, workforce development and the environment.
If we all just do one thing for the communities where we live and work, we can have a tremendous impact. It can be as simple as adopting a public school, volunteering your time or providing technology and services. I always tell CEOs that companies can be powerful platforms for change and that your employees will guide you on what’s important to them.
Brewster: CECP sees six key trends that should be top of mind for CEOs: Calibrating a purpose-driven workforce; shifting capital to companies committed to a sustainable future; engaging on social issues important to company stakeholders; broadening the definition of “doing good” by levering skills and assets, not just cash; connecting their core business strategy to solutions in the areas of global poverty, health, climate, and more; encouraging employees to live their passions through work through personalized engagement offerings.
… In summary, in a world of social media both the good and bad get amplified. This is the time for all great companies to explore the most important way to connect with their employees, customers, communities and shareholders – become a truly philanthropic enterprise and societal brand.
To hear commercial-free interviews with these and other CEOs go to www.ceoforum.ceo