The Consulting arm of a ‘Big Four’ global professional services firm was spun off from the parent firm as a separate, publicly held corporation. The company needed to build its own infrastructure and support processes. One of the areas that needed to be established for this stand-alone company was a global philanthropy program, to serve local and global communities, enhance marketplace presence and improve employee morale. The team designed and implemented a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
The approach for the team was to work with the senior corporate executives, leadership of the Human Resources, Communications and Legal teams and business leaders around the global network to define a strategy, establish an organization, set up the legal structure and develop programs that would engage both the corporate teams and business units as well as mobilize and leverage the talent around the globe. The project team met with corporate executives and used structured interviews to understand the company’s business priorities and identify synergies with corporate philanthropy strategies. Based on the results of interviews, benchmarking the programs of both similar and differing businesses and a review of current best practices in the field, the team then defined and developed an organization and program strategy on a limited budget to coordinate with corporate strategy. The objective of the global philanthropy program was to best leverage donated funds from the corporation and its employees, along with volunteer time to support programs that utilize the key competencies of the business, as well as support areas of interest to employees around the globe. A core team from corporate was established and supported by a Steering Committee of senior executives, a Working Group reflective of the business units and global regions to support and enable initiatives while building a coordinated approach, and a network with assigned office teams to execute programs at the local level. Minor investment in technologies such as a volunteer web exchange, a web based matching gift program and workplace giving campaign provided efficient tools and enabled rapid responses to natural disasters and other crises.
The established program, based on a very limited budget, accomplished several objectives. The employee involvement programs which included matching gifts, office fund raisers and pledge-a-thons, volunteer and community grants, workplace giving campaigns and volunteer days enhanced employee satisfaction, while providing valued support in local communities. The integrated approach to corporate social responsibility utilized Foundation grants to support both efforts in company targeted areas and employees’ areas of interest, and the involvement of the team in various internal and external forums improved the corporate image, both internally and with external constituencies.