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Are you working with Philanthropic Organizations?

Today I joined my company’s charitable committee, ExactIMPACT. I don’t always have the opportunity or resources to give back so I decided that I should do some charity work at the place I spend the most time at! This Thanksgiving is looking pretty bleak for charities who watch over so many in our society who can not take care of themselves. That’s a pretty sad statement given the strength of our economy. One statistic to keep in mind is that when people measure unemployment, they are really only counting the folks utilizing unemployment funds. There are many more people that are unemployed and looking for jobs that can not get them.

The CorporationIn any economic boom, it’s companies that really thrive. If you’ve not had the opportunity to watch it, I would recommend The Corporation. The movie does pull some ‘lefty’ strings, but I admire the general premise of the movie… that is ‘corporations’ have no other duty except to make profits. That’s the only duty that a stock has for a stockholder.

As a result, many companies forego participation in charities and other philanthropic acts. That’s really unfortunate. But many companies DO, and you don’t hear about them often. Scott Dorsey, CEO of ExactTarget, spoke today about Salesforce and what a driving philanthropic force they are. I never knew! I found a recent article that speaks to it:

Benioff ensured that the company adopted a model of donating 1% of equity, 1% of profits and 1% of employee time right from the start. Salesforce.comâ?’s IPO in the summer of 2004 instantly turned that 1% of equity into a $12 million asset base, turning the foundation into a substantial organization overnight. But the donation of staff time is the most important aspect of the arrangement in Benioffâ?’s view because it ensures the whole company participates in the philanthropic program, profoundly affecting the companyâ?’s culture.

Scott is challenging our committee to organize our philanthropic efforts to be just as measurable as Salesforce. That’s a pretty awesome challenge! Work like that is quite gratifying. I’m glad to be a part of the committee and part of the company. If you believe companies should do more, perhaps you should start asking your vendors how they are giving back to society. If there was more pressure for corporations to do more, they would not obtain the success they wish without being generous. One of the organizations we are looking to help is the Wheeler Mission:

Wheeler Mission stats, Indianapolis:

  • There are as many as 15,000 people who are homeless in our city every year
  • Total lodging provided: 5,960
  • Total number of meals served: 19,133
  • Total number of grocery bags distributed: 434
  • 68 men were on our “Special Needs” program: that’s more than ever before on that program

On a similar note, The Wheeler Mission here in town really needs your help this year. If you can, drop off some food: Turkey, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, Stuffing, Green Beans, Green Salad, Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Dinner Rolls, Apple Cider, Cakes and Pies. You can also donate online! Wheeler is also looking for 100 volunteers to help with the Drumstick Dash, their biggest fundraiser of the year.

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