Understanding the Corporate Perspective for Giving

Date: September 14, 2012 Author: Kevin Maynard Categories: default-import-blog-type-1

Why would a corporation want to give to schools? The answers may not be as obvious as you think.

In my role of Marketing VP for a couple large multi-national conglomerates, I was frequently tasked with finding suitable charities. This gave me a perspective that I’m going to use in these blogs to help schools understand how best to connect to Corporate Canada. My thinking is that if we know what corporations are looking for, we have an easier time addressing their needs – while they address ours.

It’s probably worth dealing with a common misconception. The term I often hear is “tax shelter”. There are still people who believe that corporations NEED to give to charity to gain tax benefits. Not in Canada. The tax reductions from charitable giving cut some of the sting – but every penny donated would have fallen to the bottom line – and back to shareholders. There is no more direct financial benefit from giving than there is for you, as an individual.

But there can be public perception and awareness benefits to companies seen to be actively supporting charities. And if we want to encourage this support, we need to help work towards those benefits.

This doesn’t mean advertising in schools. That kind of exposure is usually perceived negatively, and can be detrimental. So there’s a fine line of what I’ll call “brand management”, letting the public know of the support, without seeming to be giving for selfish reasons.

Thinking through “brand management”, is just one of the considerations we need to give corporations in order to encourage them to give to schools. Finding that right balance between a school’s needs and the corporation’s needs can result in a win-win scenario for both. Scholmark helps manage corporate branding in an acceptable manner for both schools and the corporation.



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