This is the start of a four week series on corporate philanthropy, based on research, best practices and personal experience from the field. We’ll keep it entertaining and packed with good useful information that will help you develop your own Corporate Giving program. To follow along, bookmark and check back daily, or subscribe to the blog using the button at the bottom of this page (left side). But don’t just follow along. Ask questions, challenge observations, make recommendations, share your own experience, invite friends to participate.
Many of us have been in the philanthropy industry for years….maybe even decades…and we have much to lean on when we think about corporate giving. We know it is changing, it’s evident around us, and we know it has evolved over time, through some pretty hairy and weird years, to some truly meaningful examples. I’m going to ask us to set all of that aside for the next few weeks.
Let me start with a short, true, story to help us understand perspective and prepare our frame of mind. This story came to me from a friend.
“Years back a group of scientists in New Guinea visited a tribe who believed their world ended at the river. After several months, one of the scientists had to leave, which involved crossing the river. Safely across the river, he turned and waved at the tribesman he had left behind. They did not respond, because they said they did not see him. Their entrenched beliefs about their world had distorted their perception of reality.”
But changing beliefs can be hard, right?
Let me give you an example.
Look at this door panel of squares. Now stare at the X in the center and think circles. What happens?
The circles that appeared when you thought ‘circles’, are an example of a shift in your perception of reality.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
That’s why, in this series on corporate philanthropy, I’m asking you to abandon your old beliefs, your old perceptions about what you think you know about corporate giving, and become open to new understandings. In the words of our old friend Stephen Covey: Seek first to understand.
This month of posts on meeting corporate philanthropy where it’s headed, will help us to understand the influences on corporations as they strategize their giving efforts. We’ll identify influences on the sector. We’ll connect with company goals and needs, and explore key behaviors in winning partnerships. Not winning in the Charlie Sheen way, but in the way that provides outcomes and benefits for both the corporation AND the nonprofit partners.
A busy few weeks, but worth the investment if you want to create sustainable, efficient and effective corporate philanthropy revenue streams.
So join in, ask questions, engage, share, learn, enjoy.