4% of the world’s billionaire are of Indian origin. In comparison to most developing countries, philanthropy in India has grown a lot in the recent years. No longer are we caught in the stereotype that the Indian population is engaged in philanthropy and giving, but only when it comes to temples and religious institutions. In the recent years, it has been observed that India’s younger generation has created a new wave of social responsibility in giving. As the Indian economy is growing with the spending capacity of people increasing, the individualistic mindset of people is also undergoing a change. Such a change in thought isn’t just limited to individuals and groups, but also corporate, who have recognized the benefits of what has been termed as – ‘strategic giving’.
Let’s begin by understanding what strategic giving really is. No, it isn’t just an annual CSR activity where you sign a grant cheque for a non profit, and in turn gain some goodwill. The relationship between a corporate and a nonprofit is much more nuanced, in a way that ensures both are equal beneficiaries of the partnership. This means companies ensure that their charitable giving activities are targeted towards a certain issue that will support their own business objectives. For that, companies need a pre-determined strategy that includes, goals, budgets, investments, and long-term giving objectives. That said, strategic giving can be narrowed down by certain criteria that define its underlying logic.
- Fundraising activities are chosen based on pragmatic rationale, as opposed to emotion.
- A company’s fundraiser will have a common area of focus, one that aligns to its value objectives.
- A strategic giver aims to give larger donations, but to fewer causes.
- Strategic giving isn’t just about money, but also about volunteering, collaboration, and activating personal networks.
Contemporary philanthropy has taken many different forms. With technology and digitization playing a major role in our lives, the newer generation is leaning towards online giving through online donations. One simply has to choose an online crowdfunding platform and set up a campaign for the cause. Especially with the impact of demonetization on our economy, crowdfunding in India is picking up pace quickly. All of these factors, among others, need to be taken into consideration before creating a concrete plan of strategic giving for an organization. Besides, it’s not enough to just have an initial plan, such a form of philanthropy is an ongoing process that requires timely monitoring and evaluation. To provide deeper insight into such a process, we’ve listed out the elements that one should consider before developing a plan of strategic philanthropy.
The fundamental reason for giving
Define your aspirations. The underlying theme of any philanthropic activity needs to be to create an impact and bring a change. If you are able to understand the purpose you want to achieve through your charitable deeds and donations, then you’ll have more clarity on how to go about it. The best way to figure this one out is by imagining the outcome you would like to see from your efforts. When you know which cause matter to you most, you’ll be able to carefully select a few organizations to support.
How you’ll go about it
Consolidate all the resources you are putting in. This means you need to determine your financial resources available for donations, your team that will be involved, volunteer work, and the time you can dedicate to the project.
The channels through which you will give
Determining a tangible way to donate, one that best suits your organization is an important element of strategic giving. With the development of concepts like crowdfunding, most people are opting for online giving. Also remember that money isn’t everything. You can add value, through personal resources, personal networks, communication assistance, etc.
The time frame
How far ahead are you willing to commit? In most cases, strategic giving involves a long-term relationship, wherein the nonprofit and the company are dependent on each other in equal parts. Having long-term plans allow financial stability to a nonprofit. However, the time frame depends entirely on a company’s business forecast.
Strategic philanthropists are most successful when their charitable giving reflects the vision and mission of their own businesses. The reason is that donating to an organization doesn’t just mean giving a donation, but it means that you have aligned yourself with their cause. Therefore it is vital to pick organizations that you are comfortable being associated with for a long time. Going further beyond, organizations should aim to leave a legacy with their philanthropic strategy. Take the example of the TATA group, that is known and honored for their contribution in the charitable sector. With regards to philanthropy in India, the TATA group formed one of the largest trusts that has fueled innumerable development projects in the country.
Strategic giving make a difference not only in how you are viewed, but also in increasing business opportunities, drawing in employees, as well as in providing a meaningful way to express one’s personal philosophies. Now, more than ever, corporates are in the midst of a culture that propagates social responsibility. With an array of options such as online fundraising and crowdfunding, corporates have the chance to grow their philanthropic portfolio and make it as comprehensive as possible. Implementing a strong strategy for giving is the best way to do well in your own ventures, as well as to make a difference in society.