Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others. Some successful businessmen and women feel that they would like to give something back to the society in which they live.
Many people donate money to charities, often each year when they receive the annual calendar, but modern philanthropists want to go further. They do not simply wish to donate money; they want more involvement. Some will not only donate their money but also their time. Modern philanthropists are much more conscious of where their money goes and how much good it does. Many of the top philanthropists give their money away because they want to make a difference. They want to change lives, and their money can achieve that.
Philanthropy benefits both the community and the business. The community benefits from having an individual or business that is committed to starting and funding good projects, whether it is a scanner for the local hospital or computers for the local school. A business benefits because it raises its profile. In a time when stories can travel rapidly around the internet, a good reputation is important. It can also help to motivate, retain and improve the loyalty of employees.
Many companies that wish to invest in philanthropy will involve their employees in deciding which charities or causes to donate to. Employees can also be encouraged to volunteer their time in the community, and giving employees time off to allow them to do this can make them feel that they are doing something worthwhile and that their efforts are appreciated by the company. Two popular ways in which companies donate their money is by matching gift programs, in which the company matches eligible employee donations with their own (this can double or even treble the amount of money donated), and volunteer grant programs, in which the business donates money in exchange for the employees volunteering their time and skills.
Popular areas for companies to donate to are health, education, and poverty. Most companies will choose causes that are in line with their business. For example, as Pepsi is a beverage and food giant, it chooses causes such as access to clean water, sustainable agriculture, and affordable nutrition.
The Lord Laidlaw Research and Leadership Scholarships are five scholarships for students studying in the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications at the University of Leeds. The scholarships are for students who come from less-privileged backgrounds and is part of the Access to Leeds initiative, which works in the local communities and schools to raise young people’s aspirations.
Bill and Melinda Gates have used their fortune to support a number of causes. Their Global Health Division aims to use advances in technology and science to save lives in developing countries. They have donated millions of dollars to the fight against malaria, a disease that kills thousands of people in poor countries. Their Global Development Division is working to help lift the world’s poorest people out of poverty.
Philanthropy has a long history and can bring benefits to both businesses and communities.