Giving Beyond Borders

October 9, 2013

In the more than 20 years I have spent working in the international development sector, I have seen corporate giving transform from simple philanthropy to companies seeking to become a true partner in addressing global challenges alongside NGOs. As corporations become more global, so does their giving; businesses are targeting their corporate social responsibility efforts in communities abroad in which they operate, have a customer base or just see a need. This is happening at a very opportune time.

As U.S. public funding for global development declines, there is a strong need for increased private and corporate participation in development programs worldwide. Given these circumstances, Global Impact decided to take a deeper look at what drives U.S. corporations to give money and invest in development programs outside the U.S.

Today, we are releasing the results of our research study, “Giving Beyond Borders: A Study of Global Giving by U.S. Corporations.” The study, performed by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, explores the scope and depth of international giving by U.S. corporations and examines what makes corporate-nonprofit partnerships successful.

The study identified two major determining factors that propel U.S. corporations to give to a program or charity in a foreign host country:

  • Needs in local communities (78 percent of companies surveyed said this was a priority)
  • A given company’s financial performance in that country (52 percent of companies surveyed responded this way)

The study also showed that corporations seek nonprofit partners that align with their own philanthropic and business goals in the following categories:

  • Mission (77 percent)
  • Geographic footprint (51 percent)
  • Focus area (40 percent)

The main attributes companies look for when selecting a nonprofit partner are:

  • A record of producing effective and efficient results (68 percent)
  • Accountability (25 percent)
  • Reputation (17 percent)

At Global Impact, we work every day to support partnerships between corporations and international nonprofits, so we are especially excited to participate in efforts to raise CSR awareness through events like BCLC’s conference. Corporate investments in community programs are becoming increasingly vital to the success of global development. It is incredibly rewarding to watch CSR evolve in this way and to know that we have a hand in shaping its future.

About the Author:

Scott Jackson is the President and CEO of Global Impact. A global development, fundraising and marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience, he holds direct responsibility for fundraising campaigns, workplace giving, advisory services, partnerships and strategic alliances. Mr. Jackson provides leadership, direction and oversight for all aspects of the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas and secretariat services for the Hilton Laureates Collaborative. In addition, he led the administration of the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area during the 2012 season. Previously, Scott served as VP for External Relations at PATH, as an SVP at World Vision US, and as President of APCO Seattle. Mr. Jackson received an MBA from the University of Edinburgh. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree and an honorary Doctorate from the University of Puget Sound.