Doing Well and Doing Good

Preview Image: 
April 27, 2020

Category:

Timothy J. McClimon, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility

Ever since Benjamin Franklin counseled Americans to “do well by doing good,” individuals and companies have debated the proper mix of capitalism and philanthropy in society. Corporations in particular have weighed the pros and cons of focusing on earnings versus stakeholders, and the Business Roundtable last year weighed in by stating that companies should be concerned about serving all of their stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, their communities, and shareholders.

Today, it’s hard to turn on a television or scroll through a social media site without noticing companies that are helping their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Car companies are offering deals to customers who may have lost their jobs, hospitality companies are supplying free rooms to healthcare workers, retailers are opening their parking lots and storefronts to serve as virus testing sites, restaurants are offering contactless deliveries, and technology companies are racing to invent novel ways of tracking critical health information.

Companies are contributing much-needed funds to nonprofit organizations on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on communities around the world. American Express has made over $6 million in contributions to assist frontline healthcare workers and food banks to organizations such as the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the CDC Foundation, Feeding America, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, City Harvest and United Way. Companies are also working to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs in their communities as well as donating critical medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics. And, they are encouraging their employees to virtually volunteer for nonprofits through platforms such as Catchafire and Taproot Foundation, which work to connect social-impact organizations with volunteers from the business world.

While many companies have stepped up to help victims of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and tornadoes in the past, the current level of philanthropic support and community service is truly global and unprecedented. And, it’s being driven by employees at all levels and corporate leaders who understand the need for compassion in these times. Maybe it’s just good business, but it’s also good citizenship.

It is clear that communities will continue to need the backing of nonprofits and their corporate partners in the months ahead as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to reverberate around the world. As individuals, there are ways we each can help while following social distancing guidelines:

  • Volunteer Virtually: The Points of Light network has a database dedicated to volunteer opportunities that people can do from their homes. Many companies also have corporate volunteer programs for their colleagues, with virtual options.
  • Donate financially: Charity Navigator, which assesses charities’ performance, has a portal dedicated to reputable organizations who are aiding in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Support small businesses: Small businesses are the heart and soul of communities, and they have been among the hardest hit by the shutdown. Consider helping your local businesses by ordering delivery, purchasing online or buying gift cards.


Portions of this blog post first appeared on Forbes.

Thanks for reading and sharing this blog posting with friends and colleagues.




Business Wire NewsHQsm