What Corporate Philanthropy Looks Like in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to re-evaluate their corporate philanthropy programs. Here’s a look at what some companies are doing to help during these difficult times.

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Definition of Corporate Philanthropy

The practice of corporate philanthropy has changed a lot in recent years. Businesses have become more strategic in their giving, often tying their donations to their business goals. As a result, corporate philanthropy has become more impactful and sustainable.

Types of Corporate Philanthropy

There are many different types of corporate philanthropy, but broadly speaking, it can be divided into three main categories:

1. Grants and donations
This is the most common type of corporate philanthropy, and it involves giving money to charitable causes. Grants can be given to organizations that are working on issues that align with the company’s values, or they can be given on a more ad hoc basis.

2. Volunteer programs
Another common type of corporate philanthropy is volunteer programs. These programs involve employees volunteering their time to work on projects that benefit the community. Volunteer programs can be one-time events or ongoing initiatives.

3. Employee giving programs
Employee giving programs are a way for companies to encourage their employees to donate to charitable causes. Some employee giving programs match employee donations dollar for dollar, while others simply provide a platform for employees to donate to causes that they care about.

Importance of Corporate Philanthropy

Philanthropy has always been an important aspect of society, but it has taken on new meaning in recent years. In the wake of natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other global crises, corporations have stepped up their philanthropic efforts to help those in need. And as we head into 2020, it’s clear that corporate philanthropy is only going to become more important.

Why Do Companies Engage in Corporate Philanthropy?

Corporate philanthropy takes many different forms, but at its heart, it is a way for companies to invest in causes and communities that are important to them.

There are many reasons why companies choose to engage in corporate philanthropy. For some, it is a way to give back to the community and make a positive impact. For others, it is a way to build goodwill and create positive PR. And for still others, it is a way to attract and retain employees who are looking for meaningful work.

Whatever the reason, corporate philanthropy can be an important part of a company’s overall strategy. When done well, it can help create a strong sense of purpose and community among employees, build goodwill with customers and clients, and make a positive impact on the world.

How Has Corporate Philanthropy Changed in 2020?

Corporate philanthropy has come a long way since it first began in the early 20th century. In the past, companies would primarily focus on donating to local charities or causes. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards global giving and companies are now looking to make a difference on a larger scale. Let’s take a look at how corporate philanthropy has changed in 2020.

The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work, and corporate philanthropy is no exception.

For many businesses, philanthropy has always been about more than just writing a check. It’s an opportunity to give back to the community, build employee morale, and attract and retain customers. But in 2020, businesses are being forced to reexamine their philanthropic priorities in the face of an unprecedented global crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives in so many ways, and corporate philanthropy is no exception. Here’s a look at how businesses are changing their approach to giving in 2020:

1. Prioritizing employee giving: In the past, businesses have typically taken a hands-off approach to employee giving, matching donations or offering volunteer opportunities. But this year, many companies are taking a more active role in promoting employee giving by making donations on behalf of their employees or offering matching gifts for employees who give to COVID-19 relief efforts.

2. Focusing on immediate needs: The pandemic has created an immediate need for financial assistance, and businesses are responding by redirecting their charitable dollars to relief efforts. From providing meals for front-line workers to supporting small businesses impacted by shutdowns, businesses are focused on meeting the most pressing needs of their communities.

3. Supporting causes that align with their values: In addition to addressing immediate needs, businesses are also supporting causes that align with their values and mission. For example, many healthcare companies are donating money and resources to fight COVID-19, while other businesses are supporting social justice initiatives in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

4. Encouraging employee involvement: In addition to making charitable donations, businesses are also encouraging employees to get involved in causes they care about. This can take the form of paid time off for volunteer work or matching gifts for employees who make personal donations to qualifying organizations.

5. Rethinking their approach to giving: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to rethink their approach to giving, both in terms of how they donate money and how they engage employees in philanthropic activities. As we move into a new normal, it will be interesting to see how these changes continue to shape corporate philanthropy.

The Rise of Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have given businesses a new way to connect with potential customers and build brand awareness. Many businesses have found that they can use social media to connect with potential customers, build relationships, and even generate sales.

In the past, businesses would typically donate money to charities or sponsor events to show their support for a cause. However, in recent years, we’ve seen a shift towards businesses using social media to show their support for causes.

One of the most notable examples of this is the #IceBucketChallenge, which went viral on social media in 2014. The challenge involved people dumping a bucket of ice water over their head to raise awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The challenge was successful in raising both awareness and funds for ALS research.

Since then, we’ve seen other businesses use social media to support causes. For example, in 2016, the clothing company REI launched a social media campaign called #OptOutside. The campaign encouraged people to spend time outside rather than shopping on Black Friday. The campaign was successful in getting people to spend time outside and also generated good publicity for REI.

In 2020, we’re seeing even more businesses using social media to support causes. We’re also seeing businesses getting more creative with their philanthropy efforts. For example, some businesses are using social media to challenge their employees to take part in physical activities like walking or running. Others are using social media to raise money for charity by asking people to donate money when they make a purchase from their business.

It’s clear that corporate philanthropy is changing in 2020. Businesses are starting to use social media more and more to support causes. This trend is likely to continue in the years ahead as businesses increasingly look for ways to connect with potential customers and build brand awareness through philanthropy.

What Does the Future Hold for Corporate Philanthropy?

As we move into a new decade, it’s important to reflect on the changes that have taken place in the world of corporate philanthropy. In the past decade, we’ve seen an increase in companies incorporating social responsibility into their business models. We’ve also seen a shift away from traditional philanthropy, where companies simply write a check to a charity. Now, more and more companies are looking for ways to make a lasting impact. So, what does the future hold for corporate philanthropy?

Increased transparency

As society at large becomes more concerned with social and environmental issues, companies are under increased pressure to be more transparent about their philanthropic efforts. In 2020, we expect to see more companies releasing detailed reports on their charitable giving, outlining not only how much money they give but also where and why they are giving it. This increased transparency will help to build trust between companies and the communities they support.

In addition, we expect to see more companies using philanthropy as a way to engage employees and customers. For example, some companies may start matching employee donations to charity, or offering discounts to customers who make charitable donations. This trend is part of a larger move towards using business as a force for good, and we believe it will continue to grow in the coming years.

More focus on social and environmental issues

The next decade will see corporations zeroing in on social and environmental issues, according to a new study on corporate philanthropy.

The study, conducted by the research firm Cone Communications, found that 86 percent of Gen Z and Millennial consumers expect companies to do more than make profit – they expect them to address social and environmental issues.

Furthermore, nearly 9 in 10 consumers said they would purchase a product because it supports a cause, and more than 8 in 10 would boycott a company that doesn’t align with their values.

With values-driven consumers increasingly holding the purse strings, it’s no surprise that cause marketing has been on the rise in recent years. And as the next generation of consumers comes of age, this trend is only expected to continue.

We can expect to see more companies partnering with nonprofits to address social and environmental issues in the coming years. We’re already seeing this happen with companies like Patagonia, which has partnered with 1% for the Planet since its inception in 2002. Under this partnership, Patagonia donates 1% of its sales to environmental causes.

As corporate philanthropy evolves to meet the demands of young consumers, we can expect to see more companies following Patagonia’s lead and putting their money where their values are.


In conclusion, corporate philanthropy has taken on many different forms in 2020. From companies donating money to causes that are important to them, to employees volunteering their time to help those in need, there are many ways that businesses are giving back. While the pandemic has forced many companies to cut back on their charitable giving, others have stepped up and found innovative ways to continue their support. As we move into 2021, it will be interesting to see how corporate philanthropy evolves.

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