‘Envisioning Business at its Best’ is the timely theme for the annual Corporate Philanthropy Summit that begins today, a key program sponsored by the New York-based Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. Over the next two days CECP members, practitioners, thought leaders, government officials and experts in corporate and social engagement will examine their strategies, programs and partnerships and grapple with the overarching question of the impact of this work on the important societal challenges facing communities around the world.
During a pre-summit event, the CECP research team provided a brief overview of Trends in Corporate Giving extracted from data from the Corporate Giving Standard (CGS) Survey analysis in May 2011. Somewhat surprisingly, the research found that total giving increased among 54% of companies who gave more in 2010 than they had before the economic downturn. Aggregate total giving among companies that participated in the survey reached its highest level yet – $13 billion, up from $10.53 billion in 2007 and $10.99 billion in 2009. More details about the trends and data analysis are available through CESP’s website.
CECP, which has expanded its membership beyond the U.S. to include 15 other countries, is an important international forum to share best practices, promote thought leadership and connect with likeminded individuals committed to help achieve and maintain excellence in corporate citizenship and philanthropy. Microsoft is among the nearly 170 participating companies attending this year’s conference, as we’ve done previously. Like many of our peers, we hope to gain new insights about solutions to challenges that keep us awake at night and achieving excellence and impact. Mainly, we pivot around issues of responsible stewardship of the diverse resources and tools at our disposal and effective grantmaking and partnerships that make a difference to people and communities.
This year, Microsoft is also proud to sponsor the webcast of CECP’s 11th Annual Excellence Awards in Corporate Philanthropy to be awarded later today. More than 20 companies and nonprofits have been the recipients since 2000, selected by a diverse awards jury. This year’s winner of the Chairman’s Award is The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. for 10,000 Women, a five–year $100 million initiative to provide 10,000 underserved women with a business and management education; the President’s Award is Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Secure the Future (STF) Technical Assistance and Skills Transfer Program (TAP) that extends the impact of the Foundation’s pioneering $160 million Secure the Future program addressing HIV/AIDS in Africa, launched in 1999, and DonorsChoose.org in partnership with Crate and Barrel, to help students in need in schools across America.