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Corporate Social Investing

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Corporate Social Investing

The Breakthrough Strategy for Giving and Getting Corporate Contributions


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Your company should be giving to charity, but your donations should be subject to the same rigorous standards you’d apply to any other investment. And like “business” investments, your focus should be on returns.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Curt Weeden tells corporations that social investing through charitable contributions can help society, and can be good business. Then he explains why, and how. This detailed guide explains ways to get the most out of each philanthropic investment, benefiting the non-profit organization and the company’s reputation, employee motivation and bottom line. Weeden provides only a few examples of companies that have engaged in corporate social investing, but the introductions by Paul Newman and Peter Lynch are more hands-on because both are active in philanthropy. The book focuses on instructions for setting up your firm’s social investing system. Suggestions cover choosing a non-profit recipient, figuring tax benefits, and other nuts-and-bolts issues. The book is oriented to CEOs and top corporate managers, though getAbstract also recommends it to academics, stockholders and fundraisers. If you are considering social investing, this is a good guide. And if you’re not, it’ll explain why you should. (Note: Tax matters discussed are of U.S. interest only.)


Giving is Good Business

Corporate social investing is a way to improve the lives of millions of people by "creating new and powerful connections" between the private sector and thousands of non-profit organizations. U.S. companies have the capacity to invest $3 billion a year in causes and non-profit organizations. These investments could improve the quality of life in the U.S. and other parts of the world, and they make good business sense.

The many advantages of corporate social investment include opening new markets, recruiting employees, improving customer relations and solving business problems. Such investing is not just a matter of giving to charity. It is "strategic giving" or "focused philanthropy," where you benefit by helping non-profit organizations and, through them, society.

Rigorous Philanthropy

Unfortunately, few companies carry out social investing, though corporations spend billions on "external relations." Generally, they put money into charitable activities, such as sponsoring community events, without applying the same kind of rigorous management standards that they use in every other business activity.

Companies have also ...

About the Author

Curt Weeden has been directly or indirectly responsible for more than $1 billion in corporate grants made during the past 20 years. He is a former Johnson & Johnson vice president who directed that corporation’s $146 million-a-year philanthropy program. Previously, he worked as a management consultant with many Fortune 500 companies. He is currently the president of Corporate Contributions Management Academy in Palm Coast, Florida, and consults for private foundations and the J. Seward Johnson, Sr. 1963 Charitable Trust.

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