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Corporate Social Responsibility

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Corporate Social Responsibility

Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

At last, a reference book for corporate charity: Why doing well by doing good now takes much more than writing a check.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


The days of corporate irresponsibility are past. The public now expects companies to behave according to a higher social standard. And guess what - operating a business built on socially responsible principles pays off. Decision makers at companies large and small are learning that when they build their businesses according to the dictates of social conscience, they reap rewards such as increased profits, an improved corporate image and happier employees. And, they sleep better at night. Author and marketing expert Philip Kotler and social marketing consultant Nancy Lee describe six ways you can develop and implement a corporate social program. They clearly explain and analyze each initiative in its own chapter, including illustrative examples of successful campaigns from leading companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, The Body Shop and American Express. Their methods do overlap and they are, at times, redundant. Yet the points are important enough to bear repeating. thinks every professional whose company is engaged in corporate social marketing - or needs to be - will find a treasure trove of applicable information in this book.


Traditional Giving

Prior to the 1990s, most U.S. corporations that participated in philanthropy simply gave away money. They spread their charitable dollars among a variety of nonprofits. Firms generally made short-term commitments and avoided controversial issues or any public concerns that were associated with their products. Senior executives or boards usually decided which organizations a company would support, and they did not integrate giving programs with their overall corporate strategies. Times have changed.

A Shift in Strategy

In the 1990s, companies began to regard philanthropy in strategic terms rather than seeing it as an obligation. Firms became aware of the benefits of social initiatives, including

  • "Increased sales and market share."
  • "Strengthened brand positioning."
  • "Enhanced corporate image and clout."
  • "Increased ability to attract, motivate and retain employees."
  • "Decreased operating costs."
  • "Increased appeal to investors and financial analysts."

The subsequent new model for corporate social responsibility included these elements:

  • Selecting initiatives to support business...

About the Authors

Philip Kotler is professor of international marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His books include the authoritative Marketing Management. He also has written more than 100 business journal articles. Nancy Lee is an adjunct professor at the University of Washington and Seattle University, and heads a firm specializing in marketing for public agencies and nonprofit organizations.

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