Philanthropic giving is on the rise in Colorado, according a first-of-its-kind report released Thursday afternoon that analyzed the philanthropic and volunteer efforts of the state’s business community.
“Good Business: The State of Corporate Philanthropy in Colorado” was produced by B:CIVIC – an organization that promotes and advances corporate social responsibility in Colorado – in partnership with DaVita, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, TIAA and the University of Denver.
With data compiled from companies large and small from across the state, the report outlines motivations for giving, barriers to doing more and highlights case studies from companies who have engaged their teams and customers for good, including GroundFloor Media, IMA Financial Group, PCL Construction and Xcel Energy.
The executive summary follows. Key findings include:
- Businesses large and small approach philanthropic work in a similar way, most commonly giving through cash donations, in-kind donations and supporting fundraising events.
- Businesses keep it local – of giving, 85 percent of cash donations stayed in Colorado.
- Giving varies by business size – 41 percent of responding small businesses (those with 10 to 49 employees) reported beginning the year with a plan for giving to and engaging with the community, compared to 76 percent of large companies (those with 50 employees or more).
- Corporate social responsibility strategies are changing. While giving is the largest investment made by businesses, leaders are placing greater weight on active engagement, such as nonprofit board service.
- The primary obstacles to doing more are time and money. Sixty-nine percent of companies stated that budget limitations have been a barrier to giving more, followed by 39 percent citing staff capacity to participate. That said, 50 percent of companies opt to provide a flexible schedule to allow for volunteering and board service.
Here’s what our partners said:
B:CIVIC President and CEO Su Hawk: “Businesses large and small do so much for the community, and it’s remarkable to see the evolution of corporate social responsibility with businesses in Colorado. Oftentimes, they begin with one specific cause or charitable organization, and then as CSR plans are developed, the sophistication of approach makes an even larger impact within the community and their businesses. B:CIVIC businesses are leading the way in aligning CSR with smart business, and we’re so proud to see the increasing adoption of the importance of social responsibility.”
DaVita CEO Kent Thiry: “We look forward to working with and encouraging more Colorado businesses to embrace thoughtful social change and meaningful community impact. At DaVita, we are a community first and a company second. It is not only important for businesses and our Teammates (also known as employees) to understand the impact we all can have in our communities but for organizations like B:CIVIC to drive conversation around best practice in Corporate Social Responsibility. We are proud to partner with B:CIVIC to develop a stronger corporate understanding of CSR best practices. The data revealed in this report is a snapshot of current Colorado engagement and will inform future innovation and collaboration in service of our community.”
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kelly Brough: “Our 3,000 members care deeply about Colorado and we carry a strong sense of responsibility for this place we call home. Colorado companies give tens of millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to nonprofits and charities each year collectively having a powerful impact. And, our workforce loves working for companies who care so deeply about their communities – it’s a win for everyone and ensures Colorado continues to be a great place to live and do business for generations.”
TIAA President and CEO Roger Ferguson: “For 100 years, TIAA has been a force for good – dedicated to making a positive impact on the individuals and institutions we serve, and the communities where we live and work. We remain committed to the idea that private enterprises can look beyond the bottom line and transform our communities through a higher purpose. Since our founding in 1918, TIAA has helped millions of people in the academic, research, cultural, medical, government and nonprofit fields to achieve their financial goals, giving them the confidence and freedom to focus on what they do best – teaching, inventing, inspiring, curing and serving to create a better world for us all. Their commitment to service inspires our employees to volunteer and give back through philanthropy. We will continue to innovate and pursue opportunities to make a difference in our communities, and we strongly encourage all the companies of Colorado to realize the benefits of such an approach.”
University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp: “The University of Denver has partnered with businesses and their leaders from our very beginning. Our Daniels College of Business is one of the oldest schools of business in the nation. And we were among the first to require ethics in our core business curriculum in 1989. The tradition of corporate giving in our state is inspirational. On our campus, generous businesses support scholarships, cutting-edge research and faculty who are educating tomorrow’s workforce.”