10
Dec
2013

Who, what, how much? Donation activities of German and American B2B companies

10 December 2013

Corporate Social Responsibility is today no longer an unfamiliar term to B2B companies. However, as far as direction and successful implementation of social commitment are concerned, there is a lack of orientation in many places. We have asked German and American B2B companies how they handle their donation and funding activities.

At the focus of our analysis were target groups, activities, and the financial dimensions of donation and funding activities of leading companies from the technical-industrial field.

All interviewed companies donate for various purposes and to different target groups. Overall, it was hard to determine any main focus. The vast scope of donation purposes frequently lists topics from the fields of social engagement, education and science, youth development, culture, health and the environment. Many activities are strongly related to regional commitment.

In many cases, making donations is handled by the companies’ own foundations. The effectiveness of the measures is frequently secondary: Many companies make charitable commitments; however, the efficiency and effectiveness of the measures are rarely recorded and monitored. In the USA, part of the donation sum is oftentimes given to the charitable organization United Way of America, which bundles and assigns the donations to ensure greater effectiveness. United Way of America focuses on domestic American projects at a municipal level.

A significant difference is seen on comparing donation volumes of German and American companies: Proportionately, nearly twice as much is donated in the USA as in Germany. Decisions on purpose and target group as well as on volumes of donations and funding are mostly made at the company board level. Especially for the donation volume, only few companies have strict guidelines for the financial framework; in fact, this will generally depend on current business developments.

Donations and funding are an essential part of corporate social responsibility activities for B2B companies, last but not least also when it comes to promoting a company’s regional image. Clear funding guidelines help to make such commitments transparent, both internally and externally. Whoever wishes to pursue a sustainable concept should examine the results of the activities undertaken.
Your contact person
Dr. Helmut Weldle
Director Methods and Communication


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