Event Marketing

Corporate philanthropyMichael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.Jennifer Scace is an associate with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases...

Corporate philanthropy

Michael Lang is president of Lang & Associates, a Toronto-based international event marketing agency with offices in Vancouver, Montreal and Atlanta.

Jennifer Scace is an associate with Lang & Associates, and co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column. Contributions, ideas, media releases and feedback should be directed to Jennifer at (416) 229-0060 or fax (416) 229-1210.

One of the key trends in the area of corporate philanthropy has been the focussing of donation dollars by corporations against a specific issue or cause that makes strategic business sense.

This trend is often referred to as ‘strategic philanthropy.’

While focussed giving is not totally new, the leveraging of corporate contributions with advertising, public relations and promotional dollars has been increasing.

Companies are recognizing they can make more of a positive impact by providing value to charitable organizations and enhancing their own image through integrated communication programs focussed around a central issue.

While corporate support of a cause is not necessarily tied to marketing objectives and no direct commercial return is expected, corporations exercising strategic philanthropy are looking to generate goodwill, to enhance their corporate image, and to maximize the benefit of every dollar they donate to charity.

Corporations which have successfully adopted a focussed approach to their corporate giving have typically gone through a detailed strategic process to ensure the right issue and the right charitable partners are chosen.

Criteria are put in place to guide the selection process and often additional research is used to ensure the appropriate fit is made.

Elements that corporations consider in their criteria analysis include: establishing the relevance of the cause to Canadians (or other strategically identified target audiences); ensuring the image fit of the charitable organization is in sync with the companies (i