Welcome to the June 2016 issue of the Global Washington newsletter.
IN THIS ISSUE
- Letter from our Executive Director
- Question of the Month
- Issue Brief: Beyond Profit: Corporate Philanthropy and the Evolving Culture of Giving
- Featured Organization: JPMorgan Chase & Co
- Changemaker: Jane Meseck, Director of Global Programs, Microsoft Philanthropies
- Welcome New Members & Partners
- Career Center
- Upcoming Events
Letter from our Executive Director
Washington state is home to several globally recognized companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Costco. Our state also has a number of companies that value giving back to their communities and being good corporate citizens. We have a healthy mix of traditional corporate philanthropy along with new approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as companies understand that it can help with employee recruitment and retention.
As companies increase their global operations and recruit employees worldwide, many are adding a global lens to their CSR. Several companies in Washington state have increased giving to international issues through their employee giving and match programs, others have started new foundations, and some have embraced the concept of shared value to align their core business with philanthropy.
Companies that are members and supporters of Global Washington are leaders in doing good around the world, and I am proud to spotlight them in this issue of our newsletter. Our feature articles highlight philanthropic programs at JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft, and you can read more about CSR and other corporate members in our issue brief.
This topic will also be spotlighted at Global Washington’s Annual Conference on December 8, 2016. With the theme Allies in Action, Global Washington companies alongside their NGO partners will share opportunities and challenges of collaborating on international development projects. I hope to see you there.
Question of the Month
What is the most interesting NGO/Business partnership you’ve seen or been a part of?
Beyond Profit: Corporate Philanthropy and the Evolving Culture of Giving
By Amanda Pain
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), defined as a business approach that contributes to sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders, is a concept that often guides business practices today. Corporate philanthropy, defined as the act of a corporation or business promoting the welfare of others, generally via charitable donations of funds or time, is an important aspect of CSR. While both concepts have historical roots dating back to the 20h century, each has evolved as social, economic and political landscapes have changed.
Early forms of charitable giving were influenced primarily by chief executive officers (CEOs) based on their philanthropic interests, and often had little to do with business strategy. Fueled by a CEO’s desire to give back, corporate giving typically addressed an issue of personal interest, or within a community of interest (often the community where the company was based). Economic prosperity in the United States led to increased corporate giving and CEOs from companies such as Chase Manhattan Bank, General Electric and Cummins created foundations and programs that institutionalized philanthropy as part of company mission. Companies also began to focus more intently on CSR in relationship with how business makes profit and how, through and alongside this process, they are serving society.
However, this era of giving came under criticism from economists who thought the role of a corporation in a free society was to make as much money as possible for its shareholders, and that philanthropic ideals undermined this goal. Those in favor of corporate giving believed that companies had a responsibility to be good corporate citizens, and that business should serve stakeholders such as customers, employees and the community; not just their shareholders.
This debate, as well as the changing landscape of the 1980s and 1990s, led to more strategic corporate giving. Issues such as globalization placed more stringent cost controls on businesses, and philanthropic giving that was not seen as advancing business objectives was often eliminated. Other influences such as the Earth Summit in 1992 and the rise of the anti-sweatshop movement in the 1990s highlighted a company’s impact on issues like the environment and human rights. People started paying more attention to business ethics (or lack thereof), which in turn influenced corporations to better align business strategy and corporate giving.
While philanthropy can help build a positive reputation for a company, philanthropy alone does not define a company’s integrity, trustworthiness and/or values. Today, companies often focus their giving where they can make the biggest impact among all stakeholders. Three current CSR trends include: conscious capitalism, a philosophy that a more complex form of capitalism is emerging that will enhance corporate performance and people’s quality of life; shared value, a management strategy focused on creating business value through solving social problems that intersect with their business; and social business, a non-dividend business that seeks to solve a social problem through business methods.
Corporate giving is often in the form of direct cash giving, foundation grants, stock donations, employee volunteer time, product donations and other in-kind gifts. Research has shown that companies that encourage employees to donate and volunteer have higher employee retention rates, which is a huge cost savings for the business. Two common programs for employees are matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Matching gift programs allow the company to match an employee donation made to the charity of his/her choice. Over 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, and an estimated $2-3 billion is donated annually through these programs. Volunteer grant programs offer monetary grants to organizations where employees volunteer, usually within the community where a company’s employees live or work. Nearly 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs, and a majority of these programs donate anywhere from $8 to $15 per hour volunteered.
CECP (formerly known as the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy), a coalition of CEOs committed to philanthropy that was founded in 1999, tracks corporate giving. In 2014 as part of an annual survey, CECP surveyed 271 companies and found that companies surveyed gave $18.5 billion in cash and in-kind donations. Between 2012 and 2014, total corporate donations as a percentage of revenue remained stable at .13 percent, and according to a Giving USA 2015 report, corporate giving rose by 13.7 percent between 2013 and 2014. In 2014, religion, education and health and social services received the most charitable donations. Internationally, most corporate giving went to European-based charities, which received USD 410 million, followed by charities in Asia, which received USD 374 million. Charities in Africa received giving, but the overall philanthropic investment in the continent was the lowest regional investment, at USD 88 million.
CSR as part of company culture leads to creative, thoughtful and ongoing philanthropic giving that helps non-profits throughout the world and, in turn, helps the communities those non-profits serve. There are a number of corporations in Washington state that have established successful foundations and giving programs. Here are a handful of Global Washington members who are on the front lines of corporate giving.
Alaska Airlines gives to a number of charitable organizations that focus on the issues affecting communities served by Alaska Airlines. Areas of giving include youth and education, medical (emergency/research) environmental and community outreach. The Alaska Airlines Foundation offers cash grants to non-profit organizations based in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington that focus on educational and workforce development.
Clark Nuber is dedicated to the success of its people, its clients and its community at large. Though Clark Nuber is strongly rooted in the Pacific Northwest, its charitable giving extends globally – supporting international businesses, industries and communities for over six decades. In 2015 alone, Clark Nuber made direct monetary contributions to over 100 organizations, was involved in nearly 70 charitable community organizations, served on over 50 boards, and was included in the Puget Sound Business Journal’s top 75 Corporate Philanthropists in Washington for the third time.
The Emirates Airline Foundation is a non-profit which aims to improve the quality of life for children, regardless of geographical, political or religious boundaries, and to help them maintain or improve their human dignity. The foundation’s aim is to help disadvantaged children realize their full potential by providing them with the basics, which most of us take for granted such as food, medicine, housing and education. Emirates is also a supporter of United for Wildlife, helping to raise awareness about the threat that the illegal wildlife trade poses to the survival of some of the planet’s most endangered and iconic animals.
JPMorgan Chase believes it has a fundamental responsibility to its client and communities to meet economic and social challenges. JPMorgan Chase works with community partners on issues such as workforce development, financial capability, small business development and community development in regions where it does business. In 2015, the firm and its Foundation gave more than $200 million to thousands of non-profit organizations across 47 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 43 countries. More than 47,000 employees provided 310,000 hours of volunteer service in local communities around the globe.
Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. With a foundation of more than 30 years of giving, Microsoft Philanthropies invests its strongest assets – technology, employees, and partnerships – to drive greater inclusion and empowerment of people who do not have access to technology and the opportunities it offers and enables.
PwC has been in the Pacific Northwest since 1907 and has seen the region and the world continuously transformed by the innovation of business. PwC is well-equipped to help organizations address issues that arise in this high growth business climate. They believe business can go beyond products and services to have a measurable impact. PwC is committed to building trust in society and solving important problems for their clients, their people, the marketplace, and society as a whole. Working collaboratively with all of their stakeholders, they aim to deliver positive social impact, with measurable and long-lasting results. PwC is proud of their local, national and global impact.
The Tableau Foundation believes data can unlock innovation and drive collaboration to help solve global challenges. They are using data to make a difference in the world in various ways including: in human rights, where Tableau works with REDLAYMC utilizing data to advocate for children’s rights in Mexico and Latin America; in global health, whereby PATH uses Tableau software to better track and eliminate malaria in Zambia and South Africa; and in civil society development, helping the people of Myanmar learn to use data to bring about democracy in their country.
JPMorgan Chase & Co
By Amanda Pain
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is no stranger to philanthropy. With a corporate history dating back to 1799, this financial institution was built by successful business leaders and philanthropists such as John Pierpont Morgan. Today, JPMorgan Chase operates in more than 100 countries, and donates nearly $270 million annually.
JPMorgan Chase philanthropic giving is centered on its four pillars: Work Force Readiness, Financial Capability, Small Business Development and Community Development/Affordable Housing. “We really focus on what we call the four pillars of philanthropy,” said Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest for JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We put our dollars, our thought capital and volunteerism into these targeted areas where we have expertise and can make a difference.” Campbell believes this style of philanthropy is unique because it focuses on core issues and utilizes strong local community partners to implement programs.
Campbell, former president and CEO of the Seattle Foundation, came to JPMorgan Chase in 2009. After JPMorgan Chase bought Washington Mutual (WAMU) Bank in 2008, Campbell wanted to carry forward WAMU’s strong commitment to the region. “I really have to say, with my years of working at the Seattle Foundation, I am really impressed with the way (JPMorgan Chase) goes about its corporate giving and partnerships,” said Campbell. She sees all organizations as serving three main stakeholders: customers, employees and the community. “The JP Morgan Chase philosophy of doing the right thing by its customers, employees and communities was an important part of why I took this job, and why I think that JPMorgan Chase has done well wherever it does business.”
JPMorgan Chase’s community spans across the globe, which is why Campbell describes its philanthropy as a combination of global focus with local implementation. For example, in Seattle, there is a team of executives who head philanthropic efforts for the company. Those executives then work with local partners to carry out initiatives specific to community needs. Seattle initiatives include working with partners such as the Pacific Science Center, Brenthaven, University of Washington Foster School of Business and the Seattle Housing Authority. Programs in Seattle funded by JPMorgan Chase include Startup Week Seattle, Fresh Bucks and the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. “We tend to focus globally on the four pillars,” she said. “But we tell our local teams to find the best partners and tell us what the best strategies are to get from point A to point B, and we will commit to working with those partners.”
In addition to leading JP Morgan Chase’s philanthropic efforts, Campbell is also heavily involved with the Global Cities Initiative. She explains that this initiative provides cities with data on their competitive standing, brings city leaders together to discuss this data, and links cities worldwide to exchange ideas and learn from one another. In 2014, Seattle was the 20th U.S. city to launch Global Cities. Challenge Seattle was then born, an initiative to improve Seattle’s infrastructure, educational opportunities, job placement and city branding. Campbell said Challenge Seattle is a perfect example of how the Global Cities Initiative is encouraging cities to be more globally competitive.
According to Campbell, JPMorgan Chase employees take pride in their corporate responsibility efforts. In 2015 alone, 47,000 employees provided 310,000 hours of volunteer service. “I think this region values philanthropy, volunteering and giving back. I think it is just part of who we are and people really value that in the employers they work for,” said Campbell. She went on to explain that JPMorgan Chase aims to be a steward to communities where it does business. “I think our philanthropy has been driven by a real emphasis on corporate responsibility. We have an obligation to give back as a large corporation and to be a good corporate citizen.”
One of the biggest challenges for corporations is that sustainable change requires long-term commitment. “You can throw money at anything, but to be successful you have to have the right partners, address the right stakeholders and have the will to sustain change when it gets hard,” said Campbell. In addition, she believes philanthropy is evolving to include both local and global, and company initiatives must address both. “Donors today want to get involved in solving some of the world’s biggest problems. Here in Seattle, we have more globally aware donors than almost any place in the nation,” said Campbell. She believes Global Washington has raised the bar in terms of how Washingtonians think of themselves as part of a global community by helping local organizations solve problems that affect lives worldwide.
Campbell is pleased with the positive changes that JPMorgan Chase has made in the communities where it does business. She wants stakeholders to acknowledge that JPMorgan Chase is fulfilling its promises by investing in the four pillars and investing in long-term, sustainable change. “What drives us is our sense of responsibility, especially to the economy and to the financial underpinnings of the communities where we do business,” explained Campbell. “We want to help all parts of the community do well and succeed.”
Campbell is excited that partners are already lauding JPMorgan Chase’s philanthropic efforts. She says that her work, however, and that of her team, is far from over.
Jane Meseck, Director of Global Programs, Microsoft Philanthropies
By Amanda Pain
When Jane Meseck took a job at Microsoft in 1997, she planned to stay for a few years before returning to school to get her Ph.D. in Public Policy. Nearly 20 years later, Meseck, now Director of Global Programs for Microsoft Philanthropies, has no plans to leave anytime soon.
Meseck was a technology consultant in the private sector before pivoting to the public sector. I was not planning to stay in the corporate sector,” explained Meseck. “I fully intended to get out of corporate work all together when I went to graduate school, and planned on getting my Ph.D. and teaching.” Working in the business sector in the 1990s, Meseck saw how technology could positively impact private sector productivity, and she believed the non-profit sector could benefit, as well. “I didn’t fall for the old adage that non-profits needed to apply more business acumen to be more effective, because I saw non-profits doing so much with so little.” Meseck wanted to play in role in advancing non-profits use of technology so that they could be even more efficient.
After moving to Seattle and getting an M.P.A. from the University of Washington, Meseck took a research and teaching job at UW’s Institute for Public Policy and Management. She heard Microsoft was hiring in what was then called its Community Affairs department. They were seeking someone with a business background who could explore ways in which technology could advance the non-profit sector. “It was a really unique opportunity to bring my business background and my social good interest together,” said Meseck. “I took the job and it has been 19 ½ years, so things have worked out pretty well.”
On her first day at Microsoft, Meseck was handed a large stack of letters from non-profits that were requesting the technology giant’s help. “One of the biggest things I wanted to do when I first started was to look at what role Microsoft could play in bringing technology to non-profits,” Meseck explained. When she started with the company, Microsoft was donating a couple million dollars in software every year to a handful of U.S. states. Today, Meseck has helped expand product donation to over $1 billion annually, with products shipped to markets worldwide. “When I step back, that is probably my biggest accomplishment,” she said. “I really scaled our product donations to be accessible to non-profits all over the world.”
Meseck’s current role as Director of Global Programs for Microsoft Philanthropies involves leading Technology for Good, Humanitarian Response and Employee Giving programs. She feels fortunate to have been a part of corporate giving at Microsoft over the past 20 years, and she truly enjoys the people she surrounds herself with every day. “The people I work with are amazing,” she said. “They are all truly focused on doing good and helping others do good.”
Meseck is passionate about both technology and humanitarian issues and feels lucky that her role allows her to address both. “One of the biggest issues of today surrounds migrants and refugees,” Meseck explained. “In working in humanitarian response programs, I am trying to figure out how Microsoft can approach this crisis in new ways.” Meseck also cares deeply about animals, and is a devoted volunteer at the Seattle Humane Society. “My passion is saving puppies and kitties,” said Meseck. “I do stuff like clean kennels, which I like because, in my profession, often the type of volunteer work non-profits want me to do is very similar to what I do in my day job. At the Seattle Humane Society, I can just help the animals, and it’s really nice.”
Microsoft Philanthropies was launched in December 2015 to consolidate the company’s philanthropic work and utilize all company assets in order to better achieve the mission “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Meseck said this new approach goes beyond dollar and product donations by expanding employee engagement to better utilize their expertise, and raising the company’s voice to advocate for issues important to Microsoft, such as counting computer science coursework as STEM credit. One way Meseck would like to see Microsoft Philanthropies expand during her tenure is to connect employee volunteers with non-profits that need technology skills training. Meseck lauds Microsoft employees for their generosity and service. In 2015, the company raised and matched $125 million in employee donations, and employee’s volunteered over 570,000 hours. “We want (employees) to volunteer more, but we would love to see more of those hours go towards skills-based volunteering to help non-profit organization’s staff increase their technology skills and better use technology to pursue their mission.”
Meseck believes corporate philanthropy is important because corporations have valuable assets such as products and employee expertise that go beyond foundation funding that non-profits seek. “Especially with a multinational corporation like Microsoft, we are everywhere, so we have people everywhere that can support projects all over the world. Because we have people on the ground in so many places, we understand the communities we work in, and can bring relevant programs to those communities.”
Meseck understands the external and internal challenges companies face in making their philanthropic programs a success. Externally, they need to find and support the right partners who have mutual goals. “That’s the hardest part,” she said. “But when you get it right, it is also the best part because of the huge impact you can have.” Internally, a company’s philanthropic efforts need to be positioned to employees as a critical part of the company and its culture. “In my job, I play this dual role of driving external impact while simultaneously ensuring the work you do reflects back positively on the business, and supports the business.”
Meseck loves what she does and plans to stay at Microsoft until she “graduates” and can devote more time to volunteering. “I probably have one of the best jobs here,” she said. “I’m given the resources to do what I love, which is to help the non-profit sector use technology for social good. That mission is still resonating with me in a big way.”
Welcome New Members & Partners
Please welcome our newest Global Washington members and partners. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with their work and consider opportunities for support and collaboration!
American Cancer Society
For over 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer. Together with millions of supporters worldwide, ACS helps people stay well and get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer. www.cancer.org
International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 25 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home. rescue.org/seattle
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is an American multinational banking and financial services holding company. www.jpmorganchase.com
Vista Hermosa Foundation
Vista Hermosa Foundation (VHF) was established by Ralph and Cheryl Broetje in 1990 to carry out the mission of “bearing fruit that will last.” In addition to supporting local education programs in the Vista Hermosa community, VHF invests in the development of holistic, sustainable communities in East Africa, India, Haiti, Mexico and the United States. www.firstfruits.com/vista-hermosa-foundation.html
Program Advisor: Global Washington
Director of Sponsorship: Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos
Strategic Partnerships Director: Vista Hermosa Foundation
For more jobs and resources, visit https://globalwa.org/resources/careers-in-development/
June 23: Networking Happy Hour
December 8: Global Washington’s 8th Annual Conference