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Our Favorite Book of the Month: DOING GOOD BY DOING GOOD


Peter Baines’ book is an eye opener for those businesses who want to challenge the status quo and move away from traditional models of corporate social responsibility to one which is more in tune with the changed times. Now businesses don’t want to limit themselves to funding passive charities which are more or less put on the dole.

Baines believes charities must wake up and learn to give back to their donors by actively engaging with their business partners to produce value which is quantifiable. This means charities must align themselves with their business partners in various ways including goals, values and culture. Recent research suggests that the corporate sector is not happy to be funding charities and leaving them with no further role to play after the donation n is made. They want to engage intensively with the charities they fund so as to derive real benefits by sharing experiences.

Charities must ask themselves the question: What is in it for the donors and make their pitch for funds accordingly. They must convey to the business partner the ways in which they will connect with the partner’s vision and values. They must describe their objectives, the outcomes and the impact they hope to create. They must present to the business partner the marketing and communication plan for the life of the project. They must also outline how they will create opportunities for the business partner’s staff. Last but not least, they must stress that without the business partner’s funding support, they cannot proceed further.

When charities and their business partners are well-integrated and truly aligned in their ideas of dealing with corporate social responsibility, many benefits may flow from the relationship to the business partner.

  1. Society’s unmet needs will be met.

  2. There will be cost savings in terms of reduced consumption of energy , water and other resources

  3. New markets will be explored.

  4. New products will be developed.

  5. New and more refined business practices will evolve.

  6. Profits will increase.

  7. Overall commercial success will lead to more innovation.

The journey toward shared value is not complete; on the anvil are new daring concepts that represent a paradigm shift in thinking. It is not radical to assert that tomorrow’s businesses will be set up strictly to meet society’s unmet needs and solve social problems. Businesses will increasingly partner charities which meet their expectations as regards goals, values and culture.

The community will benefit immensely from the synergies thus created and business can expect customer loyalty, more widespread recognition of their brands and opening up of new markets. The preceding are the minimal benefits business can expect; the reality is that there will be far reaching advantages for both the business partner and the charity it supports in terms of breakthroughs in research and development (R & D) and significant economies made in the use of all resources whether in cash or in kind.

Peter Baines is quite knowledgeable about the subject of charitable giving. He is the founder of Hands across the Water which played a stellar role in rehabilitating the survivors of Thailand’s tsunami tragedy not too long ago. He will strike a sympathetic chord in many of us who are engaged in some form of philanthropy or are looking for ways to enter that area. His contribution to the literature on conscious capitalism cannot be underestimated.

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