Benefits of creating a corporate philanthropy program in educational institutes 

Corporate philanthropy is an initiative ever so attached to corporate organisations and businesses but rarely to education institutions. Meanwhile, education institutions are also corporate setups and the benefits of engaging in corporate philanthropy are just as profound for education institutions as any other corporate establishment.   

In the book Corporate Governance and Strategic Decision Making, a specific chapter titled “Universities as Corporate Entities: The Role of Social Responsibility in Their Strategic Management” details the importance and impact of universities treating their institutions as corporate entities and including corporate philanthropy in their action model. Giving back is good business, even for education institutions.  

Here are four benefits of creating a corporate philanthropy program at your education institution.  

4 Benefits of creating a corporate philanthropy program 

1. Increased awareness of your institution 

A higher education institution’s brand is an integral part of its reputation, and the value it offers to students, employees and alumni, and corporate philanthropy programs can help boost it. According to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, corporate philanthropy is one of the most effective strategies by which universities can increase their educational brand recognition and visibility among potential donors and other stakeholders.  

For instance, when universities allocate large sums to scholarships and tuition waivers for their new intakes, word quickly gets around. Numerous media outlets write about it, and social media and online news boards dedicated to students also post about it.   

People share it with their families and friends who might be interested in the funding opportunities too, boosting the the institutions’ reputation that gets known for their laudable social efforts.  

2. Better funding opportunities 

Corporate philanthropy programs open up numerous funding opportunities for education institutions due to the increased brand awareness and visibility. Actually, some organisations and individuals interested in financing schools become aware of the institutions through their philanthropic acts. Moreover, it encourages financially-capable entities and individuals to fund the involved schools because they know the funding will be put to good use.  

In 2016 alone, Stanford University raked in $1.6 billion in charitable contributions, largely from generous alumni who believe that investing in higher education has long-term benefits not just for students but also for society at large. They admitted that they were encouraged to fund the university because they saw the increased number of graduate empowerment programs and scholarship opportunities the school had created. 

3. Wider talent pool 

For one thing, students care about their school’s reputation. At the early stage of going to college, students are usually concerned with information such as their potential school’s reputation, global ranking, and employability rate because they are considered ‘bragging rights’ and could be the gateway to excellent career opportunities for them. A school well recognised for its social impact will likely be a top preference for them.  

By increasing awareness about your institution among key audiences outside of campus through philanthropism, you’re also helping prospective students make informed decisions about where they’d like to study.  

Some students are genuinely keen on social responsibility and would only choose colleges that they believe positively impact society beyond the bare minimum. So, to attract such students, you need to be sure that your university has a good reputation for corporate social responsibility.  

Also, finances limit several students, so they choose schools where they receive scholarships or less expensive institutions that their available funds can cover. By providing such students access to your school through your increased funding opportunities, you are welcoming top talents that might otherwise have gone to study elsewhere. 

4. Keeping employees engaged 

Firstly, employee development programs are initiatives under corporate philanthropy. By introducing them to promote professional growth among faculty members and administrative staff, you’ll improve your institution’s staff retention and satisfaction rate, increasing employee loyalty and productivity. For instance, many universities offer subsidies or even free education to staff members who wish to further their studies at those universities or elsewhere. 

Aside from that, corporate philanthropy has gone way beyond financial giving alone; employees are now more interested in active involvement in social efforts facilitated by their place of work. For example, in South Africa, it is now common to see universities offer paid time off to their employees to volunteer at animal shelters or create awareness campaigns on social issues like climate change. Of course, it is also an excellent recruiting tool because these days, employees look for workplaces with great values and commitment, of which corporate philanthropy is part. 

Creating a corporate philanthropy program can be daunting, financially and otherwise, but it’s worth the effort. In today’s world, where organisations have so many options for where to donate, students have the same for where to study, and employees for where to work.  

Education institutions, like any other corporate entity, become more competitive by including corporate social responsibility in their model. Besides the numerous benefits associated with it, the initiative contributes to the significant purpose of giving back to society. 


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