Philanthropy And Social Responsibility

The issue of organizational philanthropy can be controversial and often raises skepticism about whether
corporate giving is simply a marketing and public relations tool to gain good will. Milton Friedman believed that
the social responsibility of business was to make a profit for shareholders, making organizational philanthropy
unnecessary and even undesirable, but there is much criticism regarding this view. For example, many consider
it the responsibility of an organization to do good for the community where it is located and in which its
employees and customers live.
Select a well-known organization to profile, an organization about which much has been written. Do not select
an organization your instructor can’t research…like your church or a local organization about which little can be
found in the way of public documentation. Using the chapters in Moral Leadership by Brest (Chapter 10) and
Sievers (Chapter 11), reconcile the different opinions about organizational philanthropy, describing the current
philanthropic plan of the organization you have selected.
include all of the following:
Describe the organization’s history of philanthropy. What do supporters and critics say about the appropriateness
(or inappropriateness) of the organization’s philanthropic activities? Which ethical theories best reflect the
corporate giving philosophy of the organization? Why?
Discuss how the organization has established philanthropic priorities. Identify the organization’s mission and
values (usually found on the company’s website) and evaluate how well the organization’s philanthropic
priorities relate to its mission and values. To what extent is there congruence between what the organization says
it stands for (its mission and values) and its philanthropic plan?
For the organization you have chosen, discuss how diversity plays a role in the organization’s philanthropic plan
(not just in the organization’s workforce). If respect and value for diversity are evident in the organization’s
philanthropic giving, describe how. If respect and value for diversity are not evident in the philanthropic plan,
discuss the implications. In either case, discuss ways the organization could be more inclusive in its
philanthropic giving.
In general, how can organizations avoid legal and ethical issues of bias (gender, racial, ethnic, religious, sexual
orientation, and/or disability) when developing philanthropic giving plans? What evidence can you find that the
organization you have chosen to profile considers and avoids issues of bias in its corporate giving plan?
In general, how can corporate philanthropy enhance an organization’s social responsibility? What evidence can
you find that the corporate philanthropy of the organization you have chosen to profile enhances its social
responsibility and image? To what extent does the philanthropic plan involve environmental sustainability?
In general, what are the implications on the ethics of giving if an organization receives substantial goodwill or
preferred relationships from the beneficiaries of its philanthropic giving? What evidence can you find about the
benefits the organization you have chosen to profile receives as a result of its philanthropic giving?

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