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Crain's Chicago sat down with me to discuss a new wave of hyperfocused, cause-driven philanthropy that benefits both corporations and the philanthropic causes they support. I've copied a short excerpt here, but be sure to read the full Q&A on the Crain's website.
CRAIN'S: You've put individual donors in three categories: those who spread out money, or "spray and pray," to many organizations; those who give to get the tax deduction; and those who are keenly interested in a cause. How do those categories apply to corporate philanthropy?
MR. SAUL: There are certainly those companies that spray and pray — "We'll give money to everything because it's a good thing to do and we want to give back." And a lot of companies are interested in not doing much charity at all; they just dump some money into a foundation. The third is not so much those interested in a cause, but those looking to invest in a certain type of social outcome. They want to buy and invest in social outcomes they attach value to — support more cocoa farmers, produce more engineers.
How many Chicago-based companies are engaging in this type of giving?
My research is that 10 percent are doing it, 60 percent of the companies are in the traditional spray and pray, and another 30 percent are trying to become more outcome-driven.
Read the full Q&A on the Crain's website.