Belief or Bottom Line: Corporate Sponsorship: Is It Just a Case of Feeling Good to Give or Is Corporate Sponsorship Now a More Strategic Business Decision? Do Companies Use It to Give Their Image a Cosmetic Glow or Does It Reflect Core Business Values? Philippa Stevenson Explores the New Take on Corporate Giving

By Stevenson, Philippa | New Zealand Management, April 2007 | Go to article overview

Belief or Bottom Line: Corporate Sponsorship: Is It Just a Case of Feeling Good to Give or Is Corporate Sponsorship Now a More Strategic Business Decision? Do Companies Use It to Give Their Image a Cosmetic Glow or Does It Reflect Core Business Values? Philippa Stevenson Explores the New Take on Corporate Giving


Stevenson, Philippa, New Zealand Management


"Elizabeth Arden New Zealand," said the directive from on high, get a makeover." Pick a charity, said the cosmetic company's global head office, and support it.

Along with other cosmetic firms, the New Zealand company was already donating make-up to Look Good, Feel Better workshops for women with cancer. There was to be a different blush, however, on the new association. Elizabeth Arden was to stand out from the cosmetic crowd by standing alone in support of its chosen charity.

But which one? General manager Valerie Riley consulted the Robin Hood Foundation, an organisation that has brokered partnerships between the business and community and voluntary sectors for the past five years.

Business sponsorship or, to give it its newer and grander title, corporate social responsibility, is not so much a seat-of-the-pants decision. Less prey to the lottery of "chairman's choice", it's now more likely to arise from a robust, strategic process that produces a fit with the company's values, says Robin Hood's dynamo chief executive Jude Mannion.

"What's evolved in the past five years is trying to get an intelligent fit between what a business stands for in the business world and what it stands for in the social world."

And for good reason, she adds.

"We now have research that proves people will buy or not buy your brand based on how they view your social reputation. It's a real vote or veto.

"It's a long-gone piece of history that businesses do good to feel good. We can prove that doing good is good for business. We can prove that consumers will switch brands and support businesses that have a social reputation as opposed to those that don't."

Leanne Holdsworth, of Holistic Business Solutions, a consultancy specialising in corporate social responsibility, agrees the business sector is maturing in the way it handles its sponsorship decisions.

Auckland-based Holdsworth has worked with a range of organisations on the issue since 2000 when she wrote a book on chief executives in New Zealand and Australia who were doing well by doing good entitled A New Generation of Business Leaders.

The road show around both countries that followed the book's publication, however, proved a difficult sell.

"I still do quite a bit of speaking on this subject," she says seven years on. "It's so much easier to have an audience who will hear you now. There's been an absolutely noticeable shift,"

As Riley at Elizabeth Arden can attest, Holdsworth says multinationals are now demanding their subsidiaries worldwide improve their performance and report on their social actions.

"What I've noticed over the past seven or eight years is an increase in the multinational pressure which has affected the privately owned organisations in New Zealand," she says. "At the beginning we were seeing more New Zealand organisations leading the way. Now the organisations doing more edgy stuff are those that have the multinational pressure to do so."

Not just pressure from overseas. In February, New Zealand companies had the chance to study under Richard Steckel, a quietly spoken American with an international reputation as a consultant on nonprofit marketing and for-profit strategic corporate citizenship.

It is the second time in two years that Auckland University has offered short courses by the co-author of Making Money While Making a Difference, a guide for corporations on market-driven community involvement.

Business is undergoing a natural evolution, Steckel says.

"There used to be a licence to practise business given in England years ago," he says. "Businesses had a check list of what they had to be mindful of. Most started out with a social agenda. They weren't there to just make lots of money they were there to change society."

Organisation specialist Charles Handy, who with photographer wife Elizabeth last year published The New Philanthropist, profiling business people who had turned social entrepreneur, also believes business is going full circle. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Belief or Bottom Line: Corporate Sponsorship: Is It Just a Case of Feeling Good to Give or Is Corporate Sponsorship Now a More Strategic Business Decision? Do Companies Use It to Give Their Image a Cosmetic Glow or Does It Reflect Core Business Values? Philippa Stevenson Explores the New Take on Corporate Giving
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.