Corporate Social Responsibility: Guidelines for Top Management

By Jerry W. Anderson Jr. | Go to book overview
Once the above steps have been taken, then the Dayton-Hudson Corporation procedure can be followed to determine to whom the money should be given or the six rules given by Morris and Biederman can be followed. These six rules are:
1. Don't run your contributions program as a public relations experience.
2. Don't automatically renew grants to programs.
3. Don't get too involved in your grantees' day-to-day operations once you have written their checks.
4. Don't try to please everyone.
5. Take a chance on an unconventional cause.
6. Don't work in isolation.30

SCENARIO

Anderson Industries, Incorporated, has contributed 5 percent of its net earnings to charitable causes every year since it was first permitted to do so in 1935. This past year has been an excellent year, and net earnings are higher than ever before; in fact, net earnings are at $100 million, which is at twice the level of last year. At the 5 percent level of giving, this means that they have $5 million to allocate this year versus the $2.5 million they had available last year.

You are director of the group that is responsible for determining and presenting management policy on charitable contributions. Next week you have to appear before a committee of the board of directors and make a recommendation on how to distribute the company's charitable funds for the year. What would you recommend? Should you distribute the entire $5 million? Should you double all contributions to last year's charities or should you add some new ones? Should you reduce your 5 percent level of giving? What other options do you have? How will the committee of the board of directors, the stockholders, your in-house managers who want more money for expansion, Mr. Anderson, and your competitors respond to your recommendations? Is this the best recommendation for Anderson Industries and society as a whole?


NOTES
1
T. Ireland and D. Johnson, The Economics of Charity (Blacksburg, Va.: Center for Study of Public Choice, 1970).
2
John D. Rockefeller III, "In Defense of Philanthropy", Business and Society Review, Spring 1978, 26-29.
3
Philip Maher, "What Corporations Get by Giving", Business Marketing 69, no. 12 ( 1984): 80-89.

-248-

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