Caution: For some readers the following information may come as a shock to your belief system: not all companies give to charity without expecting some benefit in return.
According to a 2007 analysis by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), 56% of companies give charitable contributions for strategic or commercial reasons rather than solely charitable objectives.
Consumers, investors and policymakers in Vietnam are all concerned about the negative impacts globalisation could have on the country (e.g. on employment, community development and on the environment). And, while supporting a local charity may be a worthwhile project, it is also a way to assure stakeholders that the company is “socially responsible”.
As corporate philanthropy becomes more common, companies are more inclined to take a strategic approach to charitable giving based on indirect benefits such as an improved corporate image, reduced staff turnover, increased productivity, access to new markets and increased sales. In Vietnam, companies have become more active in contributing to charity programmes and community projects. To follow is one example of corporate philanthropy taking place in Vietnam.
Since 1998, Nike Vietnam and its contract factories have run an Adult Continuing Education Programme, supporting over 8,000 factory workers who wish to complete their high school degree by covering the cost of tuition, books, supplies, and, occasionally, a meal allowance. To date, over 1,500 employees have earned their high-school diploma. The company also supports sports programmes including an annual soccer tournament for high-school students and annually supports Children’s Day, organizing outreach and sport activities for poor and disadvantaged children at schools and charity organizations. Such programmes have helped to reduce employee turnover at the Nike contract factories in Vietnam and also helped to improve the company brand name and image worldwide.
The moral of the story is both companies and communities benefit from corporate philanthropy. So instead of asking whether or not your company should give to charity, you can focus on which projects you’d like to support!