Section A: Evaluation of John Ross College Corporate Social Investing (CSI) response using Ten Steps of Weeden
The term philanthropy is defined as an altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes. Philanthropy has been and it is still used by organisations/corporations to help communities. However, Weeden argues that if corporations are to become stronger allies of non-profit organizations, businesses must go beyond altruism when they look for ways to help nonprofits organizations (Weeden, C. 1998: 27). He highlights the need to replace the traditional notions of corporate philanthropy with a broader concept called corporate social investing. Real corporate social responsibility is not about philanthropy. It is much broader and much more demanding of management. According to Corporate Social Investment handbook (200) in Dickinson, corporate social responsibility should shift to more narrowly defined corporate social investment in which corporate giving makes business sense with returns in the form of image, employee moral and social stability. (Dickinson: 3) Weeden claims that corporate payments to non-profit organizations should be declared common business expenses: marketing, advertising, research etc. Prof Du Toit maintains that Business should realise that by investing in society they are not engaging in welfare but in actual investment. (Du Toit 2010: 12) John Ross College has the following community involvement; Supporting cancer relay every year, Helping Amangwe HIV/AIDS Village with toiletry boxes and clothes, supporting several local orphanages with clothes and canned food and donation to SPCA every year. These donations and activities are philanthropic and John Ross College has not embraced the concept of corporate social investing yet although these donations earn the School a good reputation in the community.
Social investments need to have a notable link to what the business is all about. CSR should not be done because it is merely the right thing to do. It should be done because it is being business-like to do it. While society benefits from an organization’s social investing, the organization is looking for a return. However, not all investments need to improve the bottom line; Reputation building and brand loyalty constitute long term benefits. Weeden points out that corporate social investing, as the term implies, starts with the premise that the investor/corporation is looking for a return. He argues that corporate profits make corporate social investing possible and in turn, social investing uses charity to create conditions that are conducive to making a profit (Weeden, C. 1998: 39). Weeden maintains that social investing disciplines a company’s charity (philanthropy) so that it is focused on the same general field of interest that the corporation has marked as its own primary business territory.
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