Companies are increasingly recognizing that their long-term business success relies on the health and well-being of the communities in which they operate. As a result, many of them choose to invest in the development of charitable giving programs as part of their commitment to corporate responsibility and to manage community-related risk.
However, the challenge with effective corporate giving is in identifying issues and recipients that become targets for donation. It can become too easy to find charitable giving programs spread too thin — or invested in too many different issues — which, in turn, diminishes the value of the commitment. More and more businesses see this link and are identifying education as a key focal point for charitable giving. In a study of 250 companies, 28% of total corporate philanthropic giving went to education programs, making it the number one cause that businesses supported.
By taking an education-first approach, companies can enhance their community involvement, improve the welfare and well-being of the community itself, and foster improved stakeholder engagement. For example, companies providing young people with affordable education or partnering to build a local school system can facilitate a stronger relationship with those affected the most while also gaining crucial insights into the community culture and its needs.
In turn, this can lead to the enhancement of the company’s license to operate and overall ESG performance by mitigating disruptions and tensions surrounding production, greater local talent pool potential, and lower operational costs.
Other materiality issues linked to education
- Human Capital Management (HCM)
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
- Climate Change and Environmental Impact
- Digital Divide and Digital Literacy
- Supply Chain
- Regulatory Compliance and Transparency
- Ethics and Corruption
- Social Stability