Howard Greenstein of NYU’s Heyman Center on Philanthropy and Tom Watson of CauseWired have written a white paper on the state of corporate philanthropy in a wired world. Wired Workforce is a terrific snapshot on the state of corporate philanthropy right now. It is a moment of flux, of course, as all philanthropy is in, with corporations learning how to work in disaggregated and more transparent ways – some with more resistance than others.
The report has terrific case studies of efforts by Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Pfizer, Western Union and many others. The efforts involve story telling through social media, fundraising match efforts, employee voting for donations. What I found most interesting about this report is what the authors call the rise of “citizen employees.” Employees using their passion, voices, votes, dollars to not only support causes but push their companies to be engaged and philanthropic. One thought I have: I wonder if or how these “citizens” extend their engagement into advocacy and even politics. We’ve seen companies push their employees into political giving in the past, might these employees do the same to their companies?