Introducing The Global Guide – Laying the groundwork for measuring international corporate giving

Since 2006, the  Center for Global Prosperity has been producing its annual Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances, which details the sources and magnitude of private giving to the developing world. Through this data collection, CGP has partnered with various domestic and international groups in order to ensure the most complete philanthropy figures. One such organization, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), has been key in providing corporate figures from corporations to developing countries.

Measuring corporate giving is not an easy task. Often corporations do not report their contributions, or they do not differentiate between domestic and international flows. Furthermore, there is no universal standard for corporate philanthropy reporting, and in the absence of any international consensus, measurements of corporate giving vary by country.

With its newly published Global Guide, CECP with consultation from Deloitte, has put forth ground breaking framework that makes possible cross-border, cross-industry comparisons, thus allowing for greater transparency and growth for corporate philanthropy.

The Global Guide determines which recipients to include when reporting corporate charitable giving. A simple decision tree  allows a corporation to determine what should be counted as a philanthropic contribution and what should not. The decision tree considers three main categories:

  1. Is the recipient organization formally organized?
  2. Is the organization’s main purpose charitable?
  3. Does the organization distribute profits?

CECP, of course, includes more sub questions, but essentially, if the recipient is formally organized, engages in charitable activities, and does not distribute its profits, then the corporation can include the grants made to that organization in its philanthropic giving totals.

This framework aims to provide a simple tool for companies in the U.S. and abroad to use when making charitable donations domestically or internationally. Ideally, when the framework is adopted my major corporations across the globe and used in reporting corporate giving, researchers and practitioners alike will have a better understanding of the magnitude corporate philanthropy and its role.

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