A few businesses in the communication technology sector have emerged and are making moves towards being good corporate citizens through investing in social enterprises and encouraging employee volunteering.
Not that long ago – remember the dot.com bubble? – apparently sane people argued that the new information and communication technologies heralded a revolution in virtually everything we did (and then bet their life savings on it). In fact, come the inevitable fall-out, some things have changed. A few viable new businesses did emerge, like Google and e-Bay. Nice to see both now making moves towards being good corporate citizens: the former not just doing the ‘usual’ 1% philanthropy thing, but also looking for social enterprises to invest in; the latter interestingly trying to apply its core competencies and so extend its business model.
What of the impact of the ICT ‘revolution’ on personal donations? The evidence is patchy.
Research in America after the tsunami showed that internet donations helped capture sudden impulse gifts from people unlikely to get involved with regular charity fundraising. In the UK, CAF has found that internet donors tend to be younger than regular contributors and more willing to use tax efficient methods. Among companies using their intranets to promote employee-volunteering opportunities, participation tends to be higher. But this evidence of real growth in people and money contributions from ICT is largely anecdotal – a case for the Google Foundation to investigate?
Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 84 – November, 2005