A recent study published by Forbes Insights shows that companies are prioritizing social services in their corporate social responsibility efforts. Following social services are environmental causes, community development, health services, and economic development. The least supported causes include fostering entrepreneurship, the military and their families, and religion. While by 2014 entrepreneurship is expected to climb up the priority ladder, arts and culture is expected to become a lower priority. Currently, arts and culture is 11th on the list, with 25% of companies supporting the arts. The lower priority categories can be explained, according to the study’s authors, by the fact that military families, religion and the arts have a more limited scope than something as wide-ranging as the environment or social services.
The study discussed how companies anticipate to focus their efforts in the next three years, yielding answers that corresponded to the present list of supported causes. Arts and culture is expected to fall to 13 on the funding priority list, with support from 23% of companies. Entrepreneurship, however, will become a higher priority over the next three years as companies try to create jobs in spite of the lagging economy.
Forbes Insightshighlighted MasterCard, which is creating new economic and entrepreneurial initiatives around the world. The company works with local partners to encourage training and entrepreneurship for women in the Philippines and China, and entrepreneurship for youths in India. “Corporate social responsibility isn’t just about writing checks anymore; it’s making important ties with what is going on in your community,” says Patricia Devereux, group head of Corporate Philanthropy & Citizenship at MasterCard Worldwide. Lastly, the study showed that two-thirds of companies of all sizes expect to increase their focus on volunteerism over the next three years, believing that volunteerism can enrich their leadership and development efforts.
The Forbes study showed that companies are eager to address, and involve themselves in social and environmental issues. Companies understand that corporate responsibility is not an act of pure altruism, but can be beneficial for themselves as well. 93% of the companies involved in the study say “our company can create economic value by creating societal value.” Employees are caring more than over about their employer’s commitment to local communities, the environment, and volunteerism, when addressing corporate responsibility.
Through The pARTnership Movement, we are providing information to the business community about how the arts can align with company and societal goals.
Read the entire study at Forbes Insights.