Measuring the Value of Corporate Philanthropy: Social Impact, Business Benefits, and Investor Returns

How to measure the value and results of corporate philanthropy remains one of corporate giving professionals’ greatest challenges. Social and business benefits are often long-term or intangible, which make systematic measurement complex. And yet: Corporate philanthropy faces increasing pressures to show it is as strategic, cost-effective, and value-enhancing as possible. The industry faces a critical need to assess current practices and measurement trends, clarify the demands practitioners face for impact evidence, and identify the most promising steps forward in order to make progress on these

This report aims to meet that need, by providing the corporate philanthropic community with a review of recent measurement studies, models, and evidence drawn from complementary business disciplines as well as the social sector. Rather than present another compendium of narrative accounts and case studies, we endeavor to generalize the most valuable concepts and to recognize the strengths and limitations of various measurement approaches. In conjunction with the annotated references that follow, the analysis herein should provide an excellent starting point for companies wishing to adapt current methodologies in the field to their own corporate giving programs.

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