Mingled Motives: Is Business Philanthropy BIT MORE Than Good PR? With the vacation season whipping into full swing and charitable giving on the thoughts of many, Pulitzer Prize-winning LA Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik asks some thought-provoking questions in today’s column. Best of all, Hiltzik had taken a short instant to interview our very own Lalia Helmer and contribute her responses.
What a cool shout-out! If you’ll remember, Lalia cited the Skechers work for example of “how never to do business philanthropy.” Hiltzik, subsequently, fleshes out further thoughts on the topic. The larger question, though, and one which transcends the TOMS/Skechers debate, remains: will be the motives of seriously advertised philanthropic attempts somehow polluted when they concurrently boost the important thing of a business? It’s a remarkable dialogue, and a complex one, I believe.
I’m always a little suspicious when big companies try to enlist me in their charity campaigns. My feeling is that if they’re willing to be good, good for them, but leave me to my very own philanthropies. That real way, there’s no confusion about when they’re being genuinely good-hearted, and when they’re just faking. I certainly see his perspective.
Then again, it’s natural to the type of capitalism for businesses to enhance their bottom line by giving the consumer what they need, be it products or corporate and business practices. In our fast-evolving twenty-first century climate, there may be little question that consumers desire a more socially-conscious form of business. In that sense, many companies with … Read more