Social Impact, Table for One?

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Social Impact, Table for One?

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Social Impact, Table for One? The evolving corporate/nonprofit relationship via @Cone #causemarketing #nonprofit

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Monday, August 12, 2013 - 10:15am


Relationships between companies and nonprofits are being redefined. Companies are turning traditional approaches to philanthropy on their heads, moving beyond financial contributions to bring business strategies, expertise and resources to the table. While this has unlocked new ways to address societal challenges, it has also shifted the role nonprofits play. Where nonprofits once drove the vision and development of social impact initiatives informed by on-the-ground needs, they are now often times playing more of a supporting role. As the lines between delivering social impact in the private and nonprofit sectors continue to blur, more and more companies are going it alone or shaking up how they partner with nonprofits.

Consider recent examples of companies leading the design and execution of social impact commitments without support from a nonprofit partner: Panera Cares Cafes address food insecurity in the U.S., while the American Express #PassionProject aims to enable and inspire people to pursue their passions – kicked-off by charity:water founder Scott Harrison – through monthly grants. Other efforts – including Tide Loads of Hope and IKEA's temporary shelters for refugees – do collaborate with a nonprofit implementation partner, but program design sits squarely with the corporation.

To read more on Cone's Prove Your Purpose blog, please click here.