Corporate foundations: last legs or new legs?

Charles Keidan and Andrew Milner

‘A brave new world’ is how Michelle Wright of philanthropy consultancy Cause4 describes corporate foundations in a 2014 Huffington Post article. David Grayson of Cranfield University’s School of Management, on the other hand, strongly believes ‘that businesses should be engaged in helping tackle social issues directly rather than through foundations’. So who’s right? Alliance sought a number of different perspectives to help us determine what corporate foundations do and how or whether they should continue to do it.

Brighton, UK, West Pier. Twilight or new dawn for corporate foundations?

Three main questions stand out: how seriously do businesses take their corporate foundations: are they intended to mollify hostile public opinion or are they in earnest about doing good? Second, if they are serious, how well are they approaching the task? Third, will they continue to be of value in a world where broader notions of responsible business and corporate social responsibility (CSR) appear to be superseding the idea of corporate foundation giving?

What is a corporate foundation?

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