Philanthropy and Responsible Business

December 1st - Edition #12

Companies typically go through different phases to get to a situation where they genuinely act as “Responsible Business”:

  1. Philanthropy is typically the first step, where there is little strategic and operational impact. It is normally about Corporate Philanthropy and sponsorship, not always sustainable, with impact diluted because limited budget is allocated to many charities.  Misalignment between business and social responsibility strategies and functions emerge.
  2. Second phase is about risk mitigation, meaning that needs to be done is to act in a way that our reputation is not at risk. There is medium to high strategic and operational impact.
  3. Finally, it is about value creation, the understanding that there is an opportunity for value creation, but value that is created to be shared between the company and the society. There is fundamental strategic and operational impact incorporated into the Business Strategy.


Recent report  from Harvard University, sponsored by UBS, indicates that there are 260.000 philanthropic organisations around the world, 75% of which created in the last 25 years. This is great news but let us be clear: to have a Sustainability agenda is much more than supporting these organisations. It is about creating and sharing value with the society as part of the core business. Sustainability needs to be THE strategy...of which Philanthropy is just a piece of the puzzle.

Have a great and impactful week!

Center for Responsible Business and Leadership
Católica-Lisbon School of Business & Economics

The Center for Responsible Business & Leadership has the main purpose of contributing for Sustainability and Responsible Leadership to become part of the “way we do things in our planet”. Find out more here.

"Have a Great and Impactful Week!" is the weekly newsletter from CATÓLICA-LISBON's Center for Responsible Business & Leadership. You can subscribe to "Have a Great and Impactful Week!" here

"Have a Great and Impactful Week!" is sent out every Sunday at 5PM, bringing new insights on the world of corporate responsibility, sustainability and responsible leadership. It is often signed by the Center's Executive Director, Nuno Moreira da Cruz.