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(as first appeared Blackbaud's sgEngage blog)
As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on and continues to cause distress, corporations are being entrusted – and expected - to lead the way to support and help solve the world’s most pressing issues. Since the crisis began, the Association of Corporation Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) has supported hundreds of companies in their effort to effectively deploy their human and financial resources to help those that are most vulnerable in communities. Five pressing issues that have emerged as priorities for corporate philanthropy and volunteerism are:
Employee Assistance Funds (EAFs) are philanthropic entities created and funded by a company to which employees in need can apply for cash relief. Approximately 70% of large corporations already have an EAF in place and those that do not are turning to third party nonprofits like e4e Relief and/or local community foundations to distribute charitable funds directly to employees. Companies are making significant donations to their hardship funds and supplementing them by providing a financial match to contributions made by employees and executives or through awareness campaigns.
In response, many companies are funding hunger relief organizations including Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, and World Central Kitchen, who are quickly and efficiently deploying meals and groceries through trusted community partners. Companies are also engaging their employees as volunteers in purchasing, packing, and distributing food to those in need through partnerships with local foodbanks who are safely engaging volunteers.
Qualified teachers are also struggling to deliver content virtually with little to no technological training. Tech corporations are directing pro bono volunteers to provide teachers with much-needed tech support, and companies are partnering with organizations like Khan Academy to provide lesson plans and adaptable curriculum.
By addressing any of these five community needs, companies will help stem the devastating impact of the pandemic. Rebuilding communities that are intentionally more equitable and resilient will be the next challenge for corporate social responsibility.