'Tis the Season ... For Corporate Giving

Helping others may be its own reward, but businesses are realizing additional value from their philanthropic activities. In a survey by Robert Half Management Resources, 80 percent of CFOs said social responsibility is important for their firms. In addition to serving their communities, executives reported benefits of these programs include improved employee morale, networking, reputation-building, brand awareness, and recruiting and retention.

CFOs reported on the importance and benefits of social responsibility programs for their companies

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CFOs were asked, "For your firm, how important are social responsibility programs, such as charitable giving or volunteer community service?" Their responses:

Very important


Somewhat important


Not at all important




CFOs who said these programs are important also were asked how social responsibility programs benefit their firms. Their responses*:

Increase employee morale


Expand networking opportunities


Improve reputation-building


Promote greater brand awareness and customer outreach


Enhance recruiting and retention


* Multiple responses allowed

"People want to support and work for companies that help their communities," said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "Successful businesses make philanthropy a part of their corporate culture. This often includes giving staff time and resources to dedicate to charitable and community activities."

Hird emphasized firms' investment in these programs must be genuine. "Find organizations or causes that align with your business values, and offer support beyond money, such as donating products and encouraging employees to share their expertise."

Robert Half Management Resources offers additional tips to help companies build their social responsibility program:

  • Work with employees to shape it. Survey your teams on organizations and causes that matter to them, and identify those that align with your company's values.
  • Promote activities internally. Provide updates on your firm's philanthropic efforts and opportunities for employees to get involved.
  • Make it happen. Whether it's part of a group or individually, provide staff time to participate in philanthropic activities.

About the Research
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.