First, corporations are an inextricable part of any community that they operate in – from local to global. Corporations don’t work in isolation and these communities include a range of relationships beyond just shareholders. Employees, suppliers and customers are just a few key groups that must be considered in corporate decisions. A corporation, for good or bad, can reap the benefits or the costs of these decisions.
Second, the government and the non-profit community will never be able to match the reach or resources of large global companies. Corporations are the single greatest wealth creators in the history of modern civilization and therefore, must be the driving power behind real social change. Through partnerships, corporations can solve the most intractable problems that face our communities including economic development, poverty, health and human rights.
Third, we as a society are making more value-driven decisions about the companies we support and the products we use than ever before. Market awareness of a corporation’s beliefs and actions can be a source of punishment or a purchase trigger. To remain competitive, corporations must tap into the values behind the customer buying process and reflect those values as an organization.
Finally, the Kula Foundation believes that there is a thread of enlightened self-interest between customers and corporations. While corporate philanthropy has its place, we ultimately believe that we will not see a substantial increase in social change until it is more aligned with the core functions of a corporation. When there is recognition of mutual self-interest and the necessity of shared investment, communities will scale the resources and address the causes critical to the health and well being of all.
*The Kula Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.