A fairly common behavioral theory is that people are driven by self-interest. This concept comes into direct conflict with the fact that when presented with the opportunity, people more often than not, choose to make self-sacrificial decisions on behalf of others. So why would an individual forgo their own happiness for the sake of someone else if they are in fact driven by self interest?
This conundrum gets even more complicated when we look at it from the perspective of a corporation. Why do corporations give away a percentage of their profit to CSR initiatives instead of benefiting themselves and their shareholders?
The answer may be pretty simple – there is what we at the Kula Foundation call an enlightened self-interest in philanthropic giving. We, individuals, groups and even corporations, give selfishly. Giving makes us happy because we have self-interest in the improvement of the causes we care about and the communities we live in. And that is not a bad thing. In fact, we want to encourage it and take it to the next level.
Today, corporations operate in a multi-stakeholder world, and they need to give selfishly to stay competitive as customers are making more and more values-based purchasing decisions. The Kula Foundation believes that if corporations are given the opportunity to really benefit, not just reputationally but financially, from philanthropic giving, we will see an exponential increase in social change. Because let’s face it, there is no other entity out there with the reach and more importantly, the resources of a corporation to tackle the large-scale issues facing our local and global communities.
Let us break it down.
Ultimately, we aim to align the interests of individuals, causes and corporations to make substantial and sustainable changes and improve communities around the globe.