Family-owned concerns and publically traded companies alike were schooled on The 1% Solution at Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable’s largest event to date on Thursday, August 16th at the Canary Hotel.
Describing the concept pioneered by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Craig Matthews of Blue Ribbon Flies, Rebecca Calahan Klein, Vice President of international organization 1% for the Planet, educated the group on “business to non-profit” strategic connections. Calahan Klein explained the value of aligning a company’s mission with their philanthropy in terms of both issues and nonprofit partners, using the 1% for the Planet model as an example. This
model has resonated successfully with over 1,400 global businesses within 1%’s alliance who are dedicated to protecting the earth by donating monetarily, in-kind products, and volunteer oursto environmental nonprofits.
Businesses within the 1% network will often collaborate to complete a project of local importance, such as saving a forest in Vermont or a river in Colorado, Klein explained. Last year, businesses donated 23 million dollars to approved nonprofits – with most coming from small businesses with less than 1 million a year in sales.
Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable (CPR) Facilitator Judy Hawkins localized the concepts and framed Thursday’s discussion by asking attendees to consider possible risks and opportunities to their businesses in the coming decade. Affordable housing, climate change, and market differentiation emerged as threats. Klein also added water and transportation as environmental concerns that specifically impact the Santa Barbara area. She encouraged attendees to consider where the environment fits in to their business plans. Many of the identified issues have a direct effect on local businesses and their employees, and taking steps to involve employees and management in identifying and solving problems (such as sustainability) is not only good for the community – it is good for business.
President of Montecito Bank & Trust, Janet Garufis, can’t agree more. She shared how the organization follows the vision of owner Michael Towbes by holding philanthropy as a central value. This choice has shaped and grown the business, particularly in the area of employee retention, which is at 97%. “We followed the philosophy of our owner with regard to philanthropy, and our business has grown because of it,” Janet said.
“As anticipated, this introduction to 1% for the Planet stimulated sharing of best practices about strategic philanthropy – how local businesses generate the most value in their corporate giving for employees, customers and stakeholders,” said Judy Hawkins. CPR members hope this discussion will incite local organizations to adopt creative philanthropy solutions and to align giving with their individual business risks, opportunities, and environmental footprint.
About Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable
Corporate Philanthropy Roundtable (CPR) exists to create opportunities for community businesses to generate enduring investment strategies. CPR hosts quarterly events to foster discussion between local companies and to provide a space for businesses to learn about the best practices of corporate philanthropy. Website.
About 1% for the Planet
1% for the Planet exists to build and support a global alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. The organization represents more than 1,450 companies in 45 countries giving at least one percent of sales to a network of environmental nonprofit organizations. Website.