In last week’s edition of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, our own Loren McArthur penned an insightful piece encouraging philanthropy to invest more in corporate accountability strategies.
In the piece, “How Philanthropy Can Help Hold Corporations Accountable to the Public Interest,” Loren contends that philanthropy has a significant role to play in this area and should step up and take it on more directly. In particular, he identifies four potentially powerful approaches concerned philanthropists can support:
- Consumer Pressure Campaigns
Loren notes that efforts that “use petitions, corporate report cards, media campaigns, and other tactics can be effective ways to influence some corporations and industries — particularly well-known companies that serve consumers and have built socially responsible brands.
- Employee Activism
Sometimes, it’s highly effective to help employees work together collectively to “prod their companies toward practices that benefit workers and the larger community.”
- Legal Strategies
In the past, philanthropy has helped support legal work in a variety of areas, including work to oppose damaging practices in the tobacco and coal industries. As Loren notes, “unlike pressure from employees and the public, which isn’t as effective with companies in low-wage industries that don’t interact directly with consumers, lawsuits can work with all types of industries and companies.”
- Investor Activism
Many philanthropists also have standing as shareholders in public and private companies, and they can use those positions to encourage those companies “to adopt more socially responsible business models” and practices.
To learn more, read “How Philanthropy Can Help Hold Corporations Accountable to the Public Interest” in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.