Interview: The Dalai Lama Centre’s Andy Price Discusses Modern Corporate Philanthropy

While many corporations used to be almost entirely motivated by revenue and their bottom line, modern businesses, employees, and consumers are driven by much more. 

It’s no longer enough to simply be an entity that generates profits.

Instead, organizations are being held to a higher standard as society demands that they do more to give back and make a difference in the world.

To explore The Importance of Corporate Philanthropy, Andy Price, Executive Director of The Dalai Lama Centre, has partnered with And-Co to host a panel discussion alongside:

  • Britt Anderson, CEO of Canucks Autism Network
  • Carmen Ryujin, Manager, Community Investment at RBC
  • Sharon Davis, Giving Well
  • Tim Cuffe, Director, Marketing, Nicola Wealth

The event will be taking place on February 23, but to set the stage for what you can expect to learn from this discussion, we spoke with Andy about corporate philanthropy, how it’s evolved over the years, why it matters to consumers, and how it’s valuable to businesses.

Here’s what he told us.

And-Co: What Exactly Is Corporate Philanthropy and Why Is It Important?

Andy: The concept of corporate philanthropy goes back a long way—at least 100 years, actually. 

And, for a long time, companies supported charities or communities primarily through sponsorship. 

But, where it used to be more about gift giving, it’s now about thoughtful, long-term relationships and strategies that are formed between businesses and charities.

At the heart of the matter, corporate philanthropy has always been goal oriented. But over the last couple decades, we’ve seen a transition from more surface-level goals to much deeper ones. 

Corporate philanthropy now encompasses more than just a tax incentive. Rather, it aligns a business’ ability to maximize monetary goals with community impact.

Is Corporate Philanthropy Reserved Only for Large Organizations?

While the word ‘corporate’ certainly implies that corporate philanthropy is only for large organizations, that’s not actually the case. 

Rather, it’s small businesses that really pioneered corporate philanthropy work due to their closeness to communities. Not only do small business owners provide jobs in their communities, but they also have an intrinsic connection to the people who live there—since they live and work there too.

Larger companies have since taken a similar approach. They asked themselves how they could more deeply connect with local communities, scaled the concept, and created efficiencies that the smaller companies didn’t have the budget or bandwidth for—such as online portals and automation.

Today, it’s come back full-circle, and small businesses are utilizing the types of efficiencies uncovered by the larger organizations. 

How Has Corporate Philanthropy Evolved Over the Years? How Has the Evolution of Modern Society and Consumer Expectations Impacted Corporate Philanthropy?

Over the years, there’s actually been a slow realization that the focus should be on the expectations and values of the employees rather than just the consumers. 

Ultimately, consumers are still very bottom-line driven in that they primarily just want the best possible product at the cheapest possible price. 

And although people are likely to boycott “bad companies,” it doesn’t always have the opposite effect when it comes to companies that are doing good.

Interestingly, corporate philanthropy is showing its value to organizations more so in recruitment and retention.

The hiring market is so competitive now, and corporate philanthropy is a way for companies to stand out to potential hires and keep current employees feeling fulfilled at work. 

People have a choice, and they are choosing to align themselves with companies that are purpose-driven. 

After all, inside is where the value is.

What Can People Expect to Learn from the Panel Discussion on February 23?

During the panel discussion, we’ll be covering three main topics:

  1. The Benefits of Purposeful Alignment 
  2. The Value of Social Value
  3. The Competitive Advantages Philanthropy Presents in Business Strategy 

We’ll share data about how corporate philanthropy helps improve recruitment and retention and helps with customer engagement and your organization’s public image as well as why engaging your staff through charitable efforts is more than a “nice-to-have”—it’s an essential. 

A group of professionals sitting around a table talking and working on their laptops

Why Is This Panel Discussion So Important? What Inspired You to Host It? 

I’m excited to speak to local business leaders and help companies understand the benefits and potential opportunities of corporate philanthropy. 

We feel very lucky and proud to be the charity partner of And-Co. Our partnership is a great example of how corporate philanthropy can be done in a meaningful, innovative way.

And-Co’s investment in the local community epitomizes the value and impact of corporate philanthropy, which makes it that much more fitting of a venue at which to host the event. 

Join Us to Learn More About the Importance of Corporate Philanthropy

  • Date: 23 February 2023
  • Time: 8:30am-10:00am
  • Venue: And-Co Offices Forum
  • Address: 1575 W Georgia Street, Vancouver BC

If you’d like to attend, click here to add the event to your calendar

And if you’re in search of a modern, full-service, and flexible workspace and community with sustainability at its core, book a tour of And-Co today.  

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