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Corporations, Individuals and Giving

Ethics in modern day business are of paramount importance. With this, a trend has emerged in growing corporate donations, which now rival private donations in the case of many charitable causes. Giving is about returning help to a community which perhaps helped the firm flourish in the first place. Consumers are a stakeholder in every company, but their welfare and brand loyalty can be heavily interconnected. Smart companies are able to improve lives and improve their standing within a community of consumers simultaneously.

To investigate we need only turn to Stanton Optical, a prominent eyewear provider who lend their support as a sponsor and donor to various not-for-profit causes. In one such effort the company was able to supply nearly 1,000 pairs of eyeglasses to some of the most underprivileged individuals in the world, via Eyes for the needy - a concerted philanthropic effort to bring relief to those struggling with untreated vision issues.

Long popular with corporates for the possibility of tax burden reductions, donations today have transcended this limited scope to encompass a sense of responsibility and ethical behavior in business. Our book introduces some of the foremost social and economic reasons for charitable gifts, but it is important to underline the efforts of companies like Stanton in delivering a service to customers who are perhaps unable to access healthcare in normal circumstances. Eye problems, in particular, can become engrained in under privileged communities where dietary requirements for healthy eye development are not always met.

Specifically within the space of eyewear, companies like Stanton are able to lend both insight and financial backing to charitable causes. The administration costs faced by charities in collecting a smaller volume of bigger transactions is also lower. For these reasons, amongst others, more and more non-profit programs are focusing their efforts on potential private sector partners. Reduced time spent gathering funds equates to more time spent delivering valuable services. This in itself, is one of the greatest arguments that can be made in favor of the ethical giving championed by industry leaders. Many charities have discovered that this giving may not necessarily be industry specific. Stanton, and other companies, list Epilepsy and Leukemia societies amongst their beneficiaries.

Send comments to Adam Corson-Finnerty or Laura Blanchard