Microsoft, Boeing & Starbucks Top Corporate Philanthropy List

May 20, 2016

The Puget Sound Business Journal honored 75 companies for corporate philanthropy, based on 2015 cash giving in Washington state, at its annual Corporate Citizenship and Healthy Community Champion awards luncheon May 19, in partnership with Seattle Foundation.

In the large category, focused on companies with revenue exceeding $500 million, three Philanthropy Northwest members topped the list: Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks.

"Everything we do, we do in partnership — and we do it with all of you," said Mary Snapp, corporate vice president of Microsoft Philanthropies, crediting the 4,000 Washington nonprofits that inspired Microsoft employee donations last year, dozens of regional business partnerships and her team's "unwavering and optimistic" commitment to philanthropy.

"You all make impact," she concluded. "You all make it happen."

Additional Philanthropy Northwest members recognized for their corporate citizenship included JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Alaska Air Group Inc., BECU, KeyBank, Holland America Line and Moss Adams LLP. United Way of King County helped sponsor the event.

Boeing was also honored as one of PSBJ's eight Healthy Community Corporate Champions, in the education category.

"Education is the best way to lift kids out of poverty," said Bill McSherry, Boeing vice president for state, local and global corporate citizenship, accepting the award on behalf of the company's century of Washington philanthropy. Boeing was also praised for its commitment to hiring veterans during a panel discussion on "Millennial Mindset: Pursuing Purpose and Philanthropy in the Workplace," and will honor its depth and range of community partnerships at a May 26 celebration at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Upcoming CSR Events & Opportunities to Engage

Corporate philanthropists are invited to a June 6 meeting in Seattle on The ROI for Corporate Social Responsibility, hosted by Philanthropy Northwest in partnership with ACCP, to discuss how different companies integrate philanthropy across departments. The discussion will kick off with Steve Rochlin, co-CEO of IO Sustainability and lead author of Project ROI, a report examining the financial and business returns of CSR investments and company practices that can unleash them.

Ellen Weinreb, CEO of Weinreb Group, covered the report for GreenBiz:

In their review of over 300 studies, co-authors Steve Rochlin and Stephen Jordan lay the question of whether ESG practices "drive or distract" from tangible financial performance to rest. They examine everything from market value and risk reduction to branding and sales, documenting quantitative evidence that CSR programs can improve company performance.

For each employee that is retained, companies can save up to 90 to 200 percent of that employee’s salary.

On the HR front, the numbers are impressive: CSR programs can increase productivity up to 13 percent and reduce the employee turnover rate by up to 50 percent for large, publicly traded companies. For each employee that is retained, companies can save up to 90 to 200 percent of that employee’s salary.

Prospective employees also view firms with high corporate social performance as more attractive; workers are willing to take up to a 5 percent pay cut to work at these firms.

Further, workers that are well informed about the company’s CSR efforts are more likely to go "above and beyond" by doing extra work not required for payment, particularly high performing workers.

This important conversation will include leaders from Starbucks, Pacific Continental Bank, Russell Investments and more. Space is limited; contact Paul Kim for information and registration details.

For more news from philanthropic business leaders in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, sign up for Philanthropy Northwest's biannual Corporate E-Bulletin.

Nicole Neroulias Gupte is Philanthropy Northwest's senior communications manager. She can be reached at ngupte@philanthropynw.org.