London’s Lord Mayor says that while corporate philanthropy has come a long way, it will become higher profile in response to the pressure charities are facing.

David Wootton used the launch of 25th annual Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards today to applaud the increasingly strategic and widespread nature of philanthropy and volunteering by businesses in Greater London and predict that corporate philanthropy will grow in profile.

“As the years go by you will see philanthropy become more visible,” the Lord Mayor told a breakfast meeting of voluntary organisation representatives, City of London staff and journalists.

“A vast amount of excellent work is already being done, of course, but since the voluntary sector is being asked to do more with less, we will see more high-profile initiatives emerge,” he said.

Looking back on the changes within corporate community involvement since the Dragon Awards inception in 1987, the Lord Mayor said that corporate community involvement has become increasingly important and integrated.

A survey released at the event this morning found that five ‘milestones’ within the corporate social responsibility agenda have been achieved since 1987:

  • Corporate community involvement has become increasingly widespread with community affairs divisions emerging to manage corporate community partnerships.
  • Small businesses are today more engaged in their communities as they realise the contribution they can make even with limited staff and resources.
  • Corporate-community partnerships are increasingly long-term to maximise the investment and impact of both the charity and business.
  • Businesses have developed sophisticated skills-based employee volunteering programmes to help meet a new aim: to equip charitable organisations with the necessary skills to become sustainable in the long term.
  • There is a greater focus on impact as businesses need to justify their community investment, particularly in the current economy.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award recognise community engagement in greater London, including charity partnerships, employee volunteering, employability initiatives and local purchasing.

“We hope through the Dragon Awards we can help to move corporate community involvement [CCI] forward and continue the important work with more exposure.”

Entries for this years awards open on 28 March, 2012.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.


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