Accelerating Impact, 20 Years with a Singular Purpose

Accelerating Impact, 20 Years with a Singular Purpose

A letter from CEO, Mark Layden

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Accelerating Impact: 20 Years with a Singular Purpose @CyberGrants #CSR #philanthropy #employeegiving #20anniversary
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - 12:40pm


We are all so acclimated to the fantastical array of personal and business technology in our lives. It’s boggling to consider that just 20 years ago, we managed with no Uber, no streaming, no FaceTime, no backup cameras, no YouTube, no DropBox. Even the grande dame iPhone has only been around since 2007.  Personally, I’d sure have a tough time getting through my week with no Spotify.

A common theme among all these technologies and innovations is that they have a purpose. A clear mission. Whether to revolutionize personal communication, make driving safer, or to democratize access to entertainment. There’s a mission, a purpose, at their core.

Corporate philanthropy has also witnessed dramatic changes in the past 20 years of CyberGrants’ existence. These changes have certainly taken place within technology, but no less importantly in perception and attitude. Compared to today, giving was down, strategic corporate giving programs were almost non-existent, and the C-Suite was nowhere to be found.

These Harvard Business Review nuggets from the throwback machine reflect the ancient CSR world of 20+ years ago.

“When it came to selecting causes, corporate donors choose those least associated with their line of business.” – 1994 

“What accounts for the decline in corporate giving? CEOs are no longer willing to stand up for philanthropy.” – 1994

“Charitable contributions by U.S. companies fell 14.5% in real dollars last year, and over the last 15 years, corporate giving as a percentage of profits has dropped by 50%.” – 2002

What a stark contrast to the environment we’re in today! Not only a contrast, but a big change for the better over the long term. Organizations are not just fixated on the bottom line, but increasingly, proactively, and visibly committed to serving a greater range of constituents with greater resources in hand. 

Read more here.