Firms Learn That As They Help Charities, They Also Help Their Brands

Feb 5, 2018 10:50 AM ET
Sandy Capell, the philanthropy and corporate responsibility manager for Subaru of America and its foundation, uses a software system to track employees who volunteer. (Photo Credit: Mark Makela for The New York Times)

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Adopting a tiger in India, donating yoga classes to disadvantaged children in Los Angeles or building homes for residents of a struggling New Jersey city might seem unrelated.

But in corporate philanthropy, they are part of the same trend: a desire by companies to show customers and employees that they are not just interested in profits, but that they care about the state of the world. And saying so is not enough. So determined are they to show impact — the latest buzzword in philanthropy — that they are marshaling metrics to prove it.

So important are those metrics, in fact, the measuring has spawned an industry of its own.

Consider Subaru of America.

In the first nine months of this year, 512 employees have volunteered their time for 105 events for 46 different organizations.

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