South African businesses amongst the most philanthropic in the world

Letter published in Business Day, 30
April 2008.

South African businesses amongst the most philanthropic
in the world

The Business Day article (24 April 2008) about Grant Thornton’s recent International Business Survey overlooked a significant finding. According to this survey, 88% of privately owned businesses in South Africa donate to charity.

This means that South Africa businesses are amongst the most philanthropic in the world, along with businesses from the USA, Ireland, New Zealand and Botswana. Although this is not a new finding, it is something worth celebrating. We are a nation of givers.

I do however wonder how many of these companies derive a genuine strategic benefit from their donations, beyond some short-term media attention.

For example, how many of these companies have used their donations to enhance their value chain? I challenge companies to use their donations in a way that will improve their business, even if no one knows about it. Media attention can then be an added bonus.

Marcus Coetzee is a business strategist who helps leaders to think clearly about the future. To find out more about how he can help you, call 0828799131 or visit Marcus Coetzee.co.za.

Cultivating strategic clarity.

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