Strategic Corporate Philanthropy: A Case Study of Hill-Rom Holdings Inc.

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McFarland, Lisa
Master of Leadership Development
The former CEO of Unilever, Niall Fitzgerald, stated, "Corporate social responsibility is a hard-edged business decision. Not because it is a nice thing to do or because people are forcing us to do it... because it is good for our business" (CRI, 2011). This approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) has created business practices that add CSR to strategic business plans.One portion of CSR is strategic corporate philanthropy. As the name suggests, strategic corporate philanthropy encompasses all corporate giving and requires a value added return from the ventures. Truly strategic philanthropy can be beneficial to both the company and the not-for-profit organization. The company should be able to see real benefits from the alliance with the right not-for-profit including enhanced employee engagement, increased customer loyalty,business innovation and growth opportunities (Lim, 2010). This research will focus on defining true strategic corporate philanthropy, recognizing best practices, analyzing current strategies and creating recommendations for improved practices at Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. in Batesville, Indiana.This mid-sized, eighty year old company has a rich history of corporate giving at its main campus in Batesville and other divisions across the world. The research will not defend the value of corporate philanthropy.For the purposes of this case study, the assumption will be made that because Hill-Rom already engages in large giving endeavors, they will intend to continue these practices in the future.This case study will allow Hill-Rom to better understand and recognize weaknesses in the current methods and opportunities to enhance their corporate giving through a more strategic approach to corporate philanthropy.