Local vs. Global: Navigating the Choice of Beneficiaries for Corporate Philanthropy

With corporate philanthropy events, the choice between supporting local causes within your community or broader global initiatives is an important decision that holds the power to shape the impact of your corporate giving. Both offer unique opportunities and present distinct considerations.

An important consideration in this decision is where your employees call home. If you have participating employees worldwide, choosing an international cause with a broader reach versus a nonprofit local to the U.S. headquarters may be better received by a global audience.

Local philanthropy, centered within the company’s community, provides an immediate and tangible impact. By supporting local causes, your employees can witness firsthand the direct impact of their contributions on their community’s well-being. Local giving often fosters a strong sense of connection and engagement among employees as they witness the positive changes within their immediate surroundings. Local philanthropy also allows for closer collaboration with community leaders and organizations, facilitating a deeper understanding of the specific needs and enabling more targeted solutions.

On the flip side, engaging in global philanthropy supporting a specific cause presents a broader reach and the potential to address systemic issues. Supporting global initiatives allows companies to tackle widespread challenges such as poverty, healthcare, or environmental issues that transcend geographical boundaries. It can align with a broader corporate vision of social responsibility and can significantly impact underserved regions worldwide. Additionally, engaging in global philanthropy may enhance a company’s reputation on an international scale, appealing to a diverse customer base and potential investors who value a commitment to global betterment.

When navigating this choice, businesses must consider their core values, the scale of impact desired, available resources, and employee engagement. Understanding the alignment between the company’s values and the intended social impact is crucial. Assessing the scale and urgency of the issues at hand and evaluating the company’s capacity to make a meaningful difference locally or globally is also important.

Ultimately, choosing between local vs. global beneficiaries for corporate philanthropy doesn’t need to be exclusive. An example would be a global company that plants trees in their local community for their corporate day of service while making a financial donation to One Tree Planted to plant trees in countries where their international colleagues reside. A balanced approach combining localized impact with broader global initiatives can create a comprehensive corporate giving strategy, leveraging the strengths to maximize the impacts. 

Through a network of over a thousand nonprofit beneficiary contacts in the U.S. and abroad, we work hand in hand with our clients to find the perfect fit for their giving.

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