Reflections on the Role of Corporate Philanthropy in Community Prosperity on Giving Tuesday
2020-12-01 | 5 min read
Each year Giving Tuesday celebrates generosity, and the role it plays in transforming communities. By encouraging individuals, families, groups and corporations to give of themselves and through donations, it salutes the value of "doing good" in the world — something that is desperately needed in this particularly challenging year.
As chairman of the Keysight Foundation, and executive sponsor of the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, for me Giving Tuesday also serves as a catalyst to reflect on the role of corporate philanthropy in driving community prosperity and positive global impact throughout the year. I am a true believer that no matter a company's size, there is always opportunity to strengthen local, or even global, communities through corporate efforts.
Consider, for example, three approaches Keysight utilizes in this space, which include: 1) ongoing community engagement; 2) enabling employee involvement and 3) supporting disaster relief. Certainly, there are many efforts in each of these areas, and the level of engagement is modulated based on needs each year, but so far, the approaches have proven successful in making progress to positively impact our communities.
Ongoing Community Engagement
Keysight’s philanthropic giving, community sponsorships, and volunteerism are continuous and ongoing throughout the year, with the purpose of strengthening local and global communities. To ensure we are making the intended positive impact across these programs, we focus efforts in the following areas:
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education to support next-generation skills development and enable prosperous career paths;
- Health and human services to engage underrepresented individuals and ensure humanitarian service access; and
- Environmental conservation in support of a more sustainable future.
Enabling Employee Involvement
Employee community involvement has always been a hallmark of Keysight’s culture. As such, we have a robust annual Giving Program that provides employees the opportunity to support a broad range of eligible nonprofit organizations and have their donations matched dollar-for-dollar. In addition, the company provides 4 hours of paid time off each month for employees to volunteer in their local communities. This is on top of our annual Day of Caring and volunteer programs that various Keysight campuses engage in each year. These programs enable employees to get involved and support their local communities in a manner that most aligns with their own values and passions.
Supporting Disaster Relief
Inevitably emergency situations arise. Whether it’s tsunamis, hurricanes, wildfires or pandemics, there are needs that go beyond the normal, ongoing community engagement efforts I’ve mentioned. In such times of crisis, corporations should endeavor to aid disaster relief efforts. Sometimes it takes the form of relief donations (such as Keysight’s $1M in COVID-19 donations to local community support organizations in 2020), personal protective equipment (PPE) donations (as Keysight provided at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic), staffing and resourcing relief centers (such as those Keysight enabled during the recent northern California wildfires) or maybe providing products that can help address individual situations. Even then, disaster relief is not just implemented and over when the initial crisis dissipates. Sometimes, like the case of Keysight’s involvement with the Hope School in Sichuan, China after the magnitude 8.0 Great Sichuan Earthquake hit, relief efforts turn into long-term and ongoing community engagements and employee involvement.
Celebrate, Reflect and Adjust
As with any great plan, change is constant. Regularly taking stock of corporate giving efforts helps ensure that efforts are leading to the intended outcome. If not, adjustment can and should be made. So, as we head deep into the holiday season and the ending of a particularly difficult year, I encourage everyone to join me in celebrating Giving Tuesday 2020 with your own donation of time or funds. In addition, I specifically ask my colleagues in other companies to take time to reflect on the status of year-round corporate philanthropic endeavors and adjust according to needs.