Project Management

Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Needed Partnership

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I was trying to think of some different topics to write about for this month’s theme of PM Philanthropy and I kept coming back to the idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR). And then I got frustrated with myself because that’s a different concept. It’s about doing the right things as an organization, not about using corporate wealth to try and drive improvements in society. But then I realized, not only are the two connected, they actually support one another—so that’s what I want to explore in this article.

CSR is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the idea that organizations should be run in such a way that they do as little damage and as much good to society as possible. It’s the idea that corporations are the custodians of the future just as much as we as individuals are. It covers everything from energy efficiency and environmental practices to investments in communities.

The example I’m going to use is a selfish one, but I’m not going to apologize for it because it also highlights a major global crisis. I live on the island of Roatan, in the south west Caribbean. Just offshore is the Mesoamerican barrier reef—the second largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef.

And that reef ecosystem is suffering. There are many factors, but two of the largest are …

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