Skepticism over corporate charity

NEW YORK: A massive 79% of the population takes good corporate

citizenship into account when buying products or services, and 71%

consider it when investing, says a new survey. The problem? The American

public believes that most corporations aren't good corporate


The study, commissioned by Hill & Knowlton and carried out by Harris

Interactive, showed that only 2% of the 2,594 respondents perceive US

companies as excellent corporate citizens. And the survey also uncovered

cynicism about corporate motives behind char-itable actions.

Seventy-five percent believe that participation in charitable activities

is motivated by a desire for good PR.

Philanthropy, therefore, has to be well placed, said Harlan Teller,

H&K's EVP and director of worldwide corporate practice. "Companies

should pick an area and leverage it. Even sophisticated companies spread

their giving out to too many organizations." Teller said McDonald's

really understood how to make its philanthropic cause stand out by

focusing on children.

"Corporations need to do more than simply give away dollars," added


"They need to act in ways that genuinely demonstrate their core

corporate values."

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