Using Art as an Engine for Community Involvement and Social Change


Be a catalyst for change in your community. Through Art as a Catalyst, you can engage your employees, purchase responsible gifts, and channel your philanthropic dollars into rewarding community programming. Socially conscious purchasing doesn't incur any additional expense for your company, and has wonderful ripple effects such as increased employee morale and good will in the community.

The Corporate Gifts Program

The corporate gifts program is an excellent way for companies to move from traditional corporate giving toward corporate social investing. Ever since the 1930s, when the IRS declared that corporations could consider charitable contributions to be legitimate business expenses, executives and shareholders of companies large and small have debated how much profit and energy should be directed toward supporting nonprofit institutions. Art as a Catalyst gives companies a way to leverage their funds in a visionary way: by partnering with nonprofit organizations.

We believe the 21st century is the age of alliances, and collaborations between nonprofit organizations and corporations will continue to grow in frequency and strategic importance. As collaborative relationships increasingly migrate from the traditional philanthropic model (characterized by benevolent donor and grateful recipient) and become longer-lasting and more meaningful, the corporate gifts program is one way for the two sectors to make connections.

Collaborations that result from socially conscious purchases can enrich a company's strategy, help manage human resources, build internal culture, generate business, and promote the business in the community in which it operates and beyond. John Whitehead, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, has said, "Don't think that socially conscious philanthropy is some kind of charitable thing where you get rewarded in heaven... you get rewarded right away, because you'll be known as a company that is conscious of its social responsibility; you'll attract better-quality employees; your stock will sell at a higher multiple; and all sorts of good things will come of it." We agree! And so do our friends at Calvert and Turner Construction.

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