Giving Back. It’s become table stakes for most corporations today — at least the ones that have understood and embraced the importance of Purpose. Arguably as well, it’s become the mantra of an entire generation, that of the millennials, that measure not only their self-image but their affinity to brands by the degree to which they can align their behaviors to their values.
And recent events — ranging from the dire images of hurricane-wracked communities to the moral bankruptcy of many of our institutions — have also served as a steady reminder that our ability to make a difference, to contribute to making the world a better place, requires fulfilling our duty to give back and, in doing so, to be true to the better angels of our nature.
And yet despite the fact that charitable giving has reached nearly $400 billion annually in the US, and notwithstanding the recent growth of the now very cluttered giving tech industry, one startling fact remains: charitable giving represents only around 2% of GDP here in the U.S. and it has been at that level since 1971.
Pretty crazy right? Since 1971, we haven’t gotten any more generous as a society? With all the noise and attention that swirls around our crowd-funding platforms, our ice bucket challenges and our celebration of newly minted billionaires giving away fortunes to charity, social good and the causes that need our support (now more than ever) are only growing at the same pace as the economy as a whole.