Corporation Giving: A View Outside Your Own

Karina Rivera

The controversy of corporate giving is not necessarily a new occurrence, but that does not mean it is a topic that deserves no attention. Big time corporations: Target, K-Mart and Starbucks, just to name a few, all donate to organizations or causes. Some of the donations may go to controversial organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which offers abortion procedures.  There are many religious websites that offer a list of companies who support Planned Parenthood in hopes of having others join them in boycotting such companies. Even when a company does not give direct funds to an organization or cause, it is possible for companies to offer gift matching.

Gift matching is defined as an employee donating a certain amount to an organization or cause, and the employer adding on to the gift the exact amount donated by the employee. In the past years, unexpected companies have offered gift matching to Planned Parenthood, such as Johnson & Johnson. It is possible to boycott certain corporations due to the funding they offer to a cause that one may not agree with, but it is necessary to look at the broader scope.

Many issues can be seen as controversial, not simply the mainline controversies, i.e. abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, etc. Johnson & Johnson give mostly to other countries. Some people believe that Americans should first help their own before reaching out their hand to help others. Such a people may view third world giving as controversial. Controversy alone does not seem justifiable in reason for corporations to cease generous beneficial giving.

It is understandable for a passionate believer of a certain issue to be flustered by the idea of a company they buy from to give to an organization that they morally disagree with. But companies such as Johnson & Johnson give to more than just one cause.  Available on their website, contribution reports are made available, telling not only who they give to, but a summary of what the cause is all about. One example of a donation Johnson & Johnson made in 2010 was to Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. The hospital provides physical treatment to women who have a condition that leads to leaking urine. These women are ostracized by their communities and emotionally wounded from it. The hospital not only allows for the physical treatment of such woman, but also for their emotional treatment.

There are many more examples of corporations who give to issues that can be seen as controversial, but corporate giving should not be abolished or even discouraged for that matter. There is so much good being done with the funding of major corporations, that even if a person is against a specific organization’s cause that is receiving funding, it may be necessary to look at the broader scope.