In the large body of literature on CSR, corporate philanthropy only holds a small share. Due to scarcity of data, empirical research is – with a few exceptions – limited to US-based corporations and their philanthropic activities. This is the first research project that covers all three aspects of Corporate Philanthropy in Switzerland: Corporate Giving, Corporate Volunteering and Corporate Foundations. So far no comprehensive study was ever conducted on this subject with data from Swiss companies and their Corporate Philanthropy activities.
The overarching aim of this project is to develop a better understanding of the interdependencies of CSR and corporate philanthropy. Especially to help understand, if and how corporate philanthropy activities create a win-win-situation for both business and society.
The descriptive research aim is to conduct a first conclusive overview of the different forms of corporate philanthropy and their state of action in Switzerland. Additionally, a better understanding of the linkages between corporate philanthropy, CSR and firm profitability will be developed using the collected data on corporate philanthropy in Switzerland. The explorative research aim of the project is to detect rules and criteria to value the impact of corporate philanthropy on the company’s social embeddedness (as civil society actor).
The findings of this research project will have a major effect on the theoretical debate on corporate philanthropy and corporate social behavior in general. By looking at the current debate on Corporate Philanthropy and taking Switzerland as a mini-laboratory, we lay the ground for a distinct theory of corporate philanthropy.