"Good for Business" Philanthropy
Companies are always looking for ways to realize social impact with their philanthropic investments. Tying corporate philanthropy to their core business mission can make corporate giving good for business.
Aligning corporate philanthropy and business strategy was the goal of Mark Miller, then CEO of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers. For him, as well as his successor, Earle Pratt, philanthropy is fundamentally an investment - to be integrated into the corporate culture carefully and with discipline.
Photo: Mark Miller, former CEO and now Board Vice Chair of New Horizons (left) and Earle Pratt new CEO of New Horizons (right) presenting $10,000 check to Timothy Anderson, WCE President.
To get started, WCE was vetted by Mark Miller who called several WCE Board members and was impressed by their passion for the WCE mission. Then WCE was invited to their international conference in Nashville, Tennessee. At the event's opening ceremony, New CEO Earle Pratt presented Timothy Anderson, WCE president, with a $10,000 check, These funds will sponsor a shipment to schools in Nicaragua. To help draw attendees to WCE's booth at the conference, New Horizons arranged for a Gretsch Chet Atkins guitar to be donated to WCE for a successful fundraising sweepstakes that raised an additiional $2,000. Rick Riggs of Denver, Colorado won the guitar -- but WCE was the big winner; Rick recruited his company, Footprint Business Solutions to become WCE's pro bono webmaster. Also New Horizons agreed to sponsor a tech person from their corporate headquarters in Anaheim to go on our eCorps Nicaragua tech trip in April and to recruit other staff from across the company to join ths trip.
Financial support is only one way New Horizons has invested in WCE. Top management enlisted people throughout the organization to volunteer with WCE. As they see it, leveraging their expertise on behalf of WCE can provide meaningful opportunities for their employees and franchises to make a greater impact.
A global company with 300 centers in 60 countries, New Horizons identified a manager, Steve Betzold, to coordinate activities with WCE. He has introduced WCE to their Regional Directors who have started to involve franchises in developing countries in the work of WCE. Their center in Chicago has donated equipment and provided volunteers to help refurbish computers for Nicaragua. Their center in Harare, Zimbabwe will be helping with space and technical support for our eCorps trip in December 2011. Other franchise owners around the world have also begun to offer their services.
New Horizons and WCE have a shared idea that challenges enable opportunity and that we can help people prosper thru the knowledge, skills and understanding that can be accessed through the internet.
Read more about New Horizons' commitment to WCE.