It's been a tough year for many Central Texans. A number of our neighbors are struggling with unemployment, homelessness, hunger and illness.
I believe that we as individuals and as corporate citizens have a moral responsibility to try and alleviate suffering where we find it. To be sure, we can't possibly address all of the needs of the world—the needs of the world are infinite. But what we CAN do is take action to address the needs of those in our community who are in front of us.
Why is this important? It is important because for more than a century, working for the common good and helping to offer a brighter future for others, has been an expectation of good corporate citizenship. And engaging in good corporate citizenship is tantamount to having a valid license to do business in the community. But also, a corporation's success is inextricably intertwined with the overall success/health of the community in which it operates. And a community that is grappling with such grave social ills is not a community conducive to operating a successful company. In order for companies to be successful, the community needs to be successful.
Contributing to the community also makes good business sense. For example, Samsung manufactures and markets products designed to ease life's burdens, enhance productivity and facilitate personal entertainment. Yet many of those in our community lack access to such basic needs as permanent shelter, nutritious food and quality health care. Too many young people are falling helplessly behind in school and will lack the skills to compete for good paying jobs. Not only will such individuals not qualify for the jobs Samsung creates in Central Texas, but they will also lack the financial resources to purchase Samsung products.
Simply put, the more people who participate fully in the economy, the better it is for business.
Sam Houston defined a leader as "someone who helps improve the lives of other people or helps improve the system under which they live." And by serving as a leader in efforts to improve the lives of Central Texans, corporations can improve the business climate in which they operate.
We at Samsung recently developed a framework for community giving. The following are tips that companies may use to help prioritize giving opportunities.
- Identify initiatives that align most closely with your company’s mission. Some examples are education, human services, the environment, and the arts, among others.
- Determine whether or not your employees can be actively involved with the recipient organization.
- Find out if there is a particular cause or organization that your employees are passionate about.
- Rather than give to a number of worthy organizations and hope that they do 'good' with the money, focus on actually solving particular social problems.
Finally, when considering whether or not your company should give back to the community, consider this, it is in giving that we receive.