Expert Q & A: What can someone working at a corporation in an area unrelated to corporate philanthropy do to orient himself or herself when joining the corporate citizenship team?

By: Ann Cramer, senior consultant with Coxe Curry & Associates

1.   Get a basic orientation of your own corporate culture, values, and direction – corporate philanthropy and citizenship today is a lot different than employee engagement (volunteerism) with “tee shirts and balloons,” or even community relations and contributions.  Use local corporate donor groups as well as the Council on Foundations and United Philanthropy Forum affiliates to learn with and from colleagues.

2.  Read some of the really key/basic works.  For example:

3.  Reach out to the key groups connected with work and thought leadership in this arena:

4.  Learn from people in the community:  Get involved in regional philanthropy discussions – the corporate council of your regional association of grantmakers, the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Volunteers’ Council of your United Way.

5.  Keep learning and growing – in our work, you will create a personal development plan for each year, with opportunities for training and learning.  It’s your responsibility to do it, and stay with it.  Find mentors within your company and from external colleagues (corporate and other foundations).



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2018 -- updated from original post in 2014

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Ann Cramer



Individual Professional Development 
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