Philanthropic Proposal


Philanthropic Proposal

Learning objectives:

  1. how to write clearly and how to effectively edit your own writing
  2. how to target a results-oriented business audience in business documents and correspondence
  3. best strategies to enhance critical thinking and analytical skills
  4. how to write clearly, directly and simply so that your message is accurate, concise, and to the point


Scenario and Your Task

The company where you work [this is a FICTIONAL company you will create] has become successful. Started by a motivated entrepreneur, the company now has 210 employees and is still growing.

The owner wants to become more socially responsible and knows that other companies have engaged in philanthropic programs. The owner wants you to do research, analyze possibilities, and report back in a concise and persuasive email that strongly RECOMMENDS ONE (1) philanthropic organization/charity for the company to support — and clearly explains why. If you and your teammate do a good job with this, it could lead to promotions for both of you.

Your team’s task is to address the following:

  • The owner wants the recommended charity/philanthropy to be a strong and powerful match for the mission and work of the company. He/she doesn’t want a generic charity; he/she wants a charity that resonates with the goals and aims of the company he/she has built.
  • The owner wants the recommended charity/philanthropy to provide opportunities for all employees to engage with the work of the charity, but he/she wants something more detailed than just volunteering time or giving money. How precisely will they all volunteer? What precisely will they do?
  • The owner wants to know about the financial health of the charity — he/she wants to know in plain English whether this charity is worthy of his/her money and why precisely.
  • The owner wants to know the business benefits the company will receive from working with this philanthropy.
  • The owner wants a realistic budget of how much this will cost (e.g. if the business holds an event, he/she wants a realistic breakdown of costs).


Writing Prompt

Write an internal proposal to your boss that outlines your philanthropic proposal. Use brevity tools and formatting to make this proposal easy to read.

You will also turn in a copy of the description of your company — what it does, where it is located, what are its aims/goals/mission. This is a fictional company. Provide enough details/data/specifics so I can see how you tied your company’s work, mission, and culture to your choice of philanthropy.


Important Tips –

  • Contextualize and interpret all data to support your decision. Don’t just use data — EXPLAIN and INTERPRET it in light of your persuasive argument.
  • Present creative, appealing yet plausible action plans. These should excite the owner and get him/her ready to implement your ideas. Don’t just recommend donating cash. Recommend longer term or ongoing plans that your company can do for the charity.
  • Present actionable plans — think logically and through the logistics of how this philanthropic relationship will work. This should be workable and realistic.
  • Put your recommendation first, as your boss has asked for this information.
  • Follow with your persuasive argument as to why this is the best option for the company and its employees.



Formatting Requirements

  1. Maximum word count: 1000 words.
  2. Stay professional. This may be an internal proposal, but it is as professional as any other office document.
  3. Use brevity tools (e.g., section headers, bullets, lists).
  4. Use a header on the first page with the one-paragraph description of your company (the proposal will appear starting on the next page). Your header should be RIGHT JUSTIFIED and SINGLE SPACED – see example bolded below:



Important Tips – Corporate Philanthropy

  1. Take time to review philanthropic organizations at, a site which evaluates the financial health of the nation’s largest charities.
  2. Take time to understand how corporate giving and volunteerism work. Some ideas from
  • Think about the strategies your company would follow to build a strong philanthropic arm.
  • Ask interesting, intellectual, and strategic questions, such as —
    • “Does our giving strategy suit our company today (e.g. values, assets, culture)?”
    • “What type of giving would engage and encourage our employees to join with us?”
    • “Could our company do more in terms of both social and business impact?”
    • “What activities could we sponsor?”
    • “What would supporting this charity say about us to our customers, clients, and the community?”
  1. Understand the top benefits for companies when they engage in “strategic philanthropy”:
  • Companies can declare up to 10 percent of pretax profits as tax-deductible contributions
  • Employees who get involved and volunteer develop a stronger sense of loyalty to the employer; this can improve productivity, enhance recruitment, and reduce employee turnover
  • Customers are often more loyal to socially responsible companies
  • By choosing causes to support that link with its core business (such as Home Depot and Habitat for Humanity), a company can reinforce its mission and customer relations
  • Strategic philanthropy generally improves a company’s overall reputation and eases relations with the government and the community
  1. Read the “Philanthropic Readings” documents posted on Blackboard.



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