I try not to comment too much about huge companies and their corporate philanthropy strategies- unless they have created a model that can be replicated by small businesses. The latest flurry of commentary and news about Apple's corporate philanthropy( or lack of) have left some valuable lessons for businesses of all sizes.
A few weeks ago after the announcement of Steve Jobs' resignation, the New York Times published a critical article about the lack of his personal philanthropy and the absence of any corporate giving.
Not less than two weeks after these stories, Tim Cook the new CEO laid out Apple's new corporate giving plan as reported by PC Magazine. This program comes as a sleek and straightforward employee matching gift program where Apple will match every employee's charitable donations up to $10,000.00 a year.
The beauty of this approach can be seen from several points of view: first, it's an effective tool engaging the employees in their own giving as it both motivates and rewards them for doing so; secondly, this plan becomes a very efficient tool for supporting local community causes as employees are more likely to identify and care about the local causes that are closest to their hearts; finally, this program streamlines the process of deciding on the recipients as Apple itself does not need to create any kind of application process
But mostly, any small or large business can replicate or adapt this program to create their own giving plan. It's simple and elegant and very effective, just like Apple's products.