What were the smartest—and silliest—corporate contributions of 2010?
Rachel Bellow and Suzanne Muchin, of ROI Ventures—a Chicago company that works with donors, business people, and nonprofits on creating business models and brand campaigns—offer their picks.
Their “worst” list:
• Target’s $150,000 political donation to Minnesota Forward, a group that supports pro-business candidates, including one gubernatorial candidate who ran on an anti-gay marriage platform. The move angered human-rights groups and stirred a boycott movement of the retail chain.
• Goldman Sachs dangling of casual Fridays before employees to convince them to ante up for charity. According to The New York Times, Goldman’s securities division offered its employees the chance to wear jeans to the office every Friday in August if they gave at least $25 to one of four designated nonprofits.
And their “best” list:
• Microsoft’s move to train more out-of-work people in technology skills, in part to compensate for its declining cash contributions amid the recession.
• A 12-hour marathon effort by Discovery Communications employees to lend their marketing, communications, social media, and creative skills to nonprofits.
What do you think of Ms. Bellow and Ms. Muchin’s list? What would make your list of the best and worst of corporate giving last year?