Mr Ng Shui Lai
Corporate citizenship is a
growing concern of business in developed countries. It is a
broad and holistic notion that a company examines the efficacy
and ethics of all aspects of its operations. Stakeholders including
shareholders are increasingly demanding companies to not just
look after the employees and the profit of the company but also
to be a good corporate citizen to invest in research and development,
to protect the environment and to be charitable.
The traditional model and the
first step of corporate citizenship is corporate philanthropy.
We are certainly aware that corporate philanthropy is just a
part of and is not the same as corporate citizenship. However,
here we would like to focus on this most common form of corporate
Corporate philanthropy can
take many forms. Donation is the most common one. Donations
can be in cash, in kind or of professional expertise. Many companies
encourage or organize their staff to do volunteer work in social
service organizations. Some companies are forming a more strategically
planned partnership and alliance with social service organizations.
Hong Kong is a much-developed
society in terms of its economic development. However, there
still is room for development in corporate philanthropy. Research
in the United Kingdom (David Grayson, January 1998, Business
in the Community, Lecture, London) suggested that there have
been three stages of corporate community involvement since early
1980s. The first stage is philanthropy driven from a sense of
moral and social responsibility. The second stage is strategic
philanthropy driven by a longer-term self-interest. The third
stage is community investment driven by long-term self-interest.
There has been no systematic
information and analysis in Hong Kong as to where we are in
this continuum. However, there should be no argument that we
are in the very beginning of this continuum of development of
New and demanding needs in
our community are increasing. It is also clear that the social
welfare policy in Hong Kong is not of one that is moving towards
a welfare state. Joint efforts from all sectors are called for
to create a just, participatory and sustainable society. In
this regard, corporate philanthropy is an area that deserves
Compare to other social service
organizations, we are one of those who receive relatively low
percentage of government funding (about 60% of total income).
Hong Kong Christian Service has a long history of support from
the community in terms of donations and volunteers. We are looking
forward to an even closer partnership with corporations in forming
strategic alliances for the improvement of the community where
we live and work.