Corporate philanthropy with a twist - Baltimore


Sep. 26, 2016 9:30 am

Corporate philanthropy with a twist

Innovative Corporate Charitable Solutions wants to let employees decide.

MdBioLab staff, AT&T's LaTara Harris and students from Frederick Douglass in front of MdBioLab during the $20,000 check presentation. (2013 file photo.)

(Photo courtesy of Henry Fawell)

Businesses set aside money for charitable giving all the time, but the employees don’t always get to dictate where the money goes. A startup working out of the Emerging Technology Centers’ Haven Campus is looking to put those dollars directly in the workers’ hands.

“We want to bring corporations and communities together,” said Dale Kelley, CEO of Innovative Corporate Charitable Solutions. He says employees can be that bridge.

The platform, called Corporations4Communities. It allows corporations to allocate a pool of money for employees to donate. It has a searchable database of 501(c)(3) organizations (excepting political and religious organizations). To prod toward local giving, the search defaults to the company’s local area.

The businesses give up a degree of control over what the money goes toward. But Kelley said there’s a return. the idea is to stimulate giving to smaller, local charities.

The bottom-up approach can also help employers drive satisfaction among employees and retention, he said. The business itself gets a report of what charities the employees supported, but not the specific charities. Innovative Corporate Charitable Solutions makes money on a subscription fee paid by the company.

Employees can also share the donations on social media, and Innovative Charitable produces a video of the company’s CEO.

More than five companies are on board, and they have been testing it with ETC companies. At the incubator’s happy hour to kick off Paul Singh’s Results Junkies Tech Tour on Monday, Sept. 26, the company will be giving away $1,000 to a startup for their employees to donate.

The idea was the brainchild of Robert J. Weider, cofounder of investment advisory firm Court Place Advisors. He and Kelley, an entrepreneur who cofounded TurboHaul, met through their sons’ baseball team. The team grew to a total group of 10, four of whom are full-time.

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