Harvard Researcher Elizabeth Keenan shares why consumers care more about how companies donate than how much they donate
Corporations donate billions of dollars to nonprofits each year to effect change and increase sales and positive brand sentiment.
When companies donate, is a larger donation, and thus more money, better? Not necessarily.
Harvard Business School’s Elizabeth Keenan, Leslie John and Anne Wilson conducted a series of studies in 2020 and 2021 on this very issue. Their findings offer new insights for companies trying to win the hearts of socially conscious consumers and for nonprofits that build campaigns with their corporate partners.
In today’s episode, EFG’s Alli Murphy is joined by Elizabeth Keenan, Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Marketing Unit at HBS, to talk about the research, their findings and her advice for corporate and nonprofit leaders.
Elizabeth has both academic and nonprofit experience. Before her doctoral studies and time at Harvard, she spent ten years in nonprofit management at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
In today’s episode, we’ll explore:
- The series of 5 studies and why the results matter for CSR & social impact professionals
- Why consumers care more about how companies donate than how much
- How consumers determine a company’s generosity
- How companies that donate a high absolute amount but a low percentage of profits can still be seen as generous
- Elizabeth’s advice for nonprofit and corporate leaders
- What Elizabeth found surprising about their findings
Elizabeth KeenanAssistant Professor of Business Administration in the Marketing Unit, Harvard Business School
Meet The Host
Alli is the Director of Events & Program Development at Engage for Good where she leads a talented team that helps corporate social impact leaders advance their campaigns, careers and organizations through professional development and networking opportunities.
Don’t miss an episode of the podcast! Use the buttons below to subscribe so you’ll get the latest episodes instantly.
Check Out More Episodes