The business of philanthropy: Challenges in measuring the value of cultural giving

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Abstract

Corporations are under increasing pressure to provide information about their corporate social responsibility activities. However, there is limited work on how firms measure the value of their philanthropic giving. The value of a philanthropic act can be difficult to ascertain as it often relates to unique goods that do not have a market value. The paper examines the processes a sample of (mainly family-run) private corporations follow to value their donations to a not-for-profit cultural festival. The findings suggest that while giving to the festival is seen as a contribution to the local community, there are additional motivations for donating. Moreover, the firms do not attempt to formally assess the value of their act, which they believe is hard (if not impossible) to measure. Our case highlights a more complex system influencing philanthropic acts of private firms.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Early online date9 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • accountability
  • value
  • philanthropy
  • not-for-profit organisation
  • employees

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