Summer 2016

Corporate Foundations: Delivering social change

We were recently joined for a thought provoking roundtable discussion by the Shell Foundation, Girl Effect and a host of our corporate clients.

The discussion, part of the CAF Breakfast Series of events, largely centered around the question:

In a world demanding constant innovation, what is the role of the corporate foundation in delivering social change?

You can view our short video of the key contributors from the day if you couldn’t attend.

Our Head of Corporate Clients, Klara Kozlov, has also shared 10 lessons from corporate foundations experts in a recent blog post leading with number one:

“Prioritise purpose – a foundation’s purpose serves as its guiding star. To ensure your foundation is purpose-led, you should first articulate its purpose in a clear way that enables you to crystallise your primary objectives. Bring the foundation’s purpose to life and integrate it into operations to dictate activities and direction. A regular, strategic review cycle will enable you to determine whether your activities are inline with your purpose, or whether your purpose needs to be recalibrated as your foundation evolves.”

To read the full list visit Klara’s blog.

Considering whether to establish a new foundation, or ambitious to grow the success of your already established foundation? For an informal chat and information on our advisory work in this area please contact CAF’s Senior Corporate Advisor Laura Dosanjh at

Or if you are new to the subject and want some introductory information, please read this article and below for the basics on what a corporate foundation is and how it works.

What is a corporate foundation?

A corporate foundation is, effectively, a charitable entity established by a commercial company. This method of managing corporate giving can benefit you in a number of ways:

  • Establishes a structured and strategic approach that fits in with your company strategy and values
  • Engages with charities and the wider social sector
  • Shares and applies your expertise to social change

How does a corporate foundation work?

Corporate foundations can be set up and funded in a number of ways; including as an entity which shares the same name as your organisation, funded through investment income on assets originally given by the company.

Some of the resourcing may also come from:

  • Regular donations
  • Endowments linked to your profits
  • Share gifting
  • Fundraising monies from customers or employees
  • Contributions of in-kind donations, such as time and assets
  • Contributions from other partners and suppliers
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Innovate your corporate giving

A Corporate Foundation demonstrates your commitment to corporate social responsibility and long-term support of the charitable sector.

Build on your reputation

Could a Corporate Foundation be right for you?

We worked with our clients Brewin Dolphin to implement a Corporate Foundation.

Find out how it works