About a month ago, a statement signed by 181 CEOs of the Business Roundtable rewrote the purpose of a corporation. That purpose includes a broader mission to foster an economy that benefits all Americans.
— IPaintMyMind (@IPaintMyMind) May 15, 2020
The association’s previously held maxim that a corporation’s foremost existence was to serve shareholders was scrapped in an effort to put a greater focus on improving society.
Under the new statement, a corporation’s shareholders are, well, everyone. The change in perspective toward corporate social responsibility coincides with American business leader’s acknowledgment that corporations have a shared best interest with their communities–their responsibility is to society at large.
The new purpose emphasizes investment in employees and communities, where the commitment to support workers, respect communities and implement sustainable practices is what generates long-term value.
This is an astounding reversal of previous Roundtable purpose of a corporation statements, and the announcement is exciting for nonprofit organizations like IPaintMyMind. Corporations no longer have to believe that philanthropy rests at the lowly points of altruism and self-interest. Rather, opportunities to partner with nonprofits align directly within a corporation’s values.
IPaintMyMind’s entrepreneurial nonprofit developmental model is a clear example of the mutual benefits and shared value that investment in community provides. A partnership with IPaintMyMind allows a corporation to simultaneously improve its office space and fund art exhibitions and programs for schools and kids in Chicago.
It is encouraging that America’s corporations have recognized their role in society. The Business Roundtable began their statement of purpose by saying, “Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity.” IPaintMyMind thinks so, too.
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