<< View All Latest News

Four Ways Corporate Philanthropy Can Lead a Post-COVID Breakthrough

Welcome back to Foundation Friday, the monthly newsletter from the Best Year Yet Foundation, the corporate foundation of InteraWorks. Throughout 2021 we have been exploring the theme of “beyond a comeback and into a breakthrough” as we look forward to emerging from the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Four Ways Corporate Philanthropy Can Lead a Post-COVID Breakthrough

Some of the challenges we face today may seem insurmountable, as many are still under duress from the threats of the pandemic. The opportunities for corporate philanthropy to make a difference are emerging to fill critical gaps. Here are four that rise to the top:

Increase Philanthropic Investment

The last year has exacerbated many of the inequities in our economies. While many have suffered, the major US corporate indices showed a significant corporate gain i.


Now is a vital time for those corporations experiencing gains to reinvest those profits in communities that need it most through their corporate foundations and corporate social responsibility. Through authentic service, corporate brands can make a real difference in people’s lives, improve their standing in the community, and shift beliefs about their brand more effectively than ever before.

Expand the Scope of Service

In the past, corporate foundations have focused community service initiatives based on a strict definition of their mission. Now is the time for mission expansion to meet the needs of communities.

The Best Year Yet Foundation is meeting this commitment by expanding our reach into:

  • Education – serving teachers and administrators in Florida and Texas
  • Safe places for kids – working with key organizations to create safe places for kids both at home and through after school programs with the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay
  • Training Law Enforcement – in partnership with a local Colorado Police Department around resiliency training along with diversity and inclusion

Invest in Innovation

Corporate Foundations can be an engine of innovation. As Blackrock CEO Larry Fink noted in his December 2020 CEO Letter, “Despite the darkness of the last 12 months, there have been signs of hope, including companies that have worked to serve their stakeholders with courage and conviction.” His examples include:

  • The business rapidly innovating to keep food and services flowing during lockdowns
  • The record-setting completion of safe COVID-19 vaccines
  • Decisive action and planning by Business to combat climate change
  • Corporate commitments to fund non-profits serving their communities ii.

Consumers are more educated about brands than ever before and choose to spend their money with organizations that match their values. The future of corporate success depends upon how those companies serve their communities and consumers. Corporate foundations are the best vehicle to accomplish this through authentic community service.

Employ Young People

The economic fallout of the COVID 19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted young people. A global study of 112 countries conducted by the International Labor Organization determined “the impact of the pandemic on young people to be systemic, deep and disproportionate.” Here are a few statistics:

  • One in six young people who were employed stopped working altogether with the majority aged 18 – 24
  • Two out of five young people reported reductions in their income
  • Young women reported greater losses compared to young men
  • As a result, 17 % of young people are probably experiencing depression and anxiety iii.

Increasing corporate giving, expanding strategic engagements, and investing in innovation will all require additional people-power. There is an incredible opportunity to invest in young people, to give them experience in mission-driven organizations, and reset their path for the future.

Our Commitment at the Best Year Yet Foundation & InteraWorks

Both the Best Year Yet Foundation and InteraWorks are committed to following through on these four key areas to help lead a breakthrough. We hope you will join us in this mission, see the value of corporate philanthropy through a new lens, and activate your organizations to do the same.

Thank you and we will talk to you next month!

Aaron Cohen

Executive Director

Best Year Yet Foundation