Barrick is taking the lead to enhance philanthropy in Nevada by creating the Nevada Corporate Giving Council. This is a collaboration of corporations that operate corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that benefit the state of Nevada through charitable giving. The Council will collect and publish an annual statistical report on corporate giving in Nevada; promote best practices in corporate giving; and seek, when appropriate, to collaborate on projects of mutual interest for the benefit of Nevada and its communities. The creation of the Council comes after the release of the first study of corporate philanthropy, jointly commissioned by Barrick and NV Energy, at the third Las Vegas Conference on Philanthropy.
Corporate responsibility is the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable development — working with employees, their families and the local community and society to improve the quality of life, in ways that are both good for business and good for development. Different from foundation and individual philanthropy, philanthropy through corporate giving is based on the act of businesses donating a portion of their profits and resources to charitable causes. As Nevada companies adopt these initiatives, the need for collaboration and benchmarking of best practices among their corporate giving programs has become paramount to the success of CSR efforts.
Michael Brown, Executive Director and Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Barrick North America, together with Shelley Gitomer, Vice President of Philanthropy for MGM Resorts, are co-chairing the start-up of the Council. The Moonridge Group consulting firm and Applied Analysis, both of Las Vegas, are providing the staff and research support. The Council will meet quarterly to discuss trends in corporate giving and to share experiences. At its most recent meeting, the Council heard from Michael Storik, a national expert on corporate philanthropy with the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy.
The Council will incorporate into a formal non-profit business league with the goal of growing to include the top 40 corporations in Nevada. Barrick is providing the resources in the first year to launch the Council as part of its commitment to CSR in Nevada. The Council is expected to evolve into a formal membership organization in 2015.
The creation of the Council comes at an important time in Nevada, as several of the leading private family foundations are wrapping up their work in Nevada. It will be up to individuals and corporations to fill the gap left when these foundations cease to be a presence in the charity community.
The creation of the Council is part of Barrick’s new engagement with urban Nevada, first articulated in late 2011. In a state fractured by regional rivalry, Barrick seeks to be an “All Nevada” company with a forward presence in Las Vegas through multi-year partnerships with leading charities like Communities in Schools, The Public Education Foundation, Nevada Ballet Theatre and Opportunity Village. It is hoped the Council will help to bridge the sectional divides and unite the corporate community in the area of philanthropy.