Programs / Accomplished InitiativesCorporate Social Investment

Project Goal

To promote greater engagement of private companies in addressing Georgia’s development needs.

Program Justification

At a more general level, the need is coming from the ongoing transformation in the roles of the government, private companies, and non-profit organizations in addressing Georgia’s development needs. With the government’s move away from a highly centralized economy built on the soviet socialist model, and towards a free market-oriented system, centralized social services have all but disappeared. Many private companies operating in Georgia are experiencing increasing pressure to develop social investment programs to address the gaps, and non-profits are natural partners in implementing social service projects. However, private companies have a poor understanding of how they can identify priorities and develop strategies for social investments; and often they also do not know about or even mistrust potential partners in the non-profit field. On the other side, non-profit entities do not have the capacity to effectively fundraise from the private sector.

The program addresses these problems through trainings for both companies and non-profit organizations. Recognizing the absence of local training capacity in this area, the program facilitates international consultancy to introduce corporate social investment courses in the curricula of local business schools. This component targets the next generation of managers, who will later enter the corporate world with an understanding of the notion and importance of corporate social investments. The program also addresses the existing legal framework for private contributions, recognizing the flaws in the tax treatment of private contributions and earning of economic, i.e. revenue-bearing activities of non-profit organizations. It will include legal research, drafting, consultations with stakeholders, and lobbying with the relevant ministries and parliamentary committees.

Leading organizations team-up for promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Georgia

TBILISI. March 9, 2009 – Twelve international and Georgian organizations are joining efforts to promote the concept and practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Georgia.
The signatory organizations will co-operate to foster inclusive economic development, multi-stakeholder dialogue, ethical principles, and progressive management and governance standards. Through promoting CSR policies, they will encourage the harmonization of business practices in Georgia with those accepted in the West.

Press-release Eng (87.88 KBytes)

Press-release Geo (114.64 KBytes)

April Workshop Attracts Leading Georgian Companies

On April 3, 2008 EPF in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia sponsored a luncheon for leading Georgian and international companies to introduce the concept of corporate social investment. The keynote speaker was Marc de Sousa-Shields, who made a presentation including many examples of successful corporate social investment projects from developing countries around the world. The audience was keen to hear how businesses had untapped previously unknown markets and improved their branding by closely linking their social investments to their core business. The luncheon was followed by an interactive training the next day that assisted mid-level managers to develop their own corporate social investment strategies.

Corporate Social Investment: a New Model of Partnership

The Eurasia Partnership Foundation, British Council and Open Society-Georgia Foundation organized a conference on July 2, 2008 that gathered a broad base of society-business, government, non-profits and academic institutions-to examine global trends in corporate citizenship and how these trends are being put into practice in the Georgian context. Internationally recognized speakers discussed the increasing role for private companies and non-profits in the solution of social problems and the greater need for public-private partnerships in the context of gradual state withdrawal from some of the areas of its traditional involvement and decreased international donor assistance to Georgia. The conference participants considered corporate social responsibility models in the context of accelerating governmental reform policies, companies under increasing pressure to develop social investment programs, and non-profit institutions struggling to improve their financial sustainability funding and reach out to the private sector.

The conference began with a plenary session involving representatives of civil society, private companies, and the government that will outline the trends described above. The plenary as followed by two break-out sessions. The first focused on the challenges and opportunities faced by private companies interested in building social investment programs and linking them to their core business. The second aimed at representatives from non-profit and academic institutions and the government and focused on various models of private giving to the non-profit sector. It also addressed the legal environment for philanthropy and tax incentives for giving. The session closed with a discussion of a draft law on endowments, which has been developed by a group of Georgian universities. See selected presentations below.

Workshop Agenda (50.37 KBytes)

Lela Khoperia presentation (1.75 MBytes)

Birgit Errath (4.78 MBytes)

Mayan Quebral (8.91 MBytes)

Balazs Sator (7.96 MBytes)

Nilda Bullain (387 KBytes)

Natalya Kaminarskaya (449 KBytes)

Alex Vinnikov (111 KBytes)

Eurasia Partnership Foundation is a member of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSI) Global Partner Network

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