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Markfield Institute of Higher Education, Markfield, UK, and
Centre for Islamic Banking, Finance and Management,
University of Brunei Darussalam, Bander Seri Begawan, Brunei
AbstractPurpose – As per Islamic business ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) of the businessorganizations and Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) should be seen as a benefit rather than a cost.
The intense commitment of Islam to justice and brotherhood demands that business organizationshould take care of some of the needs of the community, Therefore, there is needed that the IFIsshould create a congenial atmosphere of strategic linkage between Islamic charity organizations andbusiness companies. The main purpose of this paper is to study the current practices of CSR of thebusiness organizations as well as IFIs and to explore further scope of optimizing charity value.
Design/methodology/approach – The study evaluates the CSR of the businesses and IFIs basedon secondary sources information and develops a model which creates a strategic link betweenIslamic charity organizations and business companies.
Findings – A collective approach of businesses, IFIs and awqaf/charitable foundations wouldincrease the flow of corporate resources into the social sector.
Originality/value – In order to fulfill the role of CSR and to optimize charity value, the businessesshould build up non-profit infrastructure to achieve their objectives more cost-effectively. On the otherhand, the Islamic charities can also get benefits by using the commercial infrastructure of thebusiness organizations and to make contributions more effectively in the social sector. There is noinherent contradiction between improving competitive context of business and making a sincerecommitment to bettering society.
Keywords Charity, Corporate social responsibility, Financial institutions, IslamPaper type General review
IntroductionCorporate social responsibility (CSR) has grown enormously in the last 25 years andmost business organizations feel to give in charity. The business organizationsinvolving charitable giving and reflecting the highly competitive environment of the1990s has been termed ‘‘strategic charity.’’ It involves corporate giving which servesdual purposes: contributing funds to charitable causes while simultaneously benefitingthe firm’s financial bottom line and enhancing business political legitimacy (Hemphill,1999, p. 57). ‘‘Strategic charity’’ has become an accepted practice that allows acorporation to satisfy altruistic impulses to contribute in charitable causes whileserving the bottom line. In this way the corporate community investment has emergedthrough the objectives of CSR programmes and business organizations some times
take care of neighbor through its philanthropic responsibility programmes (Carrol,
Pure charity is concerned with assistance to education, arts and culture, health and
social services, civic and community projects. While ‘‘strategic charity’’ combines pure
philanthropy and business sponsorship with giving programmes that are directly or
indirectly linked to business objectives. One of the characteristics of the ‘‘strategiccharity’’ is a joint sponsorship of one or more corporations’ programmes to implementthrough purposefully created charity foundations in order to optimize the charity value(Post et al., 1996, p. 484). For example, in 2006 Warren Buffett donated US$37 bn toBill Gates Foundation for charity work in the area of health care, education and other
socio-economic activities all over world especially for the underdeveloped Africancountries.
Growing awareness of and demand for investing in accordance with Islamic ethical
principles on a global scale have been catalyst towards making the Islamic bankingand financial system as a flourishing industry. This is also a reflection of increasingwealth and capacity of investors, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to seek and invest innew investment products that serves their needs. The Islamic financial institutions(IFIs) earn profits as the other business firms earn profits. Many people say that IFIsshould have involved ‘‘strategic charity’’ activities. Business of IFIs including Islamicbanks is based on Shari’ah principles which need the IFIs to operate with thecommitment of social responsibility.
While this paper will look at, in brief what business organizations as well as IFIs
have contributed in charity, there is also a need for more study about current practicesof CSR and to suggest how they can optimize the charity value. Given the currenthaziness surrounding corporate or company’s charitable activities, this seems anappropriate time to address the most basic research questions: Is there any IFIsbusiness case for CSR? How the corporations engage in charity activities? What shouldbe strategy of IFIs in CSR issues and how corporate body can contribute to optimizecharity value? These are the issues which will be addressed in the paper. The paperproceeds as follows. We have discussed about methodology of the study and reviewedthe literature related to CSR of business and charity with special reference to Islamiccharity as well as IFI’s business cases. We have also discussed about the strategiccontext of IFIs in CRS and then discussed how to optimize the charity value. Lastly, wedrawn conclusion of the paper.
Methodology and literature reviewMethodologyThe methodology is the methods for determining what is real and it providesarguments which support various preferences entertained by the scientific communityfor certain rules of intellectual procedure (Montague, 1952). The present study drawsfrom secondary sources of the literature and designed to investigate and produceknowledge about the CSR of business organization and how to optimize the charityvalue of the IFIs in particular and business’s in general. We searched literature relatedto our study and referred various books, journals in the area of CSR of the corporationsand allied subjects. Annual reports of some of the IFIs, material produced by charitableorganizations, etc. have also been referred. We did not test any hypothesis in the study.
Davis and Parker (1979) state that: ‘‘Some topics are not amenable to hypothesesstatements. For example, conceptual development and comparative analysis are notusually able to be stated as hypothesis. . . and therefore the research methodology canbe clarified and defined by restating the topic in terms of a set of objectives for theresearch’’ (p. 24).
Davis and Blomstrom (1975) define ‘‘CSR’’ as the obligation of the internal corporate
decision makers to ‘‘take action which protects and improves the welfare of society as awhole along with their own interests’’ (p. 6). While CSR does not negate earning aprofit, it does require corporations to balance the benefits to be gained against the costof achieving those benefits. According to Post et al. (1996): ‘‘Corporate socialresponsibility means that a corporation should be held accountable for any of its
actions that affect people, their communities, and their environment’’ (p. 37).
One of the most visible ways a business can help a community is through corporate
charity. The economist Milton Friedman arguing in a 1970 New York Times Magazinearticle says that the only ‘‘social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.’’He argues that the corporation is an instrument of the stockholders who own it. If thecorporation makes a contribution, it prevents the individual stockholder from himselfdeciding how he should dispose of his funds. Friedman (1970) further says that ifcharitable contributions are to be made, it should be made by individual stockholdersor, by extension, individual employees and not by the corporation. The way mostcorporate charity is practiced by the corporate sector, Friedman may be right. But it isfact majority of this type corporate contribution programmes are diffused andunfocused (Levy, 1999). Most consist of numerous small cash donations given aid tolocal civic causes (Guernsey, 1999). These piecemeal contributions often reflect thepersonal beliefs and values of executives or employees of the company rather thanbeing tied to well think social or business objectives. Naturally, jointly or collectivecharity work of Corporation with Charity (Awqaf) Foundation in any social projectdiffers from a corporation’s direct token donation that it is funded in a different mannerand has a different philosophy.
Under US federal regulations, charity foundations must give away 5 percent of its
assets a year. The United Way, a national charity organization in USA that funnelsfunding to charities through a payroll-deduction system, has been in existence sincethe 1920. With the creation of the Community Chest in the 1920s, the forerunner oftoday’s
philanthropist’s contributions to charity to corporation donations. There are manysuccess stories of its charity work.
In 1913 J. D. Rockefeller donated $183 million to start the Rockefeller Foundation.
‘‘The point to emphasize is that these business leaders believed that business had aresponsibility to society that went beyond or worked in parallel with their efforts tomake profits’’ (Post et al., 1996, p. 41). For example, in 1997 Ted Turner, founder of CNN,made one of the largest philanthropic donations to a specific cause when he donated $1billion to the United Nations’ Children’s Fund. He then challenged wealthy businesspeople to follow his lead to promote human welfare and goodwill. On 16 September1999 Bill Gates created $1 billion ‘‘Gates Millennium Scholarship’’ designed to createcollege scholarships for black, Hispanic and American Indian students (Levy, 1999).
Above mentioned collective business charities are only exceptional cases because
‘‘strategic charities’’ model is not followed by entire corporate sector. In general,according to contemporary business terms, first, social and economic objectives areseparated and distinct, so that a corporation’s social spending comes at the expense ofits economic results. Second, there is the assumption that corporations, when theyaddress social objectives, provide no greater benefit than is provided by individualdonors. It is true that these assumptions of the corporate sector is reasonable whencorporate contributions are unfocused and piecemeal (Sternberg, 2000). Furthermore,
exercising social responsibility by businesses is seen as a cost, and cost implies a
reduction in the net profits, and this in turn can be considered to be against the interestof the business (Guernsey, 1999). From this perspective, it can be understood whybusiness organizations limit their time and other resources for meeting their socialresponsibilities.
In order to make the business organizations in complying and fulfilling their social
responsibilities, some kind of legislation is required. To implement this legislation,there is involvement of cost. In turn, this may reduce social responsibility to a legalobligation and, which over time, weakens the importance of it being viewed as a moralobligation. Furthermore, the drawback is that the law which may act as a deterrent, itcannot reach all spheres of business responsibility, and hence can be undermined. Toensure that business organizations fulfill their social responsibilities, the externalmechanisms of control are relied upon.
In contrast, from an Islamic perspective, CSR exercised by business organization or
IFIs is seen as a benefit rather than a cost. Islamic business ethics has given differentdimension and an important strategic way to think about charity works (Abu-Sulayman, 1976). In fact, Islam takes an integrated view of individuals and society. Italso broadens the frame of problem definition in terms of scale, scope and time horizon.
The intense commitment of Islam to justice and brotherhood demands that businessorganization should take care of some of the needs of the community. Islamic charity isalmost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind. For those whogive in charity, men and women, and a loan to God a beautiful loan, it shall be increasedmanifold (to their credit) and they shall have, (besides) a liberal reward (Al-Qur’an, 57,p. 18). God deprives usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity(Qur’an, 2, p. 276). By spending in charity, the wealth does not decrease. . . (MuslimHadith). In other words, costs (in different forms) that are pushed onto society willcome back as greater benefits for business organizations. The institution of zakah, thatis, a wealth tax comprising compulsory charitable-giving for specially designatedgroups in society, facilitates the care of all members of society. According to Islamicbusiness ethics, the rich are not the real owners of their wealth; they are only trustees.
They must spend wealth in accordance with the terms of the trust, one of the mostimportant of which is fulfilling the needs of the poor (Naqvi, 1981).
Empirical evidence from literature. Recent emphasis on CSR and more overt
association business benefit do have implications for charities. Furthermore, the CRSshould not be viewed in a narrow sense – solely in meeting legal obligations. Rather, inaddition, consideration should be given to meeting spiritual and moral obligations bydrawing on the inner resources and the deeper positive emotions such as mercy andcompassion which nurture a sense of duty towards others and a caring attitude (Parvezand Ahmad, 2005). Human beings, and by extension businesses, cannot live by breadalone. Besides economic needs, social and spiritual needs should also be taken intoconsideration while addressing CSR. In the broader context the business organizationis an integral extension of the family and community. This is primarily related to abetter understanding on both sides of the reasons that they might work together formeaning charity for greater interest of both business and communities. During goldenrules of both first Caliph Abu Bakar and second Caliph Omar, there was the worthy butrather unfocused ‘‘pious businessmen’’ syndrome where the corporate donation wasbestowed upon a grateful and suitably humbled charity.
In the 1990s, a number of Islamic banks have been established whose objectives are
directed towards social equality, eradication of usury as well as distribution profit out
of their banking business. A public statement issued by International Association of
Islamic Banks (IAIB) (1990) clearly outlined: ‘‘The Islamic banking systems involves a
social implication which is necessarily connected with the Islamic order itself, andrepresents a special characteristic that distinguishes Islamic banks from other banksbased on other philosophies. In exercising all its banking or development activities, theIslamic bank takes into prime consideration about social implications that may bebrought about any decision or action taken by bank. Profitability – despite its
importance and priority – is not therefore sole criterion or the prime element inevaluating the performance of Islamic banks, since they have to match both betweenthe material and the social objectives that would serve the interests of the communityas a whole and help achieve their role in the sphere of social mutual guarantee. Socialgoals are understood to form an inseparable element of the Islamic banking systemthat cannot be dispensed with or neglected’’ (IAIB (1990) quoted from Al-Omar andAbdel-Haq, 1996, p. 27).
We see that a vast majority of FTSE Islamic index and Dow Jones Islamic index
companies now offer volunteering and giving schemes in charities. Recently, moresophisticated relationships have been developed; for example cause-related marketingcampaigns that link contribution to charity to product sales. High-profile versions haveincluded Islamic Bank Brunei Berhad’s Computers for educational institutions andIslamic Bank Berhad Malaysia’s community welfare issues, have been many examples.
In these relationships the banking product has linked to the community initiative orcharity brand with the overt intent of mutual benefit.
Businesses do not function in isolation from the society around them. In fact,
their ability to compete depends heavily on the circumstances of the locations wherethey operate. Improving education, for example, is generally seen as a social issue,but the educational level of the local workforce substantially affects a company’spotential competitiveness. Well-established Islamic publishing companies likeIqra International’s Books for Schools in USA and donation of books for buildingcommunity libraries by the Islamic Foundation in UK are such examples.
The more social improvement relates to a company’s business, more it leads to
economic benefits as well. In establishing a Networking Academy, for example, IslamicBank Bangladesh Ltd has focused not on the educational system overall, but on thetraining needed to produce young competent persons – a particular kind of educationthat made the most difference to competitive context of Islamic Bank Bangladesh Ltd.
Furthermore, it has established Islamic Bank Foundation which established a numberof schools of International standard in the different places in Bangladesh. The IbnSinha Group of the Islamic Bank Bangladesh Ltd established specialized as well asgeneral hospitals which are providing healthcare service to the poor with nominal fees.
In 1995, bank has initiated rural poverty elevation programme under its RuralDevelopment Scheme (RDS). To handle this scheme, Islamic Bank Bangladesh Ltd hasintroduced Islamic microfinance programme through its rural branches to bring all thevillages of Bangladesh under the coverage of this scheme (IBBL; Annual Report, 2004).
As on 31 December 2004, all most 4,700 villages have been covered under the Islamicmicrofinance programme. Bank invested to the tune £727,000,000 in income generatingactivities such as poultry, goat and milk cow rearing, vegetable cultivation, etc. basedon either maharaja or musharakh mode of finance. Islamic microfinance programmeruns on homogeneous group basis. About 350,000 group members were benefited withthis scheme. This success story indicates that in the longrun, social and economicgoals are not inherently conflicting but integrally connected.
Looking at attitude of IFIs in respect of CSR, as researched by Sairally (2005)
revealed that 84.4 percent of the IFIs were fully aware of social commitment. In hersurvey, some 20 percent of the questionnaires, 48 IFIs responded from 19 countries. Outof total responses, 27.8 percent were associated with community’s issues such asfunding in the income generating activities in the poor area. On the other hand, 13.9percent of the respondents were concerned with other ethical issues while 5.6 percent
were concerned with ‘‘sustainable development.’’
In their study Dusuki and Dar (2005) examined the perception of stakeholders in
respect of CSR of Islamic banks with Malaysian sample on 12 attributes. The indicatorswere:
convenience (parking facility, interior comfort, etc.);
(4) location being near home or work place;
(6) knowledgeable and competent personnel factor;
(11) involvement in community affairs (giving donation, scholarship, etc.); and
(12) environmental practice and impact factor.
These criteria were examined using factor analysis. Their results indicated thatcustomer’s selection of Islamic banks were predominantly a combination of Islamic andfinancial reputation and quality service offered by the banks. Overall, the factoranalysis indicated that CSR factor was considered as one of the important factors inmaking a judgment and decision to patronize Islamic banks. Their results areconsistence with earlier studies (Haron et al., 1994; Abbas et al., 2003).
Turning to employee attitudes, as researched by Hassan (2004) found that: 79
percent of employees of IFIs favored that they would not work for an organization inwhose values they did not believe; 55 percent chosen their current organization becausethey believed in what it did and stand for; 99 percent cared if their organization actedresponsibly; and 70 percent of employees expressed interest in taking part in employercommunity schemes. These examples are closely associated with CSR of the IFIs.
Strategic context of IFIs in CSRThe IFIs exercise considerable influence over most areas of economic activity, from theindividual struggling to mortgage repayments, to the directors of a large company or amultinational and analysts at the company Annual General Meeting. As a stakeholderof corporation or companies, IFIs are usually the most powerful, yet have frequentlybeen ignored from the perspective of CSR. Thus it is not surprising that the IFIs haverarely used their influence for CSR matters to their clients. This situation represents apotential opportunity, particularly useful in view of the fact that the IFIs haverecognized that CSR is not supposed to be different from other businesses run by
Muslims. Therefore, it is imperative to see where IFIs can motivate to their corporate
clients in respect of CSR. The main customer groups are reviewed below.
Large companiesIslamic banks are substantial lenders to large companies, and also providing a varietyof financial services, such as transaction processing and treasury management, etc.
Their ability to influence in respect of social responsibility to the larger corporations
cannot be denied. Some companies may be more subject to Islamic bank influence suchas private companies (unlisted) or those with tightly held shares, smaller listedcompanies, etc. In this field, the Islamic banks can impose a variety of conditionsrelating to CSR, through conditions and covenants on lending. The CSR impactassessments can be a useful tool for identifying company in CSR track record andsuggesting CSR practices.
Small and medium enterprise (SMEs)The IFIs are the most significant source of financing to SMEs. The Islamic banks canimpress to the SMEs in the following areas:
Influence management through lending arrangementsWhen lending to SMEs, the Islamic banks consider the quality of management andemployer-employee relation and employees service conditions, which can include otherCSR factors. The Islamic banks can be explicitly factor in CSR considerations whendeciding whether to extend investment facility, in conditions they impose on lendingand in the terms they offer.
Supporting companies with infirmitiesThe IFIs are a major source of information for companies, particularly SMEs in theIslamic countries, and there is potential for IFIs to act as a conduit of information in theCSR area.
Specialist environmental financial servicesThere is scope for Islamic banks to develop Islamic financial products (such as greenproduct), which contribute to the environment, such as energy efficiency loans orleasing of environmental technology. Furthermore, an Islamic financial servicecompany might identify with organizations developing financial literacy and debtmanagement. A utility company might work with key charities to reduce fuel poverty.
This type of example is closely associated with corporate action on CSR.
In our forgoing discussion we have seen that CSR is applicable to the entire
corporate sector including IFIs. There is no reason why one business will differ in CSRfrom others when all the dimensions of the CSR are in consonance with Islamicbusiness ethics. IFIs function as a business organizations. Therefore, it will beappropriate that charitable works (beyond zakah and qard al hasan) of IFIs and othercorporate sectors may be initiated through specially established social welfare orcharitable
stakeholders of the larger and smaller companies as well as substantial lenders. Hence,IFIs are able to influence to the larger and smaller companies in respect of socialresponsibility. On the other hand, they will be able to create congenial atmosphere forstrategic link between Islamic charitable organizations and business companies.
How to optimize charity value by corporate sector and charity foundations
Understanding the link between Islamic charity and competitive context of businesswill be helpful to identify where they should focus their corporate giving. Thisunderstanding may also help to find the ways in which Islamic charity creates valueand how they can achieve the greatest social and economic impact through theircontributions. There are four ways in which Islamic charitable organizations can create
social value. They are: selecting the best grantees, signaling other donors, improvingthe performance of grant recipients and advancing knowledge and practice in the field.
These efforts will build on one another: increasingly greater value will be generated asa donor who will move up the ladder from selecting the right grantees to advancingknowledge (please see Figure 1 – How to optimize charity value). The same principlesapply to corporate giving, pointing the way to how corporate charity can be mosteffective in enhancing competitive context. Focusing on the four principles also willensure that corporate donations will have greater impact than donations of the samemagnitude by individuals.
Selection of granteesMajority of the charity activities by the charity foundations involve giving money toother organizations that actually deliver the social benefits. Impressive results may beachieved by a donor, largely to be determined by the effectiveness of the recipient.
Selecting a more effective grantee or partner organization will lead to more social impact.
Selecting the most effective grantees in a given field is not easy. It may be obvious
which charitable organizations raise the most money, have the greatest prestige, ormanage the best development campaigns. But such factors may have little to do withhow well the grantees will use contributions. Extensive and disciplined research isusually required to select those recipients that will achieve the greatest social impact.
Individual donors rarely have the time or expertise to undertake such serious duediligence. Islamic Charity Foundations (for example, Muslim Aid UK, Islamic ReliefWorldwide) are far more experts than individuals, but they have limited staffs.
Corporations, on the other hand, are well positioned to undertake such research if theirphilanthropy is connected to their business and they can tap into their internalcapabilities, particularly the financial, managerial and technical expertise ofemployees. Whether through their own operations or those of their suppliers andcustomers, corporations also often have a presence in many communities across a
How to optimize charityvalue
country. This can provide significant local knowledge and the ability to examine and
compare the operation of non-profit.
The International Islamic Charitable Organization, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for
example, uses its overseas partner organization’s offices to identify elementaryeducation projects to fund. The Dubai Islamic Bank assembles team of employees withdiverse management and financial skills to examine the inner-city economicdevelopment organizations that its foundation supports. The teams visit each non-
profit, interview management, review policies and procedures, and report to the DubaiIslamic Bank Charity Foundation on whether support should be continued and, if so,where it should be directed. This level of attention and expertise is substantiallygreater than most individual donors, Islamic bank charity foundations, can muster.
Signaling other donorsIslamic charity organizations/foundations can publicize the most effective based levelnon-governmental organizations (NGOs) and promote them to other donors, attractinggreater funding and thus creating a more effective allocation of overall charityspending. Corporations bring uniquely valuable assets to this task. First, IFIs andbusiness firm’s corporate reputations often command respect, becoming imprimatursof credibility for grantees. Second, they are often able to influence a vast network ofentities in their cluster, including customers, suppliers and other partners. This givesthem far greater reach than individual donors or even most NGOs. Thirdly, companiesoften have access to communication channels and expertise that can be used todisseminate information widely, swiftly and persuasively to other donors.
It is very important to send signal to other donors in corporate charity because it
mitigates the free rider problem. Collective social investment by participants in acluster can improve the context for all players. It also reduces the cost borne by eachone. By leveraging its relationships and brand identity to initiate social projects thatare funded by others, a corporation improves the cost-benefit ratio. By tapping eachcompany’s distinctive expertise, collective social investment can be far more effectivethan a donation by any one company.
Performance improvement of grant recipientsBy improving the effectiveness of Awqaf Foundations, IFIs/corporations create valuefor society, increasing the social impact. While selecting the right grantee improvessociety’s return on a single contribution, and signaling other donors improve the returnon multiple contributions. Improving grantee performance can also increase the returnon the grantee’s total budget.
The corporations/IFIs will have the ability to work directly with awqaf/charity
foundations, non-profits/NGOs and other partners. Here, the IFIs can play a good roleof facilitators to bring corporation or companies with their unique assets and expertisethat individuals and foundations lack. These will enabling them to provide a widerange of non-monetary assistance that is less costly and more sophisticated than theservices most grantees could purchase for themselves. Because the corporationstypically make long-term commitments to the communities in which they operate, theycan work closely with local awqaf/charity foundations over the extended period of timeneeded for meaningful organizational improvement.
The Dubai Islamic Bank took advantage of its corporate expertise in launching its
Community Renaissance Initiative. Recognizing that its major markets are in cities ofUnited Arab Emirates, Dubai Islamic Bank decided to focus on inner-city economic
revitalization as perhaps the most important way to improve its context. The bank
combined its charity contributions with its expertise in financial services, such assmall business services, inner-city lending, home mortgages and venture capital. Thebank personnel provided technical advice and small business financing packages tolocal companies as well as home mortgages and home-buyer education programmes.
Advancing knowledge and practiceInnovation drives productivity in the non-profit sector as well as in the commercialsector. The greatest advances come not from incremental improvements in efficiencybut from new and better approaches. The most powerful way to create social value,therefore, is by developing new means to address social problems and putting theminto widespread practice. The expertise, research capacity and research unit ofcorporate sector (including IFIs) can help to charity foundations in creating newsolutions that they could never afford to develop on their own. Just as important as thecreation of new knowledge is its adoption in practice. The know-how of corporateleaders, their clout and connections, and their presence in communities create powerfulnetworks for the dissemination of new ideas for addressing social problems.
By tying corporate charity work to its business and strategy, a company can create
even greater social value in improving grantee performance than other donors. Charity(awqaf) Foundations too would be benefited. They would see an increased and morepredictable flow of corporate resources into the charity to fulfill the CSR. Just asimportant, they would develop close, long-term corporate partnerships that wouldbetter apply the expertise and assets of the for-profit sector to achieve social objectives.
Just as companies can build on the non-profit infrastructure to achieve their objectivesmore cost-effectively, non-profits can benefit from using the commercial infrastructure.
ConclusionBusiness exists to make a profit for its stockholders and those contributions to variouscauses affect profits. However, businesses should have some social responsibilities.
Corporations and IFIs must decide if the long-term gains will justify making acontribution to a non-profit cause. Collective approach of corporations, IFIs and awqaf/charitable foundations would increase the flow of corporate resources into the socialsector. It is important; they should develop close, long-term corporate partnerships thatwould better apply the expertise and a portion of the profit of the corporations toachieve social objectives. Just as companies can build on the non-profit infrastructureto achieve their objectives more cost-effectively, non-profits/Islamic charities canbenefit from using the commercial infrastructure. There is no inherent contradictionbetween improving competitive context of business and making a sincere commitmentto bettering society. Indeed, as we discussed that if a company’s charitable work islinked to its competitive context, the greater the company’s contribution to society willbe. It needs to be systematically pursued in such a way that CRS will optimize thevalue which can offer corporate sector a new set of competitive tools that will justifythe investment of resources. At the same time, it can unlock a vastly more powerfulway to make the world a better place.
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Corresponding authorAbul Hassan can be contacted at: [email protected]
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