As the social consciousness of the average consumer continues to increase, large companies can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and pretend it's business as usual. With a focus on social innovation, these global companies can become the triggers for social change, while still achieving business excellence and creating great shareholder value.
PayPal, which includes various payments platforms such as PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo and Xoom, has released its 2017 Global Impact Report, which highlights the company’s approach to social innovation. PayPal's efforts in this area are organized around three areas of focus: improving the financial health of individuals and businesses, powering charitable giving and strengthening communities.
In 2017, over 49 million people across 200 markets contributed $8.5 billion to 640,000 charities via PayPal. In addition to supporting the fundraising efforts of nonprofits, the company provides its financial support, technical capabilities and expertise to the PayPal Giving Fund, a public charity that shares the company’s vision to make giving a part of daily life.
In 2017, more than one million donors contributed $105 million to the PayPal Giving Fund, which benefitted over 46,000 organizations. The contribution represents a jump of 150 percent over the previous year.
Overall, during the holiday season in 2017, nearly nine million people across 181 countries contributed $1.1 billion to charities via PayPal.
PayPal’s own community made monetary donations to global aid agencies, while the company also leveraged its platform to reach out to donors. PayPal says it helped raise $55 million for organizations engaged in relief work for the communities affected by these natural disasters.
The company encourages employee giving by matching charitable contributions up to $2,500 annually. And for every hour of employee volunteer service, PayPal donates $10 to a nonprofit of the employee’s choosing, up to $500.
In 2017, PayPal lowered its giving thresholds to make it easier for employees to receive matching gifts. During the year, the company gave about $1.7 million in matching gifts to nonprofits, while its employees contributed more than 20,000 hours of volunteering.
Through its grant-making efforts, PayPal gave more than $2 million to nonprofits. In total, PayPal says it gave over $11 million to organizations in 2017, including donations, matching gifts, grants and in-kind contributions.
According to the company, employees receive a first-hand experience through these workshops to connect with the company’s larger mission in a personal way, and come up with new ways to improve the financial health of the communities it serves.
In his letter to the stakeholders, Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal Holdings, said: “Our business strategy and approach to delivering social impact are one and the same – together, they form a shared value model designed to deliver benefits for PayPal and our customers, investors, stakeholders and society at large.”
Image credit: PayPal
Vikas is an MBA with 25 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas runs a digital content development company, and personally loves to write on global sustainability issues.