The year 2020 will go down in history thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, another detail that might also be remembered is that when the new rules stopped large gatherings, many events were held online. Among those digitized events were two big ones in the philanthropic calendar; the Town and Country Philanthropy Summit and the Forbes 400 Summit.
Both of these annual occasions get big businesses and humanitarians together to discuss social responsibility and how business and supporters can do more for those in need. In a year when the difference between the haves and the have nots was starkly highlighted by the virus, the fact that these and other important events in this area went ahead, showcased just how important a subject it has become.
Nothing gets in the way of real ambition
The annual Forbes 400 summit took place in June where 200 humanitarian businessmen and philanthropists listened to speeches and took part in discussions on the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and which communities could most benefit from them. The Town and Country event followed in July, with a variety of well-known speakers sharing their views and ideas about the topic, too.
With both events taking place online, it’s clear that social responsibility is something that a growing number of people feel passionately about. President of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, opened the Town and Country Summit with an essay on the need for evolution in philanthropy in the US, particularly amid the Black Lives Matter movement. Similar topics were among those also discussed at the Forbes 400 event, underscoring a true desire from business people and charitable philanthropists to support black communities.
For Bill and Melinda Gates who spoke at the Town And Country summit as representatives of their foundation, they focused on the importance of ensuring any vaccines or treatment for Covid-19 would be distributed fairly around the world and not just go to those who can afford it. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was first formed in 2000 and works to support those experiencing extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, while also helping to improve weakness in education across the US.
That passion to support those in need is also something that one of the Forbes delegates completely understands. International Business Times reported that investor Oleg Boyko, the chairman of the Supervisory Board of Finstar Financial Group, was among the handpicked attendees of the summit. While he is well-known for his investment into and support of tech startups, he has also gained some recognition for his humanitarian activities.
In 2006 the international investor founded the Parasport Foundation. Through it Boyko support para-athletes through long-term finance for physical rehabilitation and social adaptation, among other efforts. His actions during the current pandemic have served as a reminder of the Boyko’s passion for supporting the para-athletics community as through the foundation. He provided medical masks and gloves for thousands of people while also giving targeted support for some 2,000 para-athletes, representing some 28 sports across 35 Russian regions.
CSR action is needed now more than ever
As the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, it’s clear that more people than ever need additional help and support. Philanthropists are promoting their own and other causes through the power of the internet and providing real support to those who need it. But, it still isn’t enough.
Now is the perfect time for businesses to kickstart their own CSR either by joining an existing charity or foundation or creating their own to help a community or group that’s important to them. The eventual benefits that additional support will provide will also stretch beyond that of the community in question. Along with showing the giving side of any business, on a personal level it can give those involved a real sense of well-being, knowing that they’re going that extra mile to help those in need.