The Role of Philanthropy in BC’s Tech Sector

Seedling growing out of the sand.

The face of philanthropy in business is changing; gone is the traditional mentality of community programs being a cost or constraint on a business. If properly executed, community programs can be a source of opportunity, innovation and competitive advantage for the company—and at the same time, help solve social issues.* With a talent shortage and the rise of the workforce’s desire to find meaning and purpose in their job beyond a paycheque, community engagement programs are no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘must’ if a business is to thrive with an engaged and passionate team.

Companies often underestimate the impact they can have in their community; one that is mutually beneficial to their city, non-profits, employees and the business itself. “When a well-run business applies its vast resources, expertise and management talent to problems that it understands and which it has a stake, it can have a greater impact on social good than any other institution or philanthropic organization.”* It doesn’t need to be complicated – any company can align their business with a cause that is relevant/important to them and give their time, talent and/or treasure in a meaningful way.

As BC continues to grow a powerful tech community, the purpose of the newly formed Tech Collective is to grow the community with the biggest heart. We dream of the day where every BC tech company leverages its unique talents, resources and influence to help solve – and bring awareness to – social, environmental and economic challenges our province faces. We can’t do this alone. The Tech Collective aims to:

  • Inspire BC start-ups to build social impact into their DNA from the very beginning
  • Encourage existing tech companies to adopt community programs
  • Collaborate with socially progressive tech companies to increase impact

To join the conversation on the role of philanthropy in the tech sector, come learn from Tech Collective members Microsoft and Chimp on April 5th for an engaging discussion on this topic. They will also share the ‘why’ behind their community programs and engage the audience in a round table discussion.

On May 29th, we’ll dig a little deeper and share tips + tools on how to create a meaningful community program. Happening the same week as BC Tech TIAs, we will have three former winners of the TIAs Community Engagement Category share the ins and outs of their community programs and how you can create and/or enhance your own. 

Hope to see you there!

Michelle Malpass,
Director of Community Performance, Traction on Demand

*Porter & Kramer – Strategy & Society, Harvard Business Review