Elsewhere online
May 12, 2015

Opinion: For Big Companies, Charity Begins After Profit

A New York Times opinion writer says the rising profile of corporate philanthropy, especially by companies in need of an image boost, masks questions about "the way that those with wealth take before they give."

Author Anand Giridharadas contrasts McDonald's promotion of its $21.7 million in giving to children's causes in 2013 — which amounts to $1 per $1,300 of revenue — with the company's resistance to fast-food workers' calls for a $15 base wage and asks which type of spending would better advance the goal of corporate social responsibility.

"In a sense, the debate comes down to this," Mr. Giridharadas writes. "Should corporations forgo some profit to help the world, or should they invest their profits in doing some good, in the process diverting attention from what’s behind their financial success?"