Promoting corporate philanthropic efforts through social media Conference Paper uri icon


  • Corporations face the challenge of creating awareness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts while avoiding the appearance of being overly self-congratulatory or self-serving. The low cost and less obtrusive format of social media may make it a useful communication option for creating awareness of philanthropic activities. Content analysis was used to examine how three types of social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) were used to provide information on corporate philanthropic activities. Forty corporations from the Fortune 100 were sampled to address three research questions. The first two research questions pertained to the availability of social media tools and the specific locations of access to those tools. Results revealed 82.5% of the 40 corporations provided links to at least one social media platform and 22 provided at least one type of link to at least one type of philanthropic activity. The third research question examined how social media platforms were used to report the eight types of philanthropy identified by Kotier and Lee (2005). In all, 140 philanthropic activities were reported. The most frequently reported types of philanthropic activity included donating cash (n = 72, 51.40%), donating products (n = 27, 19.30%), donating services (n = 15, 10.71%), offering grants (n= 13, 9.29%), and awarding scholarships (n = 5, 5.71%). Other types of philanthropy were infrequent. Results suggest these social media platforms offer a viable option for brief reports of philanthropic activities.

published proceedings

  • Hermes (Denmark)

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, H. P., & Holladay, S. J.

complete list of authors

  • Lee, HP||Holladay, SJ

publication date

  • December 2012