Businesses leverage giving, create jobs

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers

Job creation is what’s on Howard Schultz’s mind, and undoubtedly he’s not alone.

The Starbucks CEO is so committed, that he’s pledged to take at least $100,000 from the annual profits of two Starbucks shops in Los Angeles and Harlem, and reinvest it in those neighborhoods. The money will go toward improving education and job training for local young adults. If it works, he’ll replicate the model around the country.

In a similar effort to boost jobs, Schultz says Starbucks will team with a group of community-development financial institutions to launch a program called “Create Jobs for USA.” His goal? To gather donations from em­­ployees, customers and others and pool it toward community business lending.

“Business leaders have to step up and do our part,” Schultz says.

Other companies are doing the same, by seeking ways to lift up the communities that surround them.

For example, Western Union Co. launched a $50 million program to provide scholarships, job training and personal finance assistance for migrants. Food giant Nestlé trains and makes microfinance loans available to farmers.

Despite the hard knocks suffered by the economy in recent years, charitable giving is actually up. More than 50% of large companies gave more to charitable organizations in 2010 than in 2007, according to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

Like Starbucks, consider ways to leverage your charitable giving, by including customers, employees and other community stakeholders.

— Adapted from “Starbucks Pushes to Create Jobs,” Julie Jargon, The Wall Street Journal.

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