J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 07-06-2018

Salesforce’s Integrated Philanthropy Model – Forbes 400 Summit | Forbes

Good corporate citizenship is a theme of the Davos celebrations. Admittedly, even fewer, just 5%, named CSR in its own right as the single most important criterion; but one might add to this the additional 24% who said that the reputation and integrity of the brand, to which good corporate citizenship presumably contributes, matter most. From an ethical point of view, the problem with conscientious CSR is obvious: it is philanthropy at other people’s expense. Advocates of CSR typically respond that this misses the point: corporate virtue is good for profits. The trouble is, CSR that pays dividends, so to speak, is unlikely to impress the people whose complaints first put CSR on the board’s agenda. 

Profit-maximising CSR does not silence the critics, which was the initial aim; CSR that is not profit-maximising might silence the critics but is unethical. In a new book, co-written with Karen Southwick, Mr Benioff argues that corporate philanthropy, done right, transforms the culture of the firm concerned*. Unlike some advocates of CSR, Mr Benioff says he opposes government mandates to undertake such activities. In any case, if Mr Benioff is right, and CSR done wisely helps businesses succeed, compulsion should not be needed. Lack of compulsion is exactly what is wrong with current approaches to CSR, say many of the NGOs that first put firms on the spot for their supposedly unethical practices. 

CSR was conjured up in the first place because government action was deemed inadequate: orthodox politics was a sham, so pressure had to be put directly on firms by organised protest. Ten years on, instead of declaring victory, as well they might, disenchanted NGOs like Christian Aid are coming to regard CSR as the greater sham, and are calling on governments to resume their duties. 

Keywords: [“CSR”,”corporate”,”firm”]
Source: https://www.economist.com/business/2004/01/22/two-faced-capitalism

Some 200 guests were wined, dined and entertained among the Old Masters by the great pianist Alfred Brendel, long a friend of Sir Ronald’s. Sir Ronald is altogether more sophisticated and urbane. On both sides of the Atlantic, private-equity firms manage funds that buy big controlling stakes in firms, sometimes taking public firms private. The old differences between America and Europe have vanished as private-equity firms of every nationality fight for the same deals, and the same capital to invest, everywhere. Private-equity firms have mostly struggled with succession, says Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School. 

Teddy Forstmann’s failure to find a successor means that his firm, Forstmann Little, is unlikely to survive him. In the late 1990s, he and Apax’s other partners started to discuss how the baton could be handed on to the next generation of leaders in a timely, efficient way that let the departing partners take money out without seriously weakening the firm. They adopted a retirement age ranging from 55 to a mandatory ceiling of 60-against which Sir Ronald has now bumped. It remains to be seen if Apax can thrive without Sir Ronald, for all his efforts to leave it in great shape. A new strategy requiring generalists in Apax’s leveraged transactions group to specialise in a particular industry has not been greeted with universal enthusiasm within the firm. 

Sir Ronald is now expected to devote his energy to two causes long close to his heart. Sir Ronald believes that economic growth for the Palestinians is crucial if there is to be lasting peace with Israel. 

Keywords: [“Sir”,”Ronald”,”firm”]
Source: https://www.economist.com/business/2005/08/04/the-compassionate-capitalist

We just set our salaries by… voting?

The employees aren’t on the same team as each other – some got one number, some got another. When the question first came up for me, I didn’t know how to reliably compute that number, and it felt overly complex for that moment in time. On Monday, the salary of every employee at Figure 53 will be set by a popular vote. In other words, I asked our team to set their own salary. First, the salaries of our current team have all settled down to a single number, across the board. 

Everyone knows how much money we’re bringing in each day, and I do periodic status updates of how much we have in the bank, what our expenses are each month, etc. Bigger in talent, bigger in vision, bigger in capacity, bigger in skill, bigger in responsibility. Let’s see what happens if I ask people to choose their own salaries. I ran the numbers, I shared that process with the team, and concluded that, yes, this new number could fit. See, I voted the number I was thinking of choosing, if I had just done it on my own. 

Something between my understanding of the state of the company and their understanding of the state of the company placed their valuation just slightly higher than the number I chose. Not much higher, so if I’d just picked a number on my own and declared it by virtue of authority, I doubt anyone would have complained. 

Keywords: [“number”,”Big”,”salary”]
Source: https://figure53.com/notes/2013-08-30-we-just-set-our-salaries/

Does capitalism work?

It’s the form of capitalism practiced by every democracy in the world, including China (which is not a democracy. Compassionate Capitalism works under the stricture that those individuals who can prosper under the free-enterprise system can keep the fruits of their labor and amass wealth – up to a point. There has to be something left over for those who cannot be entrepreneurs. Pure Capitalism doesnt leave anything or leaves little for the non-capitalists. The trouble starts when capitalists believe that they do not owe the non-capitalists anything when they have amassed their wealth because of them. 

Keywords: [“capitalism”,”non-capitalists”,”anything”]
Source: https://www.quora.com/Does-capitalism-work

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 04-26-2018

The New Nonprofit Paradigm: Fusing Compassion with Capitalism – Ventureneer

His for-profit company, Pallotta Team Works, invented two high-profile events: the AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, raising over a half billion dollars and netting $305 million in eight years. Pallotta doesn’t come close to suggesting ways to improve performance within the existing nonprofit paradigm. Rather, he argues that the paradigm itself is the problem, and calls into question our fundamental canons about charity. His thesis: society’s nonprofit ethic undermines our ability to eradicate great problems and puts charities at a severe disadvantage to the for-profit sector at every level. Compensation: We allow the for-profit sector to pay people millions, but don’t want anyone paid a high salary in charity. 

That means charities can’t set aside funds to develop long-term solutions. Learning: We aren’t upset when Paramount makes a $200 million movie that fails, but if a charity experiments with a bold new fundraising initiative that disappoints, we want heads to roll. So charities are petrified – too scared to try any new endeavors and unable to benefit from the valuable learning curve that comes with exploration and innovation. Capital: We let for-profit companies raise massive capital in the stock market by offering investment returns, but we forbid the payment of a financial return to charity. The for-profit sector monopolizes the capital markets while charities are left to beg for donations. 

Another critical area where charities must compete is in the acquisition and retention of dynamic, dedicated leadership. As long as Americans see charity as a field in which people must suffer in the name of doing good, says Pallotta, we are preventing much good from being done. 

Keywords: [“charity”,”for-profit”,”nonprofit”]
Source: http://ventureneer.com/the-new-nonprofit-paradigm-fusing-compassion-with…

How to end crony capitalism

The quicker Republicans get this done, and without hearings, the less likely will the rest of the country discover how much it will cost in foregone Medicaid and Medicare or ballooning budget deficits. Donald Trump has been trashing democratic institutions – the independence of the press, judges who disagree with him, uncooperative legislators – while raking in money off his presidency. Don’t lose sight of the larger attack on our democracy that was underway even before Trump was elected: A flood of big money into politics. Lest you conclude it’s only Republicans who have been pocketing big bucks in exchange for political favors, consider what Big Tech – the industry that’s mostly bankrolled Democrats – is up to. Never underestimate the power of big money, whichever side of the aisle it’s aimed at. 

Big money is buying giant tax cuts, allowing Russia to interfere in future elections, and killing Americans. Republicans may be taking more big money, but both parties have been raking it in. A number of Trump voters told me they voted for him because they wanted someone who’d shake up Washington, drain the swamp, and get rid of crony capitalism. They’re decent folks who just want a government that’s not of, by, and for the moneyed interests. The big money that’s taken over American politics in recent years has created the biggest political backlash in postwar American history – inside both parties. 

It’s splitting the Republican Party between its large corporate patrons and a base that detests big corporations and Wall Street. When it comes to getting big money out of politics and ending crony capitalism, there’s no right or left, and certainly no middle. 

Keywords: [“big”,”money”,”Republican”]
Source: https://www.nationofchange.org/2017/10/23/end-crony-capitalism

The American Conservative

Despite his myriad failings as a president, Bush had a human decency, and an inspiring vision of America, that is painfully lacking in our politics today. Maybe it’s just that I grew up with Bush-he was president from the time I was 8 to the time I was 16-but there’s something comforting and almost endearing about our 43rd president’s political style. There is a hardness in our discourse today, in politics and in culture, that did not exist 16 years ago, or even eight. Perhaps Hillary Clinton retained some of this folksy style, but style it was; her policies were bland technocracy mixed with social liberalism, a mix that gratified elites but did not particularly resonate with the American people. To speak on its convention stage can no longer claim to be the party of the average American. 

Despite all of this, there is a window for healing and uniting the country-in Trumpism’s core ideas. Stripped of Trump’s brand of aggressive demagoguery, these ideas might even be largely uncontroversial. Far from somehow being at odds, the aspirational, folksy style of George W. Bush and the core ideas of Trumpism go hand in hand: while America should not be encased in amber, its longstanding, praiseworthy traditions and ways of life should not be sledgehammered merely to make way for globalized creative destruction. The core challenge for conservatives now is to implement the best of Trump’s ideas while disavowing the worst of his political style. 

Bush doesn’t hold a copyright on that turn of phrase. What American politics needs is compassionate Trumpism. Addison Del Mastro is an editorial assistant at The American Conservative. 

Keywords: [“Bush”,”America”,”style”]
Source: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/compassionate-trumpism