[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Another View (Was Review of AMNH Lost World Exhibit)

In a message dated 97-08-15 13:10:22 EDT, Larry writes:

<< Corporate sponsors do not contribute money to be nice.  Corporations 
 have one purpose: to maximize profit for their investors.  If they 
 can create a positive impression about their organization by giving 
 money to some popular cause-of-the-moment, they'll do it, especially 
 if it takes some of the heat off of them for, say, selling tobacco to 
 children in the so-called Third World.<<

This may come as a surprise, Larry, but not every corporation is in the
business of selling tobacco to children.  And many corporations are owned and
run by responsible human beings.  A corporation is nothing more than a legal
fiction, an 'entity' created to hold assets and conduct business.  Most are
small, owned by a few people who work at them and run them, and all 'behave'
in accordance with the behaviour of those individuals.
 >>I've sat around in deal closings when there's a delay for some reason 
 and heard the signatories (usually board members) discuss their 
 contributions.  You know what they want to know about the choices, 
 without fail? "What's in it for us?"  (I have heard these exact words 
 several times.)<<

Certainly, the directors of a business expect to have some positive result
from such contributions.  But ...  if ALL they were looking for was image,
they'd get much more "bang for their buck" if they spent it elsewhere.  Pure
advertising pays off better.  I get to sit around at deal closings, too...
 And I'm expected to be able to answer such questions.  And I've often been
involved in such conversations where the merits of the recipient of the
contribution were of concern.  Dinosaur professionals might want to consider
this for a moment:  how can you best get a business to contribute to your
cause?  Which business is the right choice to solicit?  Larry's beliefs
notwithstanding, most businesses expect to pay out some amount of
contributions to "worthy" causes each year; they look for things that relate
to them.  Which businesses relate to YOU, is the question I'd ask.
 Manufacturers of field vehicles?  Equipment?  Hey, use it to your
advantage...make yourself "worthy" in the eyes of some business which can
help you.

 <<And why shouldn't they ask?  If  the board of directors used 
 corporate funds to "do what is right," they would be betraying their 
 charge to serve the shareholders and would, in most states, also be 
 breaking the law (it IS the shareholder's money, after all).>>
Your innuendo here that corporate activities are purely evil serves only your
cynicism; your suggestion that it would break most states' laws for a
corporation to do what is right is absurd.  And, incidentally, the money
belongs to the corporation; the shareholders have the option of changing
their portfolio if they don't like the way a business is operated.

As in all things, there is good and bad in the business world.  I have dealt
with many of both sorts.  But your constant denigration of all business is
tiresome.  You've watched too many episodes of the Captain Planet, I suspect.

In any event, I think this thread has exceeded it's limited purpose on this
list, and I apologize for the tangent.