Sustainability and impact through corporate social responsibilities
Today we have fewer than 1,000 nonprofit and charitable foundations and associations. They contribute just 0.3 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP), much less than the global average of 6 percent. Currently, just 7 percent of projects are focused on generating social impact or are aligned with the long-term national priorities. By 2020, more than one-third of our nonprofit organizations’ projects should have measurable and deep social impact.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has empowered nonprofit organizations in the Kingdom to widen their role in providing social services in line with the Vision 2030 plan, which aims to raise the nonprofit sector’s contribution to GDP from less than 1 percent to 5 percent. The ministry plans to create 60,000 jobs in the nonprofit sector within the next three years, as well as training 50 percent of the nonprofit sector workforce by 2020.
A great example is the King Khalid Foundation. Its strategic programs and plans have been in line with the goals of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 and Vision 2030 toward increasing the contribution of the nonprofit sector and maximizing its role in a way that brings about its institutional transformation, while also strengthening its support of social projects and programs, ensuring the real and effective growth of the nonprofit sector, and enabling its transition from pastoral to sustainable development roles.
Other good examples include organizations set up by leading private sector leaders including Al-Rajhi, Al Subeaei, Al Jomaih, ALJ, NCB, Savola, SEDCO, Al Turki, and Tamer.
In line with our country’s vision, we at BMG Foundation have been serving the community through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities for more than two decades. Through sports, arts and classical music, our organization support awareness campaigns including “Safe Driving, Life Saving,” “Our Water, Our life” and “Our Health, Our Crown.”
Last Tuesday was the closing awards ceremony of BMG Foundation annual awareness campaign competition in which three of the six winning students were proudly granted scholarship opportunities for postgraduate education. We tirelessly tour universities nationwide to engage and encourage students to take part in the three campaigns’ annual competition for designing the most impactful media campaign to raise awareness among the youth toward the right path for safe driving, water preservation and healthy life.
Having been in the CSR arena for many years, I can see now that the sector has witnessed tremendous changes in the past decade, and I believe it is now ready to join forces with other public and private sectors to achieve both the Kingdom’s development and the 2030 Vision.
I call upon the private sector to direct its nonprofit entities to focus on sustainability and impact in addition to the cash handouts. In their mission, the leading private sector players should add a role to help cultivate and scale the country’s fledgling nonprofit activities to meet national challenges and lobby for socioeconomic change.
Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.