The Future of Corporate Philanthropy

In the downturn, corporate chiefs like GE's Immelt say social responsibility will remain vital, but it must be cost-effective and fit corporate needs

How will the downturn affect the nascent field of corporate social responsibility? Jeffrey Immelt, the chairman and chief executive of General Electric (GE), provided a hint at the recent Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) conference in New York. "The most important part of corporate social responsibility is 'corporate,'" Immelt said. "You have to make money. The economic crisis doesn't represent a cycle; it represents a fundamental reset."

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