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Yesterday evening marked a fantastic local event – the annual Corporate Philanthropy Awards hosted by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.  This function brings together some of the bay area’s leading non-profit organizations along with corporate donors and enthusiastic corporate citizens.  After spending some time walking through the display tables and catching up with local non-profit leaders and volunteers, it was time to take our seats and get into the competitive spirit all focused on raising the bar on giving back.

In addition to honoring the top 50 corporate givers, who totaled about $102 million dollars in local non-profit contributions this year, the Silicon Valley Business Journal added a special twist which elevated the excitement.  The audience was asked to jump on to twitter and nominate the top non-profits from those attending who would receive a portion of the awards event proceeds, which the Journal was generously donating.  Twitter streams were projected all around the ballroom and within seconds audiences far outside the walls of the event were jumping online to cast their votes. 

From the philanthropist angle, a broad array of local companies represented including Kaiser Permanente, Lam Research, IBM, and WellsFargo just to name a few.  Each acceptor was asked to receive the award and in five words or less, share how, in the last twelve months, being a good corporate citizen has helped your company.  The audience applauded at the creative, witty, and inspiring statements that were summed up in such few words.

As the countdown bubbled from the 40’s to the 30’s to the 20’s, I couldn’t help but smile with pride and eagerness to see where SAP would land.  Before I knew it, the emcee was announcing that we were down to the top ten corporate philanthropists for 2013.  I’m honored to share that SAP earned the 7th spot on a very prestigious list!  It’s a great feeling to accept an award on behalf of an organization whose mission statement is the perfect answer to the on-stage question.  How has being a good corporate citizen helped SAP?  Help the world run better!

To learn more about the event, refer to the Silicon Valley Business Journal site – information will be online as of Friday November 8th. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/

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