Creating a Business and Social Impact Fund

The Dow Chemical Company has a long history of investing in corporate citizenship and sustainability. From 2011 to 2016, the company and its Foundation invested $259 million across thousands of grants around the world in support of circular economy, food security, community well-being, affordable housing, and STEM education.

In 2016, Dow sought to build on its existing citizenship work by deepening the connection between its philanthropic efforts and its business goals—creating a shared value opportunity. Dow engaged FSG to create and launch the Dow Business Impact Fund, which identifies and funds new projects that could create significant social impact and open up new business opportunities. FSG partnered with Dow to design the fund’s application process and develop an assessment framework for evaluating proposals and identifying high-impact, business-aligned projects.

FSG helped us institutionalize the shared value opportunity that exists when businesses get involved in solving societal challenges. FSG was a true partner every step of the way, and we look forward to the continued success of the program and our partnership.

Rob Vallentine, President, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation and Director of Global Citizenship, The Dow Chemical Company

Proposals for funding come directly from Dow employees around the world, tapping their unique skills, business knowledge, and diversity of locations and experiences. FSG provided coaching and support for employees during the proposal development process and connected them with key external experts and stakeholders who could inform their work and partner on selected projects.

Since the launch of the Business Impact Fund, Dow businesses have had an opportunity to collaborate with nonprofit organizations to drive social impact, enabling partners to apply for up to $1 million of grants each year. The Impact Fund has supported a broad range of projects aligned to company priority areas, including:

  • A partnership with the Thai Red Cross to deploy Dow’s water filtration technology to 50 rural schools across Thailand, providing children access to clean water and demonstrating the value of Dow’s filtration technology.
  • A partnership with Montgomery County Food Bank in Houston, Texas, to create a produce rescue center leveraging Dow packaging technology to extend produce shelf life and increase the available supply of fresh and nutritious food for individuals in need.

Moving forward, Dow hopes to grow the fund, both in size and in types of partnership, and continues seeking new opportunities to solve major social problems in a way that advances its business goals.

Read our interview with Dow’s Rob Vallentine >

About Dow
The Dow Chemical Company combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress. Dow’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates, and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of differentiated technology-based products and solutions for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, and consumer care.

Learn more about FSG’s corporate/CSR services >



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