Adobe Systems

Adobe Systems Forms Foundation to Broaden Community Philanthropy

Adobe Systems Incorporated, one of the world’s largest, most diversified software companies, approached Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to conduct an analysis of the pros and cons of creating a corporate foundation. The company had been managing a corporate giving program with some strategic counsel from RPA for many years, but provided the majority of its grantmaking through a donor-advised fund at a local community foundation.

Implementing RPA’s Plan

Based on RPA’s expertise in the corporate social responsibility arena, Adobe asked the team to assess the company’s short- and long-term giving needs, factor in internal considerations, analyze how to best leverage existing resources, benchmark best practices and trends in corporate philanthropy, provide financial modeling and develop a full review of all options.

The project culminated in a series of recommendations that were presented to Adobe’s senior management. Adobe ultimately decided to implement RPA’s recommendations of both maintaining a strong relationship with the company’s community foundation and funding strategic and signature programs through its own corporate foundation.

Honing the mission

Adobe then turned to RPA to provide consulting and project management support for the start-up of the Adobe Foundation. Working closely with internal contacts and outside legal counsel, RPA provided guidance on how to leverage Adobe’s current philanthropic giving structure, create desired community impact, provide flexibility and balance business interests.

RPA helped to create the foundation’s mission, values and guiding principles statements; provided input and content on the exemption filing documents; drafted policies and procedures; and was on hand at the foundation’s first board meeting. RPA staff then took part in the selection and hiring process for the foundation’s first full-time employee.

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