With data stockpiles growing exponentially, a bevy of new vistas for data use opens up. The digital age affords a fresh perspective for research into Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and their potential for bringing positive change. ICT can and should be leveraged for global development and social inclusion. One of the most novel ways for achieving that end has been by adopting Data philanthropy (DP) as a practice. Specifically, DP is an emerging concept aimed at using proprietary firm data from both private and public companies for social and strategic benefit (Taddeo, 2016). Given the centrality of data in all forms of ICT, DP has proven itself to be impactful for empowering societies with better insights while giving a competitive boost to participating firms. Companies like Genentech and Pfizer and social networking sites like Reddit have been donating their proprietary data to organizations like the UN to create a sound infrastructure to facilitate firm level data sharing.

This paper investigates the impact of data philanthropy on the strategic advantages for data donor firms and how data sharing not only helps solve social issues but aids the donor firm, as well. The paper explores the theoretical foundations of CSR studies and how data philanthropy can serve as a logical extension of the same. The implications of the research are discussed and are used to support data philanthropy adoption. The article employs a meta-view of multiple examples to highlight the potential which data philanthropy holds for the various stakeholders involved. We find that the outcomes of data philanthropy include more diverse sources of innovation, making the firm more attractive to millennials in terms of employment and market, and creating a greater impact than traditional corporate responsibility programs.