CECP's CEO Daryl Brewster, Executive Director Margaret Coady, other CECP staff, members of CECP's Board of Directors, and other industry thought leaders provide timely insight into trends and developments on the role of business in society.
Director, Strategic Engagement, CECP
October 15, 2014--Allstate’s recent “Purple Purse” event, held at the Glass Houses in New York City, provides a glimpse into how one company uses its influence as a “Force for Good” to multiply its business and societal impact.
Allstate CEO Tom Wilson, who will speak at CECP’s upcoming Board of Boards CEO event about his collaborative efforts to address gang violence in Chicago, opened the evening with an explanation of the significance of the Purple Purse: purple is the color of domestic violence awareness and the purse represents a woman’s financial domain. As Mr. Wilson stated in his recent CNN article, money is a powerful weapon in domestic violence. Evidence shows that empowering victims with the right tools and information can help. Victims need to protect and reclaim their financial resources, rebuild their credit, and gain a complete understanding of their financial picture. And Allstate’s longstanding programs to address domestic violence draw upon one of the company’s core areas of expertise: financial services.
July 29, 2014--We were pleased to see the New York Times piece, “Motivating Corporations to Do Good’ (7/15/2014). At CECP, founded in 1999 by Paul Newman and leading CEOs to do exactly that, we work with a coalition of 150 CEOs who are leading businesses in an increasingly transparent climate. But what truly motivates companies to “do good” is not purely perception, but also the win-win nature of companies investing in the community. A 2011 Harvard Business School study showed companies that prioritize environmental and social performance financially outperformed those that do not. We believe an investor cares about that.
July 2, 2014--The millennial generation is passionate about societal involvement, and companies are taking notice. At the 2014 CECP Board of Boards Roundtable, CEOs identified employees as the most influential stakeholder group in deciding whether to expand their companies’ community investment. CECP data show that 86% of companies match employee gifts, and that the median number of hours volunteered on-company-time grew by 37% from 2010 to 2013.
June 03, 2014-- A hot topic at the CECP Summit this year was the role companies should play in collaborative efforts. In a jam-packed room, I had the pleasure of representing FSG on a lively panel discussing collective impact with Citi Foundation CEO Pam Flaherty moderated by CECP Executive Director Margaret Coady.
Collective impact is a structured approach to achieving social change, applying a common agenda, shared measurement, and a strong backbone to drive social impact at scale.
May 27, 2014-- If CEOs of companies were asked if their companies should do good, all of them would say yes.
“The issue is not whether or not they want to do good. It’s an issue of priority,” said Carly Fiorina, speaking at the CECP's 2014 Summit held in New York City last week. Most CEOs will want to know that a corporate citizenship program provides a competitive tool and that it’s aligned with the overall corporate strategy, she explained.
Fiorina, former chair and CEO of Hewlett Packard and the current chair of Good360, was joined by National Basketball Association Commissioner Emeritus David Stern on a panel about corporate social responsibility. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd, the two provided a CEO perspective on corporate citizenship programs. The session was moderated by Debra Benton, president of Benton Management Resources, Inc.
May 22, 2014-- This week, I had the privilege of participating in Redefining Returns: The Impact of an Emerging Investment Model, a session at CECP’s 2014 Summit: What Counts in New York for almost 300 corporate giving professionals. The session focused on impact investing, which Amy Bell, Executive Director and Head of Principal Investments at JP Morgan Chase Social Finance, defined as an investment with the intent to create a financial return and social impact.
One of the challenges of impact investing, said Sonal Shah of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation, is defining and measuring what one really means by return and impact. And there is no perfect impact metric, pointed out Ommeed Sathe, Director of Social Investments at Prudential’s Community Resources Department.
Note from CECP: Kristin Giantris will be speaking about her organization’s State of the Sector Survey on the New Models for Supporting a Shovel-Ready Third Sector panel at the CECP Summit May 20-21.
May 12, 2014-- On the day Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) opened its annual State of the Sector Survey, a water main burst beneath an intersection near our New York office, snarling traffic, shutting down public transit, flooding the adjacent streets, drying up taps in thousands of homes, and creating widespread frustration. A critical piece of our city’s infrastructure had failed, creating a domino effect felt by those even miles away. Later that day, we learned of another threat to our city’s infrastructure: a Human Services organization that responded to our survey, with hundreds of employees and exclusively serving a low income community, reported just one month of cash in the bank. To make ends meet, they were in a precarious balancing act of managing loans and delaying paying their bills. On top of that, community need for their services had increased significantly, and they weren’t able to keep up with it.
April 22, 2014-- As the CECP community knows, what’s good for societies is good for business.
- When companies adopt sustainable energy solutions, they can seize economic opportunities while safeguarding the planet.
- When women are economically empowered, they create a new pool of talent, suppliers, and customers.
- And when workers have bed nets to protect them from malaria-carrying mosquitos, they don’t have to miss work because they’re sick.
A growing number of companies, like those in CECP, are approaching global problem-solving as part of their core business interests, not just their social responsibility initiatives. Our economy is truly global, and more and more industries expect growth in developing and emerging markets. Making global development a priority is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.