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.
Head of Communications and Marketing
November 28, 2013--Why not kick off the holidays in the same way retail stores take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with a day devoted to giving? #GivingTuesday will be celebrating its second year on Tuesday, December 3, following Thanksgiving. Created as a national day of giving, #GivingTuesday encourages partners to create and commit to a project for #GivingTuesday and spread the word about the power of giving throughout their networks.
Striving for greatness! In 2012, #GivingTuesday recognized more than 2,500 philanthropic acts across all 50 states. These included collective efforts of #GivingTuesday partners, donors, and advocates that helped fuel a marked increase in charitable giving on #GivingTuesday 2012. Last year more than 10 million dollars were recorded by Blackbaud--a 53 percent increase when compared to the previous Tuesdays following Thanksgiving, and a 46 percent increase in online donations was reported by DonorPerfect, including an average gift increase of 25 percent. Word of #GivingTuesday spread to more than 50 million people, resulting in milestone trending on Twitter that day. This year #GT will continue to strive for greater numbers and looks to its partners to use this day of celebration to communicate how they are helping their communities and inspire others.
Chair, CECP; Founder and CEO, ConantLeadership;
Former President and CEO, Campbell Soup Company;
Chair, Avon Products Company
November 4, 2014--The October 26, 2013 article, Goldman Sachs, Buying Redemption, was a reminder that corporate societal engagement is changing quickly, yet public perception has not yet caught up. Current, and effective, incarnations of corporate-community investment include projects to solve some of society’s toughest challenges that are benefiting communities and the companies investing in them. It is this duality that makes the projects sustainable, and what encourages the application of talent, innovative ideas, and diverse resources of the corporate sector to pressing community needs.
While tackling challenges such as illiteracy, water scarcity, or workforce development, societal investment brings companies into new markets, fills an R&D pipeline, creates sustainable supply chains, builds a future workforce, mitigates risk, engages employees, and builds positive brand reputation, and because of this, companies will keep investing in societal issues. We can’t blame companies for doing too much of this; we should celebrate it.
Pro Bono Week: An analysis of trends in pro bono service
Manager, Research and Analytics
October 21, 2013--Why pro bono? Nonprofit organizations all over the world receive free access to professional services that typically cost thousands of dollars. Corporate employees use their skills to help causes they care about. Businesses create volunteer experiences that can influence the retention and recruitment of high-performing employees and job candidates. CECP, in association with The Conference Board, recently released its annual report on corporate societal investments, Giving in Numbers: 2013 Edition, which found that for 2012, among all survey respondents, 36 companies reported a median value of $340,750 worth of pro bono support during the year.
Despite a slow economic recovery, the majority of companies gave more overall in 2012 than in 2007, the year before the start of the global recession. Throughout the recession, companies increasingly sought to use their non-cash resources, such as product or professional volunteer services, to support community partners in new ways.
Manager, Research and Analytics
October 1, 2013--CECP, where Fortune 500 companies turn to achieve societal progress and sustainable business performance, recently released its annual Giving in Numbers – 2013 Edition. We analyze in that report how corporate giving evolved during the global recession of 2008 and 2009; despite a slow economic recovery, we found that the majority of companies are already giving more than before the recession. Eleven of 14 California-based companies participating in the longitudinal study increased giving from 2007 to 2012.
There are three core trends we recognized in this global analysis: Companies are striving for 1) deeper impact, 2) greater use of non-cash resources, and 3) more meaningful employee engagement. But what does that all mean to you? In this article, I take you behind the numbers to assess takeaways for each trend from a variety of perspectives.
Manager, Strategic Engagement
October 3, 2013--With summer vacations behind us and a slight chill in the air, the time is ripe to roll up our sleeves and approach the challenges ahead of us with a clear mind and unencumbered ambitions. For corporate leaders focused on addressing pressing community issues related to their business such as workforce readiness, education, obesity, poverty, and many others, this means catching up on the latest trends and promising models for achieving impact.
CECP’s 2013 Edition of the Giving in Numbers report, released in September in association with The Conference Board, provides a snapshot of corporate giving in 2012. Most encouraging to CECP was the finding that 59% of companies gave more in 2012 than in 2007, the year before the global recession set in. Also, non-cash donations, which can include pro-bono service or donation of products, has risen by 10% or more each year since 2008, and paid-release-time volunteer programs were offered by 70% of companies in 2012, compared with just 53% before the recession.
August 30, 2013--If you are one of the 2.7 billion people in the world with internet access, you may have read last week that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg brought to life a website called Internet.org to announce the details of a new partnership among seven technology giants with the shared goal to bring internet access to "the next 5 billion people."
In a parallel universe, this grand announcement might have won awe, praise, and offers of additional support. After all, seven heavyweight firms working together to tackle a discrepancy of this magnitude is a big deal. It could have been a galvanizing moment. Instead Zuckerberg has taken a virtual pounding.
August 16, 2013--Peter Buffett's New York Times Op-Ed piece "The Charitable-Industrial Complex" reads like the diary of an early explorer, a mix of insightful and simplistic observations of the new world he's been thrust into as co-Chair of the NoVo Foundation: the wild territory at the intersection of money, politics, and highly-complex societal problems.
For me, focusing on his closing wish for greater humanism is his most valuable provocation: he calls for "a functioning society that truly creates greater prosperity for all," appropriately noting that prosperity should not be confused with the blind accumulation of material goods.
President and Founder
First Peoples Worldwide
July 16, 2013--There are two basic models of corporate philanthropy. The charity model: write a check to a health clinic that fights AIDS or a school that focuses on educating girls, you’ve helped your community, you’re done. This approach is simple to do, and certainly a lot of good comes from it. But there’s a different model, one we like to call engaged giving, in which a company not only looks deeper into how it can support its surrounding communities, but how that process can serve its own goals and mission.
In 2012, Royal Dutch Shell established a precedent for engaged giving, a kind of win-win philanthropy. Because of our culturally appropriate approach to grantmaking, Shell asked First Peoples Worldwide to distribute $400,000 to indigenous-led development projects in the Americas and the Arctic. The company’s goal was to improve its community engagement by strengthening the decision-making power and cultural solidarity of indigenous communities in its areas of operation, and it imposed no restrictions on the communities or projects we could fund. This is important, because engaged giving should not be seen as a method of acquiring Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for operations, but as a way of making real connections with, and a real difference in, your communities.
Philanthropy New York
July 12, 2013--In early 2012, Philanthropy New York began working with Reimagining Service to bring its core mission and principles to our members, a mix of traditional grantmakers and corporate philanthropists. As stated in the blog by Gail Gershon of Gap Inc., that initial session generated robust conversations on the value of foundations investing in nonprofit volunteer capacity. Our subsequent meetings continue to focus on the importance of developing that capacity and engaging volunteers strategically. These meetings have highlighted three themes of successful volunteerism: 1) Empowerment, 2) Flexibility, and 3) Connection.
Empowering your employees through volunteerism can build leadership and add value to their jobs. At Gap Inc., these individuals are called Community Leaders. These employees take the lead on volunteer coordination and receive continual company recognition. Autonomy, authority and recognition generate interest and incentivize participation in overall volunteer efforts.
Private Sector Initiatives Intern
Americans for the Arts
June 19, 2013--The powerful impact the arts can have on social change and business objectives was showcased for corporate giving officers from around the country last week thanks to a deepening partnership between Americans for the Arts and CECP. Held in New York City, the annual CECP Summit brought together over 250 of the senior-most giving officers from 130 of the world’s largest companies to hear exciting new research, discuss successes and challenges, and gain fresh perspectives and insights on how they can better impact workplaces, communities, and society while also advancing business.
With similar interests in data and research, and a shared belief that the arts can not only raise the quality of life, but also advance corporate strategies, CECP, with the help of Americans for the Arts, infused the annual summit for the second year with memorable arts performances, which I heard brought up in conversation again and again by summit attendees. This year, music, theatre, dance, and film provided an artistic beat to the summit, providing great examples of how art can be used to solve problems across sectors and industries.