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.
By Alison Vultaggio, Michael Stroik, Courtney Murphy, and Carmen Perez
Members of CECP's Strategic Engagement and Measurement Teams
December 16, 2014--This year CECP engaged in more than 1,000 individual conversations with the world’s leading CEOs and companies, analyzed nearly 300 corporate giving surveys, and published key reports on corporate societal engagement. These insightful connections have uniquely positioned CECP to capture and share some of the most exciting trends of 2014:
Eileen Howard Boone
Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy, CVS Health; President of the CVS Health Foundation
November 10, 2014--One of the keys to successful corporate social responsibility should be a strong connection to an organization’s mission or purpose. Purpose coupled with strong alignment to business priorities can deliver an impactful platform that supports both long-term growth and social change. At CVS Health, our programs and initiatives are deeply rooted in our purpose of helping people on their path to better health, and it serves as a decision filter for all that we do.
In fact, everything from initiatives in our retail pharmacies to our philanthropic programming, directly relates back to this purpose. We’ve worked to develop a corporate social responsibility platform that allows us to be strategic with our giving, helps engage our colleagues, and aligns our charitable support with our business priorities and our company’s purpose.
Co-Founder and Partner, McChrystal Group
Former Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan
October 28, 2014--Our country would benefit tremendously if all young people served their country – not just in the military, but in all kinds of service. The challenges faced by our nation, and the obvious deterioration of many of the institutions and opportunities that have historically helped buttress citizenship, make this idea more important than ever. It’s a bit about helping with good causes – but it’s very much about helping develop the next generations of Americans.
This ideal has become the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, an initiative that seeks to build upon the strong foundation of national service in America to make a year of full-time national service – a service year – a common opportunity, cultural expectation and new civic rite of passage in America. It’s been amazing to see so many leaders, from all sectors and both sides of the aisle, rally around the idea. We’re lucky to count everyone from Madeline Albright to Condoleezza Rice and Tom Brokaw to Mel Martinez, as members of our leadership council.
Manager, Research and Analytics, CECP
October 27, 2014--According to CECP’s recent research report, Giving in Numbers: 2014 Edition, companies had to give a minimum of about 2% of Pre-Tax Profits to be in the top quartile of corporate givers. Is that a lot? Depends who you ask! One potential comparison is to American individuals—a Chronicle of Philanthropy study found that American individuals give, on average, about 3% of their income to charity (it’s a pretty cool study—they found that those earning more than $200,000 per year are giving less since 2006, while middle- and lower-income Americans are giving more!), which is more than the typical company (albeit in an imperfect comparison). On the other hand, companies in the CECP study collectively gave more than $25 billion in 2013, which is a significant amount of resources having deep impact in communities around the world! This year’s Giving in Numbers report provides expansive benchmarking data to help companies determine how much to give, as well as how to engage employees in their commitments to the community. In this blog, I share a couple surprising findings from this year’s report.
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.