CECP Insights

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.

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Courtney Murphy
Director, Strategic Engagement, CECP

April 10, 2014-- At CECP, we have the privilege of talking to more than 100 leaders in corporate citizenship and community investment per quarter, and one of the common challenges we hear is the difficulty in sharing the company’s community impact and opportunities for engagement with its closest audience: its employees.

What makes this so challenging?

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Carmen Perez
Manager, Research and 
Standards, CECP

April 1, 2014 -- CECP’s time in India presenting at Dasra’s Philanthropy Week was all too short. Before the trip, I posted about what I hoped to learn about the two percent CSR regulation. Here’s an update on what U.S. companies with business in India need to know:

  • The regulation does apply to foreign companies.
  • The CSR Regulation is in effect for any fiscal years that begin after April 1, 2014. (Yes, that’s this week).
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Carmen Perez
Manager, Measurement
and Standards, CECP

February 26, 2014-- Who do you call for advice when your company wants to start giving in India, South Africa, or any other new market? Did you think about CECP? If not, you should. People think of CECP as having a finger on the pulse of trends among leading CSR professionals, drawing from its robust data collection and daily interaction with companies. But also infused in that expertise is a growing global perspective and insights from on-the-ground experience in economies where companies’ revenues are growing, and where corporate giving will soon follow. That on-the-ground experience has recently grown in two key markets:

Korean Competitive Advantage

CECP presented at the CSR Summit organized by the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in December 2013. It was a whirlwind visit, but there were many learnings from CECP’s time in Korea with our host Korea Productivity Center (KPC).

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 Doug Conant
 Founder and CEO, Conant Leadership and
 Former President and CEO Campbell Soup Company
 Twitter: @DougConant
 
February 3,  2014-- As corporate leaders, we have a responsibility to represent all of our stakeholders in the most enlightened way possible.  This means meaningfully promoting the interests of our employees, customers, consumers, and communities, as well as the needs of our shareholders. It is not an easy job.  But it is an important one. We have an obligation to lead our organizations in the most holistic way we can. One of the most effective ways to develop an enlightened perspective is to learn from others. CECP’s Board of Boards CEO Roundtable offers a unique opportunity for learning and growth. I just learned that Forbes has recognized the event as one of the Top 15 Conferences for Meeting Influencers and Innovators, alongside World Economic Forum and Clinton Global Initiative. That was no surprise to me; the forum on establishing a higher ambition at the CEO level for our companies, built around a “doing well by doing good” mindset, is a powerful proposition. 

Here are five reasons that I find the Board of Boards CEO Roundtable experience so valuable:

Thomas Odenwald, SAP

 

 

Thomas Odenwald
Senior Vice President
SAP

January 8, 2014--Integrated Reporting—the combination of financial and non-financial performance in a single report—is based on the principle that any organization can maximize value by serving the interest of all stakeholders and should not be limited to financial return only. Recent studies show that 80 percent of an organizations value is ‘hidden’ in non-financial assets not showing up in traditional financial reports.

Sinking Iceberg of Value

[Source: Bob Willard – the Sustainability Advantage]

Integrated Reporting requires an integrated business strategy that creates value by balancing short-term gains with long-term strategy and investment.

Courtney Murphy, Carmen Perez, Michael Stroik and Alison Vultaggio
CECP's Strategic Engagement and Measurement Teams

December 23, 2013--As we look towards 2014, CECP predicts what the New Year will bring, based on insights from our conversations in 2013 with more than 200 decision-makers in corporate citizenship and philanthropy from CECP’s community of leading companies. Here are five of our predictions:

1. CSR considered a business imperative – With support from leading CEOs, the role of corporate citizenship will continue to be elevated with re-organizations at many companies, to align reporting structures for these functions more closely with core business strategy.

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Carmen Perez
Manager, Research and Analytics
CECP

 December 10, 2013--Imagine if your company had to double its giving. By next year.

Considering median total corporate giving in 2012 was one percent of pre-tax profit, the majority of companies are not so far from feeling this pressure if their governments enacted a law along these lines. While August 2013 was a quiet month in the U.S., nine and a half time zones away, the Indian corporate sector was abuzz when the 2013 Companies Act passed. It mandated companies allocate two percent of profits to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) if they are of a certain size (three thresholds are specified, one is revenue of above US$150 million or INR 10,000 million). Current expectations are the requirement will take effect in fiscal year 2014-2015.

Are Indian companies ready for this?

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Sara Adams
Head of Communications and Marketing
CECP

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.

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Doug Conant
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

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Michael Stroik
Manager, Research and Analytics
CECP

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.

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