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.
May 14, 2015--In response to “Philanthropy Starts After Profits Are Tallied”(New York Times, May 12, 2015), the notion that companies must choose between philanthropy and the welfare of their stakeholders presents a false dichotomy.
Leading CEOs have realized that they can align mission and market. Coca Cola and PepsiCo have campaigned against their own (short-term, though not long-term) economic interest by pursuing calorie reductions to help reduce obesity; CVS arguably did the same when it abandoned tobacco sales.
In a time of heightened societal and economic challenges, corporate community engagement can advance both social and commercial interests. We’re better off encouraging companies to do more promises better returns than hectoring with tired old arguments.
Leading companies are paying close attention to “how the money was made”. Customers, investors, and employees are requiring such transparency because they want to understand the values of the companies.
And it yields growth. While tackling challenges such as illiteracy, water scarcity, or workforce development, societal investment is a line to new markets, R&D, sustainable supply chains, engaging employees, and positive brand reputation.
Financial success is not a sin that needs to be ameliorated. It is precisely the scope and scale of today’s largest companies that holds the most promise for solving society’s toughest challenges.
President and CEO, Edelman
February 24, 2015-- I have just read the second annual Giving Around the Globe report from CECP (I am a board member), a coalition of 150 global CEOs who are a force for good, on giving patterns of companies based in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Here are some of the most interesting findings:
1. North American companies are most likely to give to recipients in the UK, Mexico, China, Brazil and India. Giving by North American-based companies increased substantially to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan and to China after the earthquake in Sichuan province.
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.