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Investments to Promote a More Inclusive Society

By Courtney Murphy, Director, Strategic Partnerships

It is undeniably a divisive time in the United States with growing inequality, polarization of the political spheres, heightened racial tensions, and acts of extremist violence. We are all longing for greater empathy and tolerance. CECP is proud to mark the Day of Understanding by launching a new White Paper, Diversity & Inclusion in Corporate Social Engagement, as one step we, together with our companies, are taking to further embrace difference and build more inclusive cultures in our companies and communities. This report and its findings were previewed with a session at the CECP Summit in May 2018 and with companies participating in CECP’s Accelerate Community on Diversity and Inclusion in Corporate Social Engagement on November 19.

Corporate Social Engagement (CSE), by its very nature, reaches outwards to lift up and improve specific aspects of society, both for the benefit of the community and the company. CECP companies invest in a wide range of focus areas, outlined in this year’s Giving in Numbers report, which range from the arts, disaster relief, and the environment, to health and human services, education, and community and economic development. However, within those focus areas, how do companies seek to intentionally support equitable access to resources and opportunities for all?

CECP’s year-long inquiry, with the support of the Walmart Foundation, sought to understand the current approaches of companies in addressing diversity and inclusion through their philanthropic investments. The rigorous methodology included a quantitative survey, company calls, and subject matter expert interviews that unearthed a growing commitment and focus on diversity and inclusion, a desire to integrate internal D&I with companies’ social engagement strategies for greater impact, and a need for better measurement of progress.

Current practices of measurement include using D&I metrics to select nonprofit partners (i.e. reach, programming, social impact), connecting Employee Resource Groups to CSE decision-making (i.e. selection of partners or issues to address), monitoring D&I metrics of CSE staff, and providing guidance to nonprofit partners to advance their D&I internally and in fulfilling their mission.

As CECP embarks on its 20th anniversary year, we are honored to address challenging issues such as this one in partnership with leading companies. Building upon this White Paper, CECP’s Accelerate Community is bringing together companies passionate about leveraging corporate social engagement to address inclusiveness and opportunity for all people regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. It is through candid conversations addressing tough and often uncomfortable topics, that we can improve.

CECP is positioned to advance the field in important areas such as this one and looks forward to leading on additional areas as we enter our next decade, in partnership with our companies. To that end, what’s on your mind? We invite you to begin a dialogue with CECP on how we might be able to partner to establish a baseline of current practices, establish a future-forward outlook for improvement, and find answers to the most pressing questions of today – and tomorrow.