Upcoming Best Practice Network Webinar: Show Me the Value – Committing to Impact Measurement

Do your volunteer programs generate social and business value? Apollo Group and True Impact share how measuring employee volunteerism helps to prove – and improve – your impact on society, employees, and the company’s bottom line. Learn tips for how to leverage impact data to communicate with leadership and guide continuous program improvement.

Show Me the Value: Committing to Impact Measurement

Register for this FREE event
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
10-11 a.m. PT (1-2 p.m. ET)
Follow the conversation on Twitter @VM_Solutions, #VMbpn

About Our Guest Speakers

Farron Levy, True Impact

Farron Levy, president and founder of True Impact, specializes in triple-bottom-line assessments, having helped a broad range of companies and their nonprofit partners evaluate the impacts of their social and environmental investments. Farron is a member of the Reimagining Service Council. He earned an MPP in Business and Government Policy from Harvard University, and a BS with university honors from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lauren Keeler, Apollo Group

Lauren Keeler is the Director of Community Engagement for Apollo Group working to help support the organization’s nonprofit partners through engaging staff, students, faculty and alumni in high impact opportunities to give back. In her role she engages internal stakeholders in the CSR and engagement conversation to promote community engagement and volunteerism as an essential part of the workplace.

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Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship to Moderate Panel on Impact Measurement at 2011 VolunteerMatch Client Summit

The 2011 VolunteerMatch Client Summit, May 12-13th at The Art Institute of Chicago, is coming up and we are excited to share with you the speakers and events of the day.  Here are a few details about our main panel discussion, which takes place in the morning, before the networking luncheon.

This year’s panel discussion will focus on “Measuring The Business Impact of Community Involvement Programs”, with moderator Vesela Veleva, Sc.D., Research Manager, from the Carroll School of Management at the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College. Dr. Veleva will present corresponding research from BCCCC and lead a discussion with two VolunteerMatch client companies.

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A Fresh Take on CSR Professional Development

Guest post by Katy Moore, Director of Corporate Strategy, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Photo of Katy Moore

It’s nearly the end of the year. (How did that happen?!) And, if you’re like most corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals, you’re currently looking for – and budgeting for – potential 2015 professional development opportunities. I know this because you’re calling me – a lot. And, I love it!

As your companies face increasing pressure from consumers, shareholders, and society to be more socially responsible, you, as CSR practitioners, are increasingly looking for ways to expand your skills and your networks, stay inspired (or perhaps get re-inspired), and learn practical, applicable best practices that can help you deliver maximum value back to your company and the communities you serve.

Back in 2012, in response to this growing pressure, the corporate members of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) asked us to develop a new type of professional development opportunity for the CSR field, one that would meet the growing and ever-changing needs of CSR professionals, would be grounded in practice, would be associated with an accredited college or university, and would be affordable.

In 2014, after nearly two years of exploration, research, and curriculum development, WRAG, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, launched the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility LogoThis four-part, year-long course of study examines the scope and complexity of CSR, including its evolution, components, best practices, measurement models, key issues and current trends. At the end of the year, all of this results in a professional certificate in CSR from Johns Hopkins University.

More importantly than the curriculum, however, is the Institute’s structure and philosophy. The program, which was created by CSR professionals for CSR professionals, was designed with applicability in mind (that is, skills and ideas that are immediately useful and are realistic to implement once you’re back at the office). And, to ensure that the curriculum remains current and relevant to practitioners’ needs, all classes are taught by leading CSR professionals from the field. Faculty members include Tim McClimon of the American Express Foundation, Diane Melley of IBM, Carolyn Berkowitz of the Capital One Foundation, and Margaret Coady of the Center for Engaging Corporate Philanthropy, to name a few.

As to the structure of the program, only 25 CSR practitioners are accepted each year. Jennifer-Kim-Field-Guest-Speaker-UN-FoundationThese 25 professionals spend 10 months together learning, exploring best practices, and, ultimately, building a powerful network of peers, mentors, and confidants. They do this not only with each other and faculty members, but also with guest speakers from companies and organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Disney, The White House, the United Nations Foundation, and Greenpeace.

There are a lot of workshops, conferences, and discussion forums available to CSR professionals. But, if you’re looking for something a bit different, if you’re looking for a cohort of peers to learn with and from, if you’re looking for a course of study steeped in practice and real-life case studies, check out the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility, and what our alumni are saying about their experience. And give me a call – I’d love to hear from you!

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2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit Insights: Overcoming CSR Challenges as an “Intrapreneur”

Guest Post by Danielle Holly

At the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit, we learned from experts in CSR, volunteer engagement, technology and program administration. In this series of blog posts, we’ll share with you the valuable insights offered at each session. Up today: REsiliency Doesn’t Have a Sector.

Picture of Danielle Holly

Danielle Holly, CEO, Common Impact

While we all know that it takes institutional support to make corporate social responsibility and pro bono programs succeed over the long term, it also requires purpose-driven individuals who are willing to roll up their sleeves and create the kind of change employees, businesses and the community want to see. We had a room of these “intrapreneurs” at the VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit earlier this fall.

Here are a few of the themes that came up in our discussion, which corporate change-makers are striving to address every day:

The workforce has transformed: Over the past 20 years, the workforce has completely transformed. The corporate “lifer” is a thing of the past. Employees are switching jobs and sectors every 2-3 years. They’re increasingly remote, and they’re focused on building careers that make a measurable impact on society. This workforce is also 70% disengaged* in their current role, suggesting there are far too many employees who are unhappy, frustrated or actively seeking other opportunities. This environment leaves companies asking the question, “How am I going to recruit, engage, and retain my future leaders?”

Engaging the disengaged?  Companies know they need to provide real opportunities to engage the time and talent of their employees beyond the holiday food and fundraising drives. But how?  Many of our session participants said that it’s the same employees that engage time and time again in all of the volunteer opportunities they offer. Is it worth it to continue to try to involve employees that aren’t responding, aren’t engaging, and just don’t seem interested? Or should these already-strapped corporate managers focus on enriching the experience of the employees that are coming to the table on their own?

Activating beyond the “corporate” base:  Finally, how do you get hourly, part-time, contract, and front-line employees engaged in service when it’s challenging or impossible for them to leave their post? Manufacturing, retail, healthcare and other sectors that rely heavily on these employees are struggling with how to make volunteer programs available to their full workforce – not just their corporate marketing, HR and finance arms.

All of these challenges require slightly different approaches from each of the companies that joined the recent conversation in Detroit, but there is one imperative for progress across the board: These corporate employee engagement initiatives need to be a core part of the company’s business. This integration needs to happen not just in ethos or messaging — though that’s helpful — but in budget, resourcing and measurement.

Once that becomes a reality for more companies, these intrapreneurs will have a tangible foundation on which to build. They can then have the ability to experiment with new programs and new incentives that activate those disengaged employees. They can have the personnel budgets to staff appropriately so that hourly employees can get out in the community and support nonprofit leaders in building better businesses. And most importantly, they can provide evidence of impact to justify the support they need. They’ll know, along with their companies, that their efforts to build a purpose-driven workforce are working.

For resources and more information, view the slides from this session.

*Source: Gallup 2013 Report: State of the American Workplace
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Lessons from the Road: Shaking Up Employee Volunteer Programs

This article is part of a special series penned by VolunteerMatch leadership focused on the changes we all need to make to our programs and strategies to shape the future of employee volunteering and corporate social responsibility. How will you innovate your employee volunteer program? Here are some ideas we picked up on the road.Earlier this month I hit the road with Vicky Hush, VolunteerMatch’s VP of Engagement & Strategic Partnerships. We headed up to Portland to present to Hands On Greater Portland’s Corporate Volunteer Council to share our expertise with employee volunteer managers about how to keep your employee volunteer program (EVP) fresh and exciting. Leading up to the presentation, we had a tough internal conversation which amounted to this: how controversial did we want to be? What would happen if we just came out and said that we think EVPs should be doing more? We decided to go for it – those Portlanders are a tough bunch with all that fresh air! And it worked: when we asked the room of EVP managers “how many of you feel like your employee volunteer program is as strong as it can be?” we (not surprisingly) didn’t see a single hand. Through the conversation, we reviewed a few frameworks that can help companies “reinvent the road,” including:

  • Go back and review the core reasons that your company has a volunteer program – other than for the community benefit. And be honest.
  • Look at the overlap between your employees’ passions, your corporate strategy and your communities’ needs. Think about the shared value between your company’s strategy and society’s needs.
  • Constantly adapt, assess and evolve using the program change model.

Towards the end of the presentation, we shifted to brainstorming specific program components. There were some great insights!

Communications Trends

We discussed communications, and two trends became clear:

  1. People are overstimulated with messages, so we have to think about creative, new ways to reach them, particularly focused on social, inclusive, lively, fashionable, and visual methods.
  2. We have to go back to basics. Sometimes the least efficient mode of communication is the most effective (meaning, sometimes you have to go back to face-to-face interactions).

Measurement Challenges

One area where most companies struggle is measurement. Everyone in the room agreed that the silver bullet is tracking impact, but we have not yet developed a way to successfully track this. By the end of the discussion, the trending idea was that corporations need to invest in nonprofit infrastructure to build open-source tools to track metrics that are mutually beneficial for corporations and nonprofits. VolunteerMatch loves this idea – who is up for helping us achieve this project?

Incentives that Work

Finally, we brainstormed on creative incentives. While we all agreed that awards, competition, dollars for doers and VTO are effective, there was one major idea that emerged: incentives need to be carefully implemented to feel authentic. The culture of philanthropy is not something that can be forced or created through incentives, as the true motivation to volunteer is inherently intrinsic. You want to create incentives that match this ethos: Make it easy and rewarding for the volunteers who already engage, and don’t try to force employees to volunteer who aren’t naturally drawn to it. In an ideal world, what if you could flip incentives on their heads, and instead recruit and hire employees based on their community-minded drive? So now our challenge for you – how can you innovate on your EVP to increase your impact? Think about how your program is unique, and what value your employees can bring to the community. Think critically about why you do what you do, and start to challenge your company to do more. We’re here to help if you need us! Let us know how you want to innovate on your EVP – connect via Twitter at @VM_Solutions, and check out the rest of the blogs in this special series.

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What’s Your Giving in Numbers?

If your company has revenue of more than $2 billion, you can participate in this year's CECP Giving in Numbers survey.How does your company’s giving stack up against others? CECP’s annual Giving in Numbers report helps answer that question, and each year the insight becomes more valuable as more data is collected from more companies. This year, we’re helping spread the word to companies who can participate in the survey.

The source for the most comprehensive look at corporate giving trends year to year, CECP, in association with The Conference Board, has opened its 13th annual Giving in Numbers survey. This is the only rigorous study of corporate societal engagement available for public download at no cost. The data is gathered through a survey of approximately 250 of the largest companies in the world, and will capture information on total giving, program areas, employee engagement, predictions for 2014, and more.

Not only does the survey allow for year-over-year tracking of key industry giving benchmarks, but this year will also include new perspectives on key trends such as:

  • Societal impact measurement
  • Global giving, including questions on total giving using the CECP Global Guide valuation guidance and giving data by country
  • Employee engagement and company gift-matching programs

CECP's annual Giving in Numbers report.All companies with $2 billion or more in revenue are invited to join the free benchmarking project by contacting CECP. The submission deadline for inclusion in the analysis is April 1, 2014. CECP will provide an exclusive look at the findings from the survey to its affiliated companies at the CECP Summit on May 20, 2014 in New York City and will share results with the media later that day.

If your company has revenue of $2 billion or more, contact CECP to participate in the 2014 Giving in Numbers survey!

 

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City of CSR: Announcing the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit in Detroit

The 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit will be held in Detroit, sponsored by GM.We are thrilled to announce that the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit will be held on September 18-19, 2014, and will be hosted by General Motors at the company’s world headquarters in Detroit.

Similar to previous years, this two-day, invitation-only event will showcase ideas and best practices in corporate volunteering, employee engagement and community impact. In attendance at the event will be practitioners and experts in corporate social responsibility (CSR), including representatives from the VolunteerMatch family of corporate clients. Session topics will range from inspiring employee giving and measurement of volunteer programs to effective corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

In our minds, Detroit is the perfect place to host our Client Summit this year. We will be able to showcase the variety of programs underway to build resiliency and opportunity in metro Detroit. A point of focus will be United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s high school turnaround initiative that aims to help 90% of students in the Detroit area complete high school prepared for postsecondary study and entry into the workforce by 2018. Through significant financial support, employee volunteerism and other unique programs, both GM and the GM Foundation are playing a large role in this initiative.

“We are looking forward to hosting this important summit that will bring together the brightest minds and the best ideas in volunteerism and corporate philanthropy,” said Sabin Blake, GM’s manager of Cadillac Marketing who also runs the “teamGM Cares” employee volunteer program.  “We are dedicated to showcasing the best of GM and Detroit to summit participants, and we are certain they will be inspired by all they encounter.”

To see highlights of the 2013 VolunteerMatch Client Summit click here: http://solutions.volunteermatch.org/summit.

Stay tuned for more news next year about the 2014 VolunteerMatch Client Summit!

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