CSR Food For Thought: Give Some Life to Your CSR

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a roundup of relevant news from around the web that you may have missed last week, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post every Monday. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

Bringing CSR to Life Through Community Events
Great corporate responsibility goes beyond cash donations, and Time Warner Cable knows this well. Through their Connect a Million Minds initiative and partnerships, they get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). How? Find out in this post on 3BL Media.

Another Great 51 Sites for CSR, Volunteering & Workplace Giving
Thank you, RealizedWorth, for taking the time to put together this comprehensive list of online resources for all things CSR. Find tools, tips, news and more in each of these four categories: Corporate Volunteering, CSR News Organizations, CSR Bloggers and Workplace Giving.

Where to Start Building Your CSR Program
CSR isn’t just for Fortune 500 companies. But how do small and medium-sized businesses get their programs off the ground? According to this post from Voluncruit, they start with their employees. As they eloquently put it, “No matter how motivated the CEO or senior management team is about launching a new program, CSR actually grows from the bottom.” We couldn’t agree more.

Three NetSuite.org Grantees Transforming the World One Drop of Water at a Time
In honor of World Water Day (which took place on 3/22), NetSuite.org  looks at three nonprofits doing great work around clean water availability. NetSuite.og, the CSR arm of NetSuite, supports the work of these amazing nonprofits through software donations.

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CSR Food For Thought: Does CSR Overlook Children’s Rights?

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a roundup of relevant news from around the web that you may have missed last week, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post every Monday. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

Lego CEO: ‘if we don’t deal with children’s basic rights, we will have a difficult future’
In the CSR world, children are often overlooked. That’s the viewpoint of Lego group’s chief executive, and it’s why Lego has partnered with UNICEF. Together, they want to make protecting children’s rights the norm. This article from the Guardian looks at how they plan to take on this issue, and how they plan to encourage other companies to do the same.

How to Engage Employees in Sustainability
This report from the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) dives deep into how to make sustainability a part of your company culture. In other words, how to get your employees on board. Whether you’re a single location or global company, you’ll find tips on how to make sustainability meaningful for your employees.

Time Warner Cable Exceeds “Go Green” Goal By Reducing Its Carbon Intensity by 38 Percent
There’s one component of Time Warner Cable’s sustainability efforts that I particularly love. What is it? They put power in the hands of their employees. Last year, Time Warner Cable introduced “Green Teams”, 15 employee teams around the country who help push environmental efforts forward. It seems to be working, because in this press release on CSRwire, they announce that they’ve surpassed their goals by 15 percent. Well done, Time Warner Cable!

100 Lilly Employees Selected for Connecting Hearts Abroad
Lilly takes its employee volunteer program great distances – literally. Since 2011, Lilly has been sending employees to volunteer in various parts of the world as “Lilly Ambassadors”. As Lilly puts it, “It gets us out of the labs and from behind the computers. It allows to see the world through new eyes.” This post on their blog features an infographic which describes the Connecting Hearts Abroad program and highlights this year’s chosen volunteers.

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CSR Food For Thought: What’s Your Perfect Cause Marketing Fit?

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a roundup of relevant news from around the web that you may have missed last week, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post every Monday. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

Talbots & Dress for Success: A Perfect Cause Marketing Fit
At VolunteerMatch, we were founded on the idea that everyone should have the chance to find their perfect fit. The same goes for your nonprofit partnerships. This post from America’s Charities reflects on why Talbots & Dress for Success are such a great match, and it will hopefully get you thinking about the why behind your cause marketing. So, what’s your company’s perfect fit?

Beyond Incremental: Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan Takes Innovation to Scale
Who says change has to be gradual? “Sustainability driven innovation” is the next step in CSR, according to John Sterman of the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. This article from Sustainable Brands discusses how rather than being an afterthought, CSR is now being incorporated into every stage of production and planning for many companies.

UPS Named Climate Leadership Award Winner by EPA
Many companies are stepping up to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. But which company is doing the most to fight climate change? According to the EPA, that award goes to UPS. Read this press release on CSRwire to find out how UPS is surpassing its goals and living up to its 2014 title as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies.”

Will Corporate Social Responsibility Adapt or Die?
This Triple Pundit article argues that CSR isn’t making enough of an impact. Why? Because companies are still seeing it as an effort separate from their core business. However, this shouldn’t be seen as the end of CSR, but instead as a shift to a new form of CSR. What do you think? Is CSR as we know it on its way out?

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CSR Food For Thought: Is Your CSR Social?

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a roundup of relevant news from around the web that you may have missed last week, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post every Monday. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

CSR and Social Media: How to Amplify Your Communication Efforts
Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship explores the question, “What is the key to successfully promoting your CSR efforts on social media?” One idea we especially love: Encouraging your employees to talk about the company’s CSR, especially their role in it! Check out this post for more ideas, and a recap of the who, what, how and why of social media and CSR.

Wells Fargo Offers Free Financial Education During Military Saves Weeks
Today kicks off Military Saves Week, and Wells Fargo employees will be volunteering their skills in an innovative way: By hosting free virtual webinars for military families. Topics include advice for first-time homebuyers, managing credit, and creating budgets. Oh, and Wells Fargo also offers free financial literacy courses throughout the year through their Hands on Banking program – a great example of cause-focused CSR.

Final Days to Enter the 2015 International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival
What’s your CSR story? Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship invites you to share it in a three minute video for this year’s Corporate Citizenship Film Festival. This post on 3BL Media covers all the details, but the most important thing is: The deadline is this Friday 2/27, so don’t wait!

Your #1 Stakeholder: Building a Giving Strategy through Your Employees
Your employees play a dual role: They are part of your company, and they are part of their own communities. Corporate volunteerism and giving is the bridge that connects these two roles. This post from Realized Worth looks at why it makes sense to use this connection to increase the impact of your CSR program. How? By involving your employees in your company’s CSR strategy.

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CSR Food For Thought: A New Professional Norm

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a weekly roundup of relevant news from around the Web, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

This week’s roundup focuses on the shifting landscape of employee engagement, professional volunteerism, and product development.

10+ Million Professionals on LinkedIn Make Social Impact Part of Their Identity [Infographic]
Three years ago, LinkedIn added a “Volunteers and Causes” section to their user profiles. Fast forward to today: Over 10 million professionals list some sort of cause-affiliation, and 4 million indicate that they are interested in volunteer opportunities (which they can conveniently find with the help of LinkedIn’s partnership with VolunteerMatch!) Check out this infographic on LinkedIn’s blog to find out who these cause-focused professionals are.

Remembering the Value of Volunteerism
Is CSR as an industry, complete with metrics and measurements, getting in the way of the original CSR vision? In this CSRwire post, Peter Dudley of Wells Fargo posits that the best company-sponsored volunteer programs focus on the employees, not on the bottom line. The latter follows later as an added benefit.

How Millennials Are Changing Product Development for Good
In the not-so-distant past, the driving factor behind business decisions was cost. This Wired article argues that with the rise of millennials in both management and consumer roles, the status quo is shifting. Renewable energy, local patronage and employee care are no longer options; they’re simply a part of doing business. Do you agree?

The Untapped Power of Employee Engagement
This Green Biz article boldly asks, “What’s the next frontier in sustainability?” Their answer: Employee engagement. If we want to make real progress for our planet, every single member of a company needs to change their actions. The responsibility of the corporate leaders has shifted from isolated sustainable business decisions to encouraging and facilitating their employees’ sustainable decisions.

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CSR Food For Thought: Recycling Pays Off Thanks to Sprint

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a weekly roundup of relevant news from around the Web, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

Sprint Offers $5K to Students Who Find Innovative Ways to Recycle Smartphones
Most of us know that electronic waste (e-waste) is a huge problem. But what most of us don’t know is what we can do about it. This article from Triple Pundit explains how Sprint is giving motivation for college students to tackle a segment of e-waste problem – by coming up with new ways to recycle their old smartphones.

Groupon Logs 14,355 Volunteer Hours
How does a company increase its employee volunteer hours by nearly 500%? In this post, Groupon explains how they were able to accomplish this awe-inspiring feat in 2014. From carefully crafted partnerships to some friendly competition, Groupon’s employee volunteer program really took off in 2014. And in 2015, they’re reaching even higher.

2015: The Year of Hyper-Transparency in Global Business
The Guardian predicts a fast increase in the number of global companies practicing full transparency. Why? The benefits, of course – benefits that span from better purchasing decisions to more growth capacity. Read this article for more details on what to expect in the coming years.

The Chocolate and Peanut Butter of Volunteerism
LinkedIn for Good doesn’t just encourage their own employees’ volunteerism. With their huge network of professionals across industries and across the world, they have the ability to encourage virtually every employees’ volunteerism. And that’s exactly where they’re heading with their announcement of taking their volunteer marketplace internationally.  And remember, nonprofit posts on VolunteerMatch automatically get pushed through to LinkedIn, making us the chocolate to LinkedIn’s peanut butter – yum!

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CSR Food For Thought: How an Employee Volunteer Program Saves You Money

Image of wheat growing in the sun.The CSR Food for Thought series is a weekly roundup of relevant news from around the Web, presented to you in one bite-sized blog post. Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

The Business Case for Employee Volunteer & Skills Giving Programs
In this post from Charities@Work, Sarah Ford dives deep into how employee volunteer programs (EVPs) can boost employee retention. She touches on the top 10 reasons people leave their jobs and explains how employee volunteerism can help with each one. But she doesn’t stop there – she’s got the numbers to back it up. This post is well researched, and well worth the read.

What is the REAL Employee Engagement Definition? [Video]
Entrepreneur and author Kevin Kruse wants to make sure “everyone is on the same page” when it comes to an employee engagement definition. He starts by explaining what employee engagement is NOT – it’s not just satisfaction and it’s not just happiness. Well then, what is it? Find out in this short video.

CEOs Sign OIWC Pledge to Advance Women’s Leadership in the Outdoor Industry
Change often starts at the top, according to this article from SocialEarth. That’s why the CEO of REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), along with 13 other CEOs of outdoor companies, signed a pledge to promote women’s leadership. The REI Foundation went a step further by granting $1.5 million to OIWC (Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition) for mentorship and entrepreneurship programs.

How Can Brands Build a Culture of Responsibility?
This CSRwire post advocates for a shared CSR vision between employees, shareholders, and customers. It suggests that companies shift their values from consumerism to citizenship, and perhaps shift their focus from corporate social responsibility (CSR) to creating shared value (CSV). Don’t let the acronyms intimidate you – this post includes some interesting perspectives on what it means to be a company in our changing world.

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