CSR Food for Thought: ROI-Proving Research

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.

Do socially responsible business practices influence the value of your company? Research says yes.

And so does Katherine Smith, Executive Director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. In this succinct blog post, she summarizes a growing collection of research that shows a clear link between corporate financial performance and social performance. CSR shows a correlation with everything from access to capital, to investment returns, to reputation and brand value.

Cold Winter, Warm Story

Read about (and see inspiring pictures of) Amway’s annual volunteer program in Guatemala, when teams from the US, Central America, South America and the Caribbean descend on Guatemala to build homes alongside families who need them. This Habitat for Humanity project goes back nearly a decade, and is responsible for funding and building entire neighborhoods of homes in remote areas of the country. Most volunteers come back year after year, falling in love with the people, the land, and the experience.

What Will Influence Business and Purpose Globally in 2014?

Carol Cone, Global Practice Chair of Edelman Business & Social Purpose and a former VolunteerMatch Client Summit keynote speaker, takes a look a growing trends and shifting relationships between corporate, government, and charity sector strategies during 2014. In this particular post she focuses on what she predicts for four key regions: the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Tracking the Data: What Not to Do in the RFP Process

As part of a special Tech series curated by Charities@Work on CSRWire Talkback, our own Director of VolunteerMatch Solutions Seth Thompson describes the pitfalls and challenges faced by so many companies when looking for tools to help manage employee volunteering and giving. Take a look at Seth’s tips for success – after all, he truly is the expert!

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CSR Food for Thought: Helping at Home vs. Abroad

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 we present perspectives on the importance of CSR efforts both in our own communities as well as internationally – and examples of companies doing a great job at both. Which do YOU think is more important?

Companies Need to Focus Their Corporate Responsibility At Home

This article by Bob McKinnon on Fast Co.Exist asks the provocative question: In the age of increased emphasis and sophistication in corporate social responsibility programs, what is a company’s responsibility in its own backyard and how does the condition of a company’s backyard impact its business?

International Corporate Volunteering: Profitable for Multinational Corporations

Tackling the issue from a different perspective, Alice Korngold provides ample evidence of the business value provided by sending employees overseas to volunteer – and to further develop as leaders. She cites our friends at PYXERA Global as a key resource for companies looking to run these types of programs.

AT&T Brings Mentoring Program for Secondary School Students to Europe

AT&T has long run a successful mentoring program connecting its employees to high school students in the U.S. Now the company is investing significant resources in bringing that same program to secondary school students in a number of countries in Europe.

Cisco Honored for Supporting Disaster Relief in the Bay Area

Cisco recently received the 2014 Humanitarian Partnership Award from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, recognizing the significant impact Cisco has made in Silicon Valley disaster relief efforts. This includes financial support as well as impressive employee engagement programs. For example, while the American Red Cross is frequently first on scene to provide food, shelter, water, and relief services during disasters, Cisco’s rapid response IT solutions – and its employees — are not far behind.

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CSR Food for Thought: From Ordinary to Extraordinary

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.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 5 Ways to Become a Socially Responsible Business Mid-Stream

What if you want to make a difference in the world, but you’re already running a business focused on “ordinary” things? Pivoting an existing business is not an easy task. In this article, Ellen Meyer Shorb of Blue Sage Partners and Julie Lineberger of LineSync Architecture present five tips for success when changing an existing business to make it socially responsible.

C3: The Exponential Power of Company-Cause-Culture Partnerships

Partnering with a celebrity can help your company have an even bigger impact when it comes to the cause you’re supporting. But it’s not always easy to find that celebrity or establish a successful partnership. Mark Rodgers, Jacob Marshall and Michael Leaser of MORE Partnerships reflect on some best practices on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog.

Microsoft Sets the Pace for Employee Giving and Volunteering

As an example of how being committed to employee engagement can help you build partnerships externally, Joanne Fritz recently waxed lyrical about Microsoft in her “Nonprofit Charitable Orgs” column on About.com. With employee giving increasing by $25 million in the past five years, and a goal to track half a million volunteer hours in 2014, Microsoft’s aggressive engagement strategies are good examples to follow for companies looking to get employees (especially Millennials) more involved.

Companies Use Dedicated CSR Websites and Blogs to Focus on Social Responsibility

This blog post on Justmeans.com delves into a growing trend among companies these days of increased transparency about CSR initiatives. As more stakeholders and investors ask pointed questions about social impact, many businesses are building dedicated websites and blogs to showcase activities and impact that focus on making a difference. How does your company communicate your CSR commitments?

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CSR Food for Thought: From Boring to Cool

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.

Messaging Sustainability: From Boring to Cool

Today’s world of technology and innovation is exciting – we’re rushing through life with big strides, constantly looking for that next big thing. Sustainability, say Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi, co-founders of fashion and lifestyle start-up Zady, is the opposite of all that. At least that’s how we communicate it currently. In this article they share their plan to change all that.

Case Study: Volunteering Index

There’s hard evidence, says this post on Co-operative News, that staff volunteer programs create real business benefits – in the forms of greater retention rates (and lower recruitment costs), higher productivity and increased community awareness about the company’s work, among others. Several businesses provide their tips for running the most successful volunteer projects.

Haiti Four Years Later: SAP Technology, Funds and Volunteers Create Jobs

Learn about the investment SAP has made to bring entrepreneurs in Haiti funding, training, and business advice to support long-term regrowth. Disaster relief is not just about an immediate response –  the real measure of support is whether or not it improves people’s lives over time.

Shaking Up the Corporate Structure to Go Beyond the Profit Motive

As benefit corporations – which are required to consider their impact not just on shareholders, but on the environment, workers, and the community – become more accepted in the business world, when will we see the first public corporation convert to benefit corporation status? What hurdles must be overcome, and how would this resonate among the rest of the corporate world? This Fast Co.Exist article presents some thoughts, given what has already been achieved.

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CSR Food for Thought: Are Your Values Worth More Than Your Profits?

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.

Are Your Values Worth More Than Your Profits?

An insightful question to open up a discussion on the Digalicious Digital Strategy blog about CVS’ recent decision to stop selling cigarettes in their drug stores. What it’s really about is the evolution of the brand – so what big changes would your brand need to make to be better aligned with your values?

5 Ways Causes and Companies Got Together for the Big Game

In the aftermath of the very exciting/disappointing Super Bowl (depending on where you live,) this Fast Co.Exist article submits that the real winners were the causes and companies who partnered to spread their messages to consumers. The article includes five examples of creative and inspirational ad campaigns that appeared as part of the big day.

5 Ways to Make a Sustainability Report Sparkle

…Literally. Elaine Cohen describes the impressive elements of Tiffany & Co.’s third Corporate Responsibility Report, and then conducts an illuminating interview with the Chair and President of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Vice President of Global Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility at Tiffany & Co.

MGM Resorts International Presents the 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade in Las Vegas

We know, MLK Day was weeks ago. But we are so impressed by the parade put on by MGM Resorts International, and not just because of the cool floats. It’s also the avid participation of the company’s employees as volunteers, marching in the parade and helping to make the event a success. Their time was truly spent enriching their community.

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