CSR Food For Thought: Will CVS Help You Quit Smoking?

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.




CVS Health Commits More Than $1 Million to Support Tobacco-Cessation Programs
In September, CVS Health stopped selling tobacco products. For a company providing health-related services and products, it made sense. At that time, they also changed their name from CVS Caremark Corporation to CVS Health. And now, they are taking their commitment to health even further by pledging over $1 million in grants to help people kick their tobacco habits. What a great example of CSR/ brand alignment! This article from Sustainable Brands explains where the money will go, and what it will do.

Global CEO’s Top 100 CSR Leaders
Global CEO issued a list of the top 100 corporate social responsibility leaders based on their Twitter influence. But obviously, a lot of Twitter followers does not a leader make. So, they want input from you. Vote for your favorite CSR leaders by December 26th.

Here’s the Right Way for Companies to Donate to Charity
Is corporate philanthropy (“companies donating money directly to charity”) on its way out? Not necessarily, says Paul Klein in this post for Canadian Business. While other means (such as employee engagement) might be more effective, corporate giving can still work if done strategically and creatively. In this post, you’ll find some example of companies doing this well.

Not Their Parents’ Activism: How Millennials are Using Digital to Take a Stand on Issues They Care About
“Promoting, discussing, and taking action around issues is part of Millennials’ DNA”, says Whitney Dailey in this CSRWire post. While certainly not true for everyone in this age group, understanding this frequently-found quality and how it manifests can help companies (and nonprofits) tailor their digital campaigns to Millennials.

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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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CSR Food For Thought: Do Companies Need CSR to Survive?

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.




In the Future, Companies Will Survive Only if They Help Solve Big Social Problems
In the year 2025, the world will look a lot different for companies, according to this article from Forbes. Paul Klein of Impakt and Milinda Martin of Time Warner Cable teamed up to research the future of CSR. Based on this research, they predict we’ll see a large shift in corporations taking ownership of social good efforts and filling in the gaps from government cuts. What do you think?

Why Social Responsibility Needs to Be More than Just a Fad
The business world currently has an “infatuation” with CSR, according to this Fast Company article. But can it last? If this is indeed a fad, then it’s temporary by definition. This article muses on how we can make CSR last by embracing its complexity.

Ritz-Carlton Takes Corporate Volunteering to New Level as Partner of IMPACT 2030
Have you heard of IMPACT 2030? It’s an initiative by corporations to help reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. How? Volunteerism. This article from eHotelier, a news source for the hospitality industry, highlights Ritz-Carlton’s role as a founding partner of this initiative, and summarizes their accomplishments on the recent International Volunteer Day.

Turning a Profit While Doing Good: Aligning Sustainability with Corporate Performance
New research published by The Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings backs up what we knew all along: Corporate responsibility efforts are directly related to a company’s ultimate success. Harvard Business School researcher George Serafeim found that the most successful companies undertake social good projects that are relevant to their particular industry. Find out more in the full report.

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CSR Food For Thought: #MakeTodayMatter for a Better Tomorrow

Stack of NewspapersThe 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.



Bank Pays for Customers’ Volunteer Projects to Inspire More Good Deeds
We’ve all heard about companies aiding and encouraging their employees’ volunteer efforts. But what about their customers’? This Huffington Post article highlights TD Bank’s creative way to give back – by funding the community projects of selected customers. The stipulation? They had to complete their projects in 24 hours to #MakeTodayMatter.

Corporate-Giving Effort Aims to Expand Giving Tuesday
If your company participated in #GivingTuesday this year – that’s wonderful! Many great nonprofits are truly thankful for the support they receive on this new(ish) holiday. There are some companies, however, that are pledging to take #GivingTuesday even further, according to this feature in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. By 2015, will 500 companies make the pledge to donate 1-1-1? That’s 1% of their equity, 1% of their employees’ time, and 1% of their products. What do you think?

November Corporate Citizenship Highlights
Happy December! While we look ahead to the holidays, let’s also look back on the CSR accomplishments from last month. From Google’s matching donations for fighting Ebola to companies staying closed on Thanksgiving to give employees time with their families, November was certainly an eventful month in the world of CSR. In this post, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship discusses some of the accomplishments. What would you add to the list of November corporate good deeds?

CVS Celebrates #GivingTuesday and Colleague Volunteerism by Awarding $100,000 to 50 Nonprofits Nationwide
The employees at CVS Health volunteer for some great community organizations. So, when #GivingTuesday rolled around, it was a perfect fit to donate to the organizations company employees hold dear to them. Employees were invited to nominate an organization they volunteer for to win one of 50 grants from the CVS Health Foundation. Read their press release on 3BL Media for more information and the full list of grantees.

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CSR Food For Thought: A Tall Glass of Gratitude from Jack Daniel’s

Stack of NewspapersThe 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.



Jack Daniel’s Continues to Help Service Members Get Home for the Holidays
It’s that time of year. Many of us travel across the country (and the world!) to be with family and friends for the holiday season. And as Jeff Arnett of Jack Daniel’s puts it, “No one understands more deeply than a service member what it means to be home for the holidays.” Read this press release on 3BL Media to learn about Jack Daniel’s partnership with the Armed Services YMCA on “Operation Ride Home”.

Giving Programs that Lead to Deeper Engagement
Yes, the holidays are the biggest time of the year for donations of both time and money. But how do you keep your employees from feeling like your giving program is just one more out of the hundreds they’re pitched? In this post, Realized Worth suggests a strategy for creating volunteering and monetary giving programs that truly engage your employees, using the amazing nonprofit Kiva as an example.

Many Top Fortune 500 Companies Receive Perfect Score on LGBT Equality
The Human Rights Campaign released its 2015 Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates companies based on their policies surrounding LGBT employees. 150 Fortune 500 companies, including JPMorgan Chase, General Motors, and UnitedHealth Group, received a perfect score of 100%. The study looked at factors such as the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in non-discrimination policies, inclusive health benefits, and a public commitment to equality.

Volunteerism 2.0: Local and Global Citizenship through Employee Engagement
At the 2014 Net Impact Conference, Laura Asiala of PYXERA Global gave an inspiring talk on the relationship between volunteerism and employee engagement. New Global Citizens has posted the text of this talk. Hear examples of how companies have used volunteering as a strategic (and successful) tool – and how your company can do the same.

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CSR Food For Thought: It’s All About the Employees

CSR-Food-For-Thought_Newspaper-Stack12-200x149The 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 Crucial – and Underappreciated –  Role of HR in Sustainability
At VolunteerMatch, we’ve been saying this for a while: CSR should be built into the very core of a company. An important part of achieving this is to include CSR in your employee recruitment and onboarding processes. This post from MIT Sloan Management Review challenges companies to do better at incorporating CSR into their HR practices. They advocate for a quadruple bottom line – people, planet, profit, and community impact. We couldn’t agree more!

Cisco Employee Volunteers Help a Texas Family Rebuild
Cisco has partnered with Habitat for Humanity for decades. But for Cisco Project Manager Beth Kolman, this time was different. In this post, she conveys how she was moved by the experience of attending a groundbreaking ceremony with fellow employees and hearing directly from the family they were helping. At VolunteerMatch, we love hearing stories like this. Offering fulfilling volunteer opportunities is a great way to keep your employees happy.

Supercharge Your CSR Commitments through Employee Engagement
As this Triple Pundit article puts it, “Happy employees usually equal profitable companies”. It gives numerous examples (summarized from the Conference Board of Canada’s recent CSR Summit) of companies supercharging their CSR by following this advice: Start at the top, get employee buy-in and participation, tell awesome stories, and assemble a great team.

13 Disturbing Facts about Employee Engagement [Infographic]
Don’t let this scary-sounding infographic from The Huffington Post’s blog get you down. Yes, it shows that employee engagement, overall, is low. But it also shows how much room there is for improvement, how much we have to gain from investing in employee engagement, and how much potential exists to make your company stand out from the crowd.

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CSR Food For Thought: Spread the Love

CSR-Food-For-Thought_Newspaper-Stack12-200x149The 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.



Is Love in the Workplace the New Norm?
Gratitude, accountability, truthfulness, and yes – love – are becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace. And we think that’s great! At VolunteerMatch, we believe corporate responsibility includes taking care of your employees and encouraging them to take care of themselves and others. Find out why you shouldn’t be afraid to spread the love in your company in this post from Justmeans.

Engage and Excel: How Corporate Responsibility Improves the Bottom Line
Think your company’s top performers don’t have time to volunteer? Think again. In this Triple Pundit article, PwC takes an in-depth look at the connection between CSR involvement and employee performance in their company. Not only is participation in CSR activities an indicator of overall job performance, it also means the employee is more likely to stick around longer. PwC also explains why CSR needs to expand out of an HR function and permeate the systems of an entire company.

5 Things Good Leaders Do
This is not your typical list of leadership traits. VolunteerMatch President Greg Baldwin looks critically at the qualities that embody two outstanding leaders: Premal Shah of Kiva and Charles Best of DonorsChoose.org. While what he found may or not surprise you, it will certainly inspire you.

Employee Giving Campaign: Millennial Employees Help Keep Traditions Alive
Each year, Microsoft takes the entire month of October to give back to their local and global communities. A 5K walk/run, fundraiser, concert, cooking, online auction… the sheer amount of programs and ways to get involved is astounding! In this blog post, they share the highlights from their month, and explain how they were able to give more than ever this year with the help of their younger workforce.

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