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: Do It Like Sir Richard

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 it like Sir Richard. The gutsy, entrepreneurial approach to profit and purpose.

Today’s business world is characterized by big, bold risks. The weirder the innovation, the bolder the idea, the more investors seem to clamor to buy a piece of the pie. Yet, when it comes to charity and philanthropy (in the corporate sector, as well), we are schooled to NEVER take risks, to never step outside the tried and true comfort zones. How will we ever innovate? We can all learn some things from Richard Branson, who has been as bold – and as successful – in the cause-driven sides of his businesses as he has with the profit margins.

Cause marketing realignment forces evolution of strategies

Gone are the days when a company could buy into a pre-packaged, once-a-year cause campaign focused on a “sexy” issue like breast cancer or heart health, and call it a successful strategy. Companies are waking up to the need to align cause marketing with the promise of the company’s brand, and the relationship they have with consumers. This is impacting the way companies create partnerships with nonprofits, making these relationships longer, stronger and more strategic.

#NewMetrics ’14 Workshop Reveals Secrets to Effective Employee Engagement

Spoiler alert: The secrets to effective employee engagement start with recruiting employees that are more likely to care about the issues you focus on (like sustainability), and then creating an environment that encourages them to be proactive, innovate, and be recognized for their contributions. This recap from the Sustainable Brands New Metrics ’14 event provides some specific strategies for doing this and increasing employee engagement and business success in the process.

Good Business

Speaking of cause marketing, a great cause marketing campaign can be a very successful marketing tactic for companies to reach and connect with consumers – but it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways in which companies and nonprofits can work together.  Bruce Burtch describes how building strong, lasting, strategic cross-sector partnerships can create disproportionately large benefits for the company, the cause, the community, and really the whole world. (Want to hear it from Bruce directly? Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, October 22nd!)

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CSR Food for Thought: Wimpy or Warren Buffet?

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.

Accounting for the future – will you be Wimpy or Warren Buffet?

These days, much is being written about the need for investors to take a longer view – instead of picking up and dropping financial investments quickly, think about the longer term benefits that could be created. In her recent post, BCCCC Executive Director Katherine V. Smith urges corporate citizenship leaders to take note, and think about the psychology and economics necessary to convince investors that CSR plans are a good investment – for the long term.

5 Ways Volunteering with Your Coworkers Will Make You Happier (and Help Your Career)

In this Fast Co.Exist article, Pamela Hawley of UniversalGiving takes 5 key reasons businesses benefit from employee volunteering, and demonstrates a similar benefit for the individual employee directly. With arguments like these, there’s no reason for anyone – employer or employee – to say no to employee volunteering.

Intel Uses Volunteers to Achieve Its Vision: Extend Computing Technology to Every Person on Earth

Intel’s innovative global pro bono employee volunteer program has a unique, business-driven model that allows the company to harness the generosity, passion and skills of its employees to pursue its corporate vision. And it has more than doubled the reach of its CSR program in five years. Read the fascinating profile by Intel’s Luke Filose on New Global Citizen for more details.

5 Steps to Selecting a Cause Marketing Partner

As active participants in the CSR community, you probably know that cause marketing can no longer be viewed as a peripheral “extra” strategy. And choosing the right partner for your cause marketing initiative is a key element for success. Expert Bruce Burtsch provides five steps to make sure you choose the perfect cause marketing partner to create the benefits you want.

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Inspiration Lives Here

Read inspiring stories of companies making a difference through employee and consumer engagement.

Who will you inspire with your company’s story?

Actually, inspiration is shared here. What really inspires us is the difference companies like yours can make through your employee and consumer engagement activities. Not only does your work have a direct impact in your communities, your employees feel richer and more fulfilled by the opportunity to give back through their workplace. What a deal!

When we hear about companies who are doing great things in volunteering, we tell their stories.


Want to be inspired? Read through the stories below, learn from what others in your field are doing, and share with your employees:

Does your company make a difference through your employee volunteer activities? Contact us and tell us about it! 

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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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CSR Food for Thought: When is CSR Reporting Honest?

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.

When is CSR Reporting Honest?

If we don’t come away from a company’s sustainability report trusting that it provides a full picture of the organization’s successes and failures – well, then, what’s the point? So what contributes to the honesty of a CSR report, wonders Elaine Cohen on the CSR-Reporting blog. She identifies the need for a delicate balance between bragging about the good stuff, and being transparent about the bad.

10 Best Cause Marketing Promotions of 2013

I know, round-ups of the best of 2013 is so last year. But reading about great cause marketing campaigns is almost as addictive as reading about celebrity scandals, and these actually improve the world. Joe Waters of Selfish Giving presents his favorites here, so prepare to be inspired to think about how your company can engage consumers for good.

Interview: Shannon Schuyler on PwC’s Best Employee Engagement Program, Project Belize

Learn all about PwC’s “triple-benefit” employee engagement program that sends employees to Belize every year to host financial literacy camps, provide scholarships to students, train teachers and principals, and build educational playgrounds. One of the biggest benefits, says Shannon Schuyler, Principal and Corporate Responsibility Leader at PwC? Employee retention. Read more details on Triple Pundit.

9 Ways Your Business Can Make the World a Better Place in 2014

If you’ve got a goal in 2014 to build your business AND help the world, you’re not the only one. This Inc.com article provides some great advice for how to approach a strategy of “doing well by doing good” over the next year.

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