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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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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CSR Food for Thought: Fight Poverty, Build Your Bottom Line

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.

What’s In It for Business in the Fight Against Poverty?

We can all agree that there’s a powerful moral and practical case for ending poverty. But there is also a compelling business case. In the fourth in a six-part series on the fight against global poverty, Mal Warwick shares five factors that show how serving the world’s “bottom billions” can be good for your company’s bottom line.

For Companies Looking to Create Social Impact, Multicultural Consumers are a “Must-Engage” Audience

According to the recently released 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, multicultural consumers (particularly Hispanics and African Americans) are driving forces behind the evolution of cause to more robust social impact. Learn more about these critical stakeholders, including expert POVs and tips for marketers, in Cone’s downloadable study.

Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems

Instead of turning to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society’s biggest problems, business school professor Michael Porter wants you to hear his case in this TED talk for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit – which lets that solution grow.

Global Impact Announces Research Findings at BCLC Conference

Global Impact just released the results of a research report, “Giving Beyond Borders: A Study of Global Giving by U.S. Corporations,” at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center’s (BCLC) annual corporate social responsibility conference. The study examines factors that influence corporations in their decisions to invest in projects, organizations and communities outside the United States, and the results suggest that companies see global philanthropy not only as charitable, but as a smart business investment.

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Webinar Recap: Why Cause Marketing is a Good Investment in 2013

In this month’s engaging Best Practice Network (BPN) Webinar, Joe Waters, the author of the web’s #1 cause marketing blog and the co-author of Cause Marketing for Dummies, leads a fascinating discussion about the ins and outs of cause marketing and the many ways it can help your business. He was joined by Robert Rosenthal, our VP of Communications & Marketing here at VolunteerMatch.

What is cause marketing?

In Joe’s experience, most people see cause marketing as either corporate giving or marketing of causes. But as he explains, it has elements of both. “Cause marketing is a partnership between a nonprofit and a for-profit, for mutual profit,” says Joe. This partnership creates revenue, awareness and an overall “mutual benefit” for both players.  However, cause marketing is not one sided; it requires a lot of work and dedication from both the company and the nonprofit.

This “win-win, work-work” scenario can be seen in the partnership between Starbucks and Product RED. For World AIDS Day, a percentage of each drink served at Starbucks goes towards Product RED, which translates into millions of dollars for the nonprofit. As Joe’s example demonstrates, a company can often raise more money for a nonprofit through consumers than by simply writing a check.

Higher consumer expectations

Cause marketing is one of the important drivers that gets people to buy, and it’s something that consumers are considering more. Company favorability with consumers is a major incentive for cause marketing. In the instance of the recent Boston Bombings, companies not only want to show support, consumers expect them to give back.

To further illustrate this point, Joe gives us some fascinating statistics: In a recent study, 64% of consumers would pay more for a brand because it supports a cause that is important to them.

Using the right cause effectively

Most companies gravitate towards what Joe calls a “garanimal connection” or working with a nonprofit that operates in a similar field, like a restaurant working with a food bank; but Joe introduces several other options that companies can consider.

Is your company passionate about a cause? There is a power in being able to share that passion with consumers. If your company doesn’t gravitate towards any cause in particular, joining a nonprofit that has an army of existing loyal supporters can be opportunity to reach a whole new audience. Additionally, a cause that has a strong emotional impact can also be a great partner.

Joe outlines several traditional cause marketing campaigns such as pinups, sponsored runs and walks and business-to-business employee engagement programs. Although these time-tested campaigns are effective, Joe points out that the future of cause marketing is digital.

Growing your digital profile

As Joe explains, companies are seeing spectacular results with cause marketing programs on digital platforms like Facebook, which can use the power of social media to significantly increase consumer participation. Although these programs can be just as effective as traditional cause marketing campaigns, Joe emphasizes that your company needs either an existing strong online presence or something to start with.

In the coming years, the digital arena is where cause marketing is going to happen. Joe predicts that we’re not going to see as much point-of-sale, purchase triggered or register programs — most of the programs will be driven by digital and mobile.

To learn more about this fascinating discussion with Joe Waters, view the full BPN Webinar on YouTube or the presentation on slideshare.

Stayed tuned for our next Best Practice Network Webinar!

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CSR Food for Thought: Building Your Employee Volunteer Army

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 Network Effect: Enlisting a Brand Army

Network for Good brings us the third post in a series based on Causes’ recent webinar, ‘Enlisting an Army of Brand Advocates.’ Allison McGuire and Kate Olsen do a good job at summing up the steps involved, and provide some great insights of their own.

Volunteering 20 Minutes at a Time
Realized Worth gives some great insight on micro-volunteering, which can leverage employees’ skills for small-scale and often virtual volunteer projects. They explain how the crowdsourcing platform Sparked.com is a great tool for companies whose employees may not have the time to be involved in longer projects. VolunteerMatch also has some great virtual volunteering opportunities that could be excellent for your time-strapped employees.

Webinar Recap – A Billion + Change: What’s Behind the Movement to Inspire More Pro Bono in America?
In our March Best Practice Network Webinar, Jennifer Lawson, Executive Director of A Billion + Change, was in conversation with VolunteerMatch’s Robert Rosenthal. They discussed how any individual business can make a difference—but 500 companies, working together, can change entire communities through pro bono and skill-based volunteering.

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CSR Food For Thought: Inspiring Employee Engagment

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.

 

Employee Votes Count in Donating $100,000 to Local Charities: Allianz Life Contributes Money and Supports Volunteerism Based on Employee Input

Allianz Life Insurance Company gives employees the power to vote on CSR employee engagement initiatives. In this truly inspiring story, employees decide to donate $100,000 to local charities, showing that employees can take the initiative and make a positive difference in the community.

Employee Engagement Gets Dirty

The Stanford Social Innovation Review shares a great example of creative CSR employee engagement by Levi’s. As part of their #gowaterless challenge, they asked employees to wear the same pair of jeans for a week without washing them. We can learn a lot from their creative campaign, including how to make our own Impact at Work programs and engage employees when they’re in the office and out volunteering in their communities. It’s also a great example of how to connect employee engagement with a popular marketing campaign.

2013 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards: A Look at Finalist City National Bank

City National Bank employees participated in an exceptional employee volunteering program called Reading is the Way Up®, which offers grants to K-5 public and private schools and books to school libraries while providing employees with ways to volunteer. The versatile program was an awards finalist in VolunteerMatch’s 2013 Client Summit Awards.

Three Business Reasons for Employee Engagement Programs

We’ve collected some inspiring stories of employees taking part in causes and campaigns, but what is the real business impact for your company? Network for Good’s recent blog post is a great source for why your company should have an employee involvement program. While there, make sure to check out their eGuide with even more details about employee engagement and tips from VolunteerMatch’s Robert Rosenthal.

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CSR Food for Thought: Empower Employees through Charitable Giving

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

 

 

Empower Employees through Charitable Giving
If you’re looking for an employee holiday gift with meaning, look no further than this list of creative ideas. Instead of a gift card, why not gift a charity gift card to support a cause each employee cares about? Replace a yankee swap with a toy drive for a local children’s organization. Can’t give a bonus? Offer an additional day off each year to volunteer instead!

Understanding ‘Engagement’ for Better Business: A Practical Approach
When talking about stakeholder engagement in CSR, we can’t overlook one critical component: Consent. This can be difficult to achieve, and requires a strong component of respect – but in the end, will help a company provide lasting, collaborative impact.

Twitter’s Manager For Social Innovation On How Social Is Shaping The Future Of Nonprofits
A great discussion of how social media is changing how we engage with causes, and how the power of giving time can sometimes be more powerful than giving money.

The Most Dynamic Social Innovation Initiatives of 2012
Susan McPherson outlines her list of the year’s most innovative social campaigns. Check them out, share your own, and get inspired to take 2013 by storm!

“Inspiring Our World” Engages MGM Resorts’ Employees in Culture, Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility
Our partner MGM Resorts took a creative approach to communicating its ongoing dedication to diversity and CSR to its 62,000 employees – a pep-rally style event reinforcing its commitments. Showcasing the talents of 70 different employee performers, this is a perfect example of a company using its unique culture and talents as a platform for discussing CSR.

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