CSR Food For Thought: It’s Not About the Money

VolunteerMatch's CSR Food for Thought SeriesThe 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 post.

Why Engaging Employees on Sustainability Really Isn’t About the Money
We’ve been saying it for a while: Financial incentives are not the best way to keep employees happy. This article from GreenBiz backs us up. It explores how employee engagement strategies that give employees a chance to have a positive impact in their communities while refining their skillset come out on top. Toss some friendly competition in the mix? Even better.

How Nike Embraced CSR and Went from Villain to Hero
Today, Nike is seen as a CSR thought leader. But it wasn’t that long ago when outraged consumers regularly protested the company’s business practices. Since then, Nike has reduced water consumption, cut back on chemicals, and implemented ethical labor practices by first and foremost adopting the value of transparency. Read this thoughtful piece from Triple Pundit on Nike’s sustainability– and public image–  transformation.

Why Corporations and Communities Need Each Other
According to Cardinal Health CEO George Barrett, “nothing is more important than trust” when serving your community. In this LinkedIn post, he shows Cardinal Health’s journey of helping improve education in their local community by working with local government and overcoming negative public perception.

Encouraging Others to Volunteer, Leading by Example
Hear the story of Celso Doria, an employee at Morgan Stanley’s office in São Paulo, Brazil. He became motivated to volunteer by his company’s core value of “Giving Back,” and now he consistently gets his coworkers involved in the company’s volunteer efforts.

Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

SB’15 Recap: The Employee Engagement and Volunteerism Perspective

14272922640_2e723abdc8_mCorporate social responsibility (CSR) requires a holistic strategy. Sustainability is just one piece of that strategy.

Sustainable Brands gets this. While it’s billed as a sustainability conference, it actually focuses on the whole picture: How all facets of CSR work together to improve both business practices and the communities in which companies operate.

And out of all the facets CSR, as a VolunteerMatch employee, I’m obviously most interested in employee volunteerism. It’s a win-win: It helps the communities in which employees serve, but it also helps companies in many ways – one of which is by increasing employee engagement.

This year, I was pleased to see an entire track at Sustainable Brands dedicated to employee engagement – much more than in past years. It’s great to see this benefit of employee volunteer programs brought more and more to light and take its rightful place next to other components of CSR strategy. Within the sessions in this track, some of the speakers touched on their employee volunteering initiatives, but as a whole the focus was more on engaging employees through CSR initiatives in general.

One idea that resonated with me is that we need redefine what “engagement” actually means to us. For a new program, identifying that your employees are engaged might mean a goal of 60% of employees participating in at least one project throughout the year. But once you’ve reached those goals, you need to redefine what engagement looks like to keep your programs growing and evolving.

Furthermore, something that I heard repeatedly in plenaries and breakout sessions alike was the concept of placing purpose at the center of your strategy. I couldn’t agree more! When your business has purpose and community in the center of strategy, it can’t help but become a part of employees’ day-to-day experiences.

I love attending Sustainable Brands, because it’s a place for CSR professionals, (even those who are really more focused on employee volunteering such as myself) to meet like-minded peers and hear about innovative ways that companies are placing purpose at the center of their business.

The VolunteerMatch Summit, happening this December in Oakland, CA offers a similar atmosphere for CSR professionals. However, it takes a deeper dive into one particular aspect of a holistic CSR approach: Community involvement and volunteering. Learn more.

Photo Credit: Michael Heiss

CSR Food For Thought: Mandatory Corporate Volunteering?

VolunteerMatch's CSR Food for Thought SeriesThe 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 post.

Should the Government Mandate Corporate Volunteering?
In the United Kingdom, it’s now mandatory for all companies to offer at least three days of paid VTO (volunteer time off). This Realized Worth post explores the common reactions to this mandate, and ponders whether or not this will have an effect on the U.K.’s volunteer rates.

Nominate a Company for Best Corporate Steward Award Today!
For 16 years, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has been recognizing companies that go above and beyond as corporate stewards. Finalists are chosen in eight categories based on nominations from the public. But act quickly – the deadline to submit a nomination is May 29th.

Every Sustainability Acronym, Explained
Lost in BSRs, CSRs, CDPs and SRIs? This post from Triple Pundit has you covered. They’ve compiled a long list of acronyms and abbreviations associated with sustainability to help you navigate your way through this ever-changing, and ever-abbreviating, field.

Three Ways to Engage Employees in Environmentalism
We all know that going green is more than recycling bins in the break room and carpooling to the office. So, what are some “evergreen” strategies your company can use to create real and lasting change? This Huffington Post blog post gives three suggestions, along with examples of how they worked for the company AMD.

Follow us on Twitter for CSR news and trends throughout the week: @VM_Solutions.

CSR Food For Thought: Is CSR Fading?

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.

CSR Isn’t Dead – But it May Be Fading
In response to the recent 2degrees article CSR is Dead. So, What Comes Next?, this GreenBiz article thoughtfully reflects on the shifting role of CSR for various types of company employees. Author Ellen Weinreb asks the question: If CSR becomes fully integrated into a company’s core, will it still exist as an independent concept?

30 CSR Pros to Follow in 2015
Who doesn’t love a good best-of list? This one from Triple Pundit rounds up the best of the best CSR tweeters on Twitter. Stay connected to the CSR conversation and the get latest sustainability news by following these 30 professionals.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a Celebration of Symantec Service
This Monday, countless volunteers ventured out for A Day On, Not a Day Off in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to service. Many companies got involved, too, by organizing volunteer events for employees. Symantec spreads the spirit of this American holiday across the globe and throughout the year with volunteer efforts in South Africa, Sweden, India and more.

Five Things Sustainable Companies Do
In their new report Guide to Corporate Sustainability: Shaping a Sustainable Future, The UN Global Compact implores companies everywhere to do five things. As the largest corporate sustainability initiative – they have 8,000 company participants – I’d guess they know a thing or two (or five). How many of these does your company practice?

 

CSR Food For Thought: Why Patagonia Tells Customers, “Don’t Buy Our Products.”

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.

Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario Fights the Fights Worth Fighting
Rose Marcario abandoned her previous success to work on something she believed in – a durable and sustainable product. In this heartfelt interview with Fast Company, she gives us insight into why “sustainability and selling coexist.”

Note to Bosses: Workers Perform Better if You Give to Charity
The Conversation conducted a study with 300 college students and found that the students’ work productivity increased when a bonus was involved. Not surprising, right? But they also found that productivity increased when a charitable donation was involved. Read this article for full insight into the study, as well as insight into your employees’ motivations.

Joining Forces: Collaboration and Leadership for Sustainability
Research backs the CSR trend we’ve been seeing: More and more companies are embarking on deliberate, strategic, long-term partnerships with nonprofits. This report looks at the key findings of MIT Sloan Management Review’s sixth annual sustainability survey, which includes useful tips for successful collaboration. Find out why they conclude, “The path to success is traveled with others.”

90% of Americans More Likely to Trust Brands that Back Social Causes
Need more of a reason to make your company socially conscious? Check out this post from Mashable, complete with an infographic on why “Content for Good” is the best kind of content. Backed by research from Cone Communications and The University of Pennsylvania, you’ll find some compelling reasons to ramp up your CSR.

CSR Food For Thought: Unselfish Selfies and Other 2014 CSR Spectaculars

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.

 

 

 

A Year in CSR: The Top 10 Trends of 2014
Cone Communications analyzed which CSR-related trends took the main stage in 2014, and came up with the top 10. As this Triple Pundit article put its, “2014 was a landmark year for corporate social responsibility.” From (un)selfish selfies to digital #trending, 2014 overflowed with CSR creativity. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

2014: The Year Sustainable Investment Went Mainstream
US SIF Foundation releases a report every other year on sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing trends. What did they find this year? SRI investments grew 76% since 2012! “Sustainable investment strategies are being applied across asset classes to promote corporate social responsibility…” said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF. Check out this article from GreenBiz for a detailed account of the report’s findings.

Outstanding Citizenship Programs of 2014: RW Staff Picks
Realized Worth admits, “With so many truly fantastic employee volunteering programs out there, we couldn’t possibly narrow it down to a measly top five.” In this post, they highlight six companies’ volunteer programs that rocked 2014, according to Realized Worth staff. They encourage readers to share which programs they’d add to the list. So… which would you add?

Let the Countdown Begin! Top 14 Volunteering is CSR Post of 2014
It wouldn’t be New Year’s without a little self-reflection. At VolunteerMatch, we were curious to see which Volunteering is CSR blog posts were the most popular this year. So, we resurrected the most-viewed posts of 2014. While looking back on our year, we hope you find some useful information to carry you to a CSR-filled 2015.