Their Impact is Both Large and Diverse

Congratulations to all of the companies honored as finalists in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizenship Awards.Being a part of something as powerful as the VolunteerMatch network means that you’ll often hear about the amazing things individuals, nonprofits and companies are doing to make a difference. Here’s a great example:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently named 24 business finalists for its 15th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards. The awards program honors businesses for their significant positive impacts in communities around the world. And this year, a whole bunch of VolunteerMatch clients and partners are on the list of honored finalists.

  • Congratulations to UnitedHealth Group for being a finalist for Best Corporate Steward in the Large Business category.
  • Big kudos to Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft for the Best Commitment to Education Program award.
  • Amway’s impressive community work is being recognized as a finalist for Best Community Improvement Program.
  • Farmers Insurance Company, as well as our partner Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., are finalists for Best Disaster Response & Community Resilience Program.
  • Both Dow Chemical Company and Qualcomm are finalists for Best Economic Empowerment Program.
  • Great job Apollo Education Group for being a finalist for Best Environmental Stewardship Program.

“It’s great to see our clients honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation,” says Julie VanDeLinder, VP of Client Services, VolunteerMatch. “While we already know our clients do great things in the community, it’s wonderful to see them in this elite group of Corporate Citizens.”

The winners in each category will be announced on November 20, 2014. But all of these companies are already winners, considering the huge impact they’ve made in their communities and for their employees in all of these different areas. (If you’d like to learn more about the over-achieving companies in the VolunteerMatch network, check out this series on the finalists for the 2014 VolunteerMatch Corporate Volunteer Awards.)

We’re proud of all of our corporate clients and partners! Congratulations, and keep up the great work.

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CSR Food for Thought: The TrustLaw Index

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.

2014 TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono

The first annual TrustLaw Index of Pro Bono, developed by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, provides benchmarks for pro bono legal activities around the world. Not only is this a great tool for the expansion of pro bono in the legal profession, but hopefully other industries will see it, be inspired by it, and create similar benchmarks upon which to grow critical pro bono services around the world.

How Dow Chemical Ingrained Sustainability into the Company’s DNA

This great interview with Neil Hawkins, Corporate Vice President for Sustainability at The Dow Chemical Company, highlights how the company’s ambitious 2015 goals, its preference to report voluntarily, and creative approaches to partnerships make it an inspiring leader in corporate sustainability.

Why Doing Good for Others Does Good for Your Business

An increasing body of recent research supports the idea that emphasizing philanthropy, volunteering and purpose as key elements of your business has multiple benefits. And the earlier companies infuse these priorities into their models, the greater the advantages in terms of employee engagement, recruitment, retention, job performance and relationships with customers.

VolunteerMatch Partners with LinkedIn to Help 100,000 Nonprofits Recruit Skilled Volunteers

As of this week, every skilled volunteer opportunity on VolunteerMatch.org gets automatically posted to LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace. This is big news for you and your company, since by building this “technology bridge” between the two platforms, VolunteerMatch and LinkedIn have created a rich resource to engage your employees based on their own interests and skills.

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The Team Descends on Sustainable Brands: A Social Story

Abby Golebiewski and Julie VanDeLinder from the VolunteerMatch team spent this week in sunny San Diego, soaking up the rays and attending the fascinating Sustainable Brands conference. Check out some of the highlights from their experience, and add your own in the comments!


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Can Asking “What If?” Really Change the World?

Can asking "what if?" really change the world?This year’s Sustainable Brands conference kicks off today, and is urging us to do something we don’t often indulge in as CSR professionals: to dream big.

Sustainability, brand and innovation professionals from around the world are descending upon San Diego to be inspired, engaged and equipped to succeed by building better brands of tomorrow. Focused around the theme “Reimagine, Redesign, Regenerate,” the week is an opportunity to share our dreams for a better corporate world, and begin discussing how to make those dreams a reality.

What if your employees were so passionate about your company’s mission and values that they became your brand’s most enthusiastic ambassadors? Tweet this!

So what is our “What If?” At VolunteerMatch, we believe that the key to changing the world for the better is people. It’s the people at a company who will ultimately enable shifts in policy, practice and production. Advocates like you will get employees engaged in volunteering and giving programs that improve the communities around you. This belief drives our products and services, helping us provide the cutting-edge technology solutions that enable you to run incredible employee volunteer programs.

We ask:

What if your employees were so passionate about your company’s mission and values that they became your brand’s most enthusiastic ambassadors?

How would this change your company, both internally and externally? How would it enable you to have a greater impact on the world around you? What can we do today to make this “what if?” a reality tomorrow, next year, or five years from now? And what tools and processes do we need to put in place to make it a success?

Well, what do YOU think?

At Sustainable Brands this week? Find Abby and Julie at the VolunteerMatch booth in the Expo hall to talk about your “What ifs”. And whether you’re there or not, follow the conference discussion using #SB14sd.

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CSR Food for Thought: The CFO’s Role

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 CFO’s Role in CSR Reporting

CSR is becoming a business imperative, regardless of the market in which the company operates. Investors are more interested in CSR than ever, some even using it as an investment criterion. Despite these trends, studies show corporate CFOs are not yet stepping up and acknowledging their important roles in managing the financial implications of this shift in corporate strategy.

Reversing Perception, Creating Impact: In Conversation with MGM Resorts

What does CSR mean for a brand like MGM Resorts International? With a diverse set of stakeholders and a prickly business model, how is it changing the tides on how its business is perceived? CSRwire recently held a live Twitter chat with MGM’s CEO, CSO and Diversity Chief. Follow the conversation to learn how MGM’s CSR strategy grew from its response to the recession, what the business benefits have been, and how employees and consumers are involved.

What is Microsoft’s Secret to Employee Engagement? Empowerment!

How does a company as large as Microsoft achieve impressive levels of employee engagement in CSR and sustainability initiatives? The trick is to design programs that employees can take ownership of themselves, and run with. Turning top-down programs into bottom-up movements. Read more about this strategy in Mike Hower’s article on Sustainable Brands.

Bud Light Partners with Keep America Beautiful

Appealing to its consumer base of young, socially active beer-drinkers, Bud Light has partnered with the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful to engage consumers nationwide in community projects. The key here is presenting the projects in a way that is consistent with the Bud Light brand and produces maximum impact for the cause…

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CSR Food for Thought: Women Helping Women

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.

Women Helping Women

Helping young women in developing countries has been shown to be a key driver of economic stability in those areas. It would follow logically, then, that it’s just as important to help young women in the United States. A new website and resource just launched by the Business Journals aims to facilitate more direct and effective mentorship of young women in the United States.

BSR’s New Climate Strategy: Ambition + Collaboration = Impact

If sustainability and climate change are key focus areas for your company’s CSR program, you’ll want to hear about how BSR has redesigned its own program. The new strategy aims to mobilize the organization’s global business network, insights, and expertise in support of sustained business action on climate change.

When Sustainability Ambitions Become a Living Plan: Unilever Expands, Deepens Commitments

What impresses us by Unilever’s renewed commitment to its Sustainable Living Plan is not so much that it’s continuing the program. Rather, we’re impressed that the company is taking a long, hard look and making real changes and adjustments, focusing on building up successes and recognizing failures. Sustaining a successful CSR initiative depends on continued investment – not just of money, but of time, focus, and passion.

6 Must Read Books for a Career in CSR

Trying to break into the exciting world of CSR? Check out this list of business books posted on MovingForward, the official blog of MovingWorlds, that will help give you the knowledge and skills to nab that dream position.

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CSR Food for Thought: Why Corporations Fail to Do the Right Thing

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.

Why Corporations Fail to Do the Right Thing

Even when a company’s leaders, consumers and employees all believe in social responsibility and sustainability, many businesses (especially the big ones) still end up having a negative impact on our communities and the environment. What’s up with that? In this Atlantic article, former BP employee Christine Bader provides some possible answers. What do you think – are these sound reasons for why companies don’t always have a positive impact?

The CSR Profession: New Survey Indicates Growing Gender Gap, Shifting Responsibilities

While CSR is still a relatively new industry, apparently old habits die hard – like gender gaps in employee salaries. Susan Arnot Heaney, a Senior Corporate Responsibility Executive, cautions us all to take a proactive approach to shaping the future of this field, to break disturbing trends like this one and create a more efficient and impactful field.

Employee Volunteering Makes Shared Value Possible: The Transformative Value Series

With this series, our friends at Realized Worth dive deep into the concept of Shared Value, and how employee volunteering is a key element to achieve the ambitions of this trendy new strategy. They outline the Transformative Value approach, a targeted way to leverage the passion and talents of employees to achieve the promise of Shared and Blended Value. (Want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth? Check out this recent Best Practice Network webinar we hosted with Chris Jarvis from Realized Worth!)

Quick Tips: Engaging Employees in Sustainability

Engaging employees in sustainability can generate big wins for the environment, employee satisfaction, and the financial bottom line. But how do you create an effective program for all types of employees, dispersed across thousands of locations? This session from our pals at Net Impact and TD Bank’s Head of Environmental Affairs covers some creative and measurable solutions to this challenge.

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