Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Where should you invest? Assessing and Meeting Community Needs

Posted by elizabeth.rogers on Nov 21, 2013 10:23:05 AM

webinar_dec42013Corporate citizenship professionals often debate which issues warrant a commitment by their firms. Selecting poorly can be costly. A firm’s corporate citizenship efforts may amount to nothing if it invests heavily in, say, political campaigns when its customers and employees really care about green energy or education programs. Understanding both where a company is best positioned to make an impact and which issues are most important to its stakeholders is critical. Our December webinar, Where should you invest? Assessing and meeting community needs, will provide an in-depth look at a resource you can use to answer this important question.

According to the 2012 State of Corporate Citizenship report, most companies are attempting to achieve three goals with their corporate citizenship strategy:

  1. Address issues that customers, employees, and the community care about
  2. Advance business goals
  3. Contribute to the common good

In order to achieve these goals, many different stakeholders must be considered. By connecting the citizenship efforts to an area of interest for the company, citizenship activities have a better chance of contributing business value. Indeed, the 2012 study showed that at least 80 percent of executives, across all business types and industries, confirm that environmental, social, and governance investments do create financial value for the company.

In order to avoid risky investments that do not provide optimal return for the company, it is important to identify areas of crossover between the community needs and the employees and company capabilities. In 2009, Hitachi America developed their Community Engagement Tool, a step-by-step guide by which they were able to systematically identify an ideal area of investment. Since then, they have used the tool to develop highly impactful programs that return value to the company and community.

Carol Kale, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Hitachi America, Ltd., will walk us through the three major parts of Hitatchi's Community Engagement Tool. In the first section, she will help you identify your company's assets, strengths, and historical interests. Studies indicate that programs which are aligned with the competencies of your business are more successful than those that are unrelated.

Next, you will define the needs of the community you hope to impact using resources to pinpoint the areas with the greatest opportunity gaps. Finally, discover your employees' passion with the help of pre-developed questionnaires to get you started.

Once you have a clear picture of the needs of the community, the interest of your employees, and the unique capabilities of your company, the areas of crossover will jump off the page! Join us to find the right sweet spot that will provide ROI for your investment and create the most impact for the community you care about.

Click here to register for this event on December 4, 2013 at noon ET and follow the conversation on Twitter #BCwebinar.

Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Community, Impact Investing, Investment Strategy

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The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is your resource for insights, research, trending topics, and executive education in the corporate citizenship field.

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