Here at the Center, we spend a lot of time thinking about how our members can make the good work they do in CSR go even further. We scan research publications in the management and social sciences disciplines related to corporate citizenship, work with some of the top thinkers in the field, and conduct our own research to provide our more than 400 members with the insights that help drive business and social value.
With submissions from 58 companies and more than 40,000 individuals casting votes, this year’s International Corporate Citizenship Film Festival attracted an enormous amount of attention to stories of successful corporate citizenship programs. Now the voting has closed and the results are in. Each finalist video, based on popular vote, offers a unique perspective, touching on important issues within both the CSR field and our communities.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs are only as strong as the data they are built on. That’s why the most effective corporate citizenship professionals consistently gather, evaluate, and measure all available data to create initiatives that are tied to business strategy and leverage the skills and expertise of their colleagues. They set daring goals complete with milestones and targets. They are aware of all affected stakeholders and know how to reach them. They know what resources are available and which are needed for success. They continually assess, modify, and improve their efforts based on the most recent data to achieve the most business and social value possible.
Creating public-private partnerships in corporate citizenship is rarely easy. Scorecards, conference calls, memoranda of understanding, and that’s before you’ve even begun the actual project. So why are CSR professionals seeking more partners, further collaboration, and more strategic alignment?
One of the biggest reasons is because stakeholders, especially consumers, are noticing who your partners are and examining the details of your work together. A 2010 Nonprofit Marketing Trend Tracker survey found that 60 percent of respondents indicated that they actively seek partnership details before supporting a cause and 75 percent of American consumers reported that they wanted to hear about the results of a corporate citizenship partnership, including the effect on the social issue or money raised for the cause.
Earlier this month I was in Denver with the Center’s Community Involvement Roundtable. As always, it was a dynamic two days filled with animated discussion, shared challenges, and best practices. Much of our focus for this recent meeting was engaging employees across the professional spectrum, from new hires to pre–retirees, though the conversation extended to retirees as well. This focus on employee engagement is not surprising, as the majority of executives surveyed in the Center’s forthcoming 2014 State of Corporate Citizenship study reported that recruiting and retaining employees are important business goals that are aided by the contribution of corporate citizenship.
In America, heart disease  is the #1 killer, taking more lives each year than all cancers combined. And although diseaseprevalence is similar across genders and ethnicities, awareness of risk factors and disparity in treatment rates are not. Close the Gap, a Boston Scientific educational initiative, was established in 2006 to address disparities in cardiovascular care for the underserved patient populations of women, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans. Initially focused solely on cardiovascular health, Close the Gap recently expanded its mission to address healthcare disparities that exist in other disease states, including asthma, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.[2-5]
Synopsys Inc., a leading innovator in the global electronics market, empowers employees to organize and participate in volunteer projects that match their individual interests and giving priorities. Through its Synopsys Shares program, the company maximizes its positive societal impact while supporting the diverse passions of its employees by granting them the flexibility to choose activities that closely align with their values and the needs of the local community. Megan McDow, community affairs manager, answered a few questions about the program.