Corporate citizenship professionals know the business and social value that can be achieved by furthering their efforts through strategic and thoughtful partnerships. Many environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are widespread and pervasive, and can only be tackled through the active involvement of a multitude of people and organizations, each bringing their own unique skillsets. Earlier this month, a historic partnership was created to tackle of the most pressing issues of our time, as Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Obama committed to limit greenhouse gases. As part of the deal, China agreed to cap its rapidly growing carbon emissions by 2030 or earlier, and will attempt to increase its share of non-fossil fuels to 20 percent of the country’s energy mix by 2030. The United States plans to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
The nonprofit sector is a powerful force in the U.S. economy. According to the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University, more than 70 million people work and volunteer in the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits employ more people than every other sector except retail and manufacturing, and their revenue accounts for nearly 10 percent of the U.S. GDP. As a result, recipients and funders alike have a serious stake in a nonprofit’s ability to reach the best possible decisions, work effectively, and sustain itself over time. Nonprofits are vitally important to the health and wellbeing of the United States as we know it.
A challenge that corporate citizenship practitioners often face is how to engage their customers in their citizenship activities. Developing these relationships can strengthen customer loyalty and contribute to a brand’s reputation. eBay, which provides a way for consumers to connect with cause through the eBay Giving Works platform and raise valuable funds for charity by buying and selling goods, has not only been successful in engaging customers in its giving programs, but has extended its reach to nonprofit organizations, brands, celebrities and the general public.
Keeping your community involvement program organized and running smoothly, especially when it is growing, can be a difficult task. Luckily, there are many technology solutions that can help!
The Center for Corporate Citizenship has partnered with GivingTuesday.org (#GivingTuesday), a non-profit organization that aims to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the holiday season. Through a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of personal and corporate philanthropy and inspires people to bring attention to the season of giving.
There is a lot of discussion about the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its impact on local communities, a company’s image and even its bottom line. There is an area, however, though equally significant a component as the others, that is often overlooked in this conversation. That is the way in which CSR strengthens a company’s culture and offers associates (employees) at all levels an opportunity to become more engaged.
I am the senior manager of community relations at MSC Industrial Supply Co., one of the nation’s largest direct marketers and premier distributors of Metalworking & Maintenance, Repair and Operations ("MRO") supplies. I work out of our company’s headquarters in Melville, NY, and have seen firsthand the way in which our community engagement programming has benefited our corporate culture. But let’s take a step back. While giving back has always been one of our core values, and an important element of MSC’s culture, in 2005 we decided to formalize this tradition through the creation of the Community Relations Department, which coordinates all of the company’s CSR programming.
First Niagara is committed to community investment and development as a part of its corporate giving platform. Its primary focus areas are supporting youth and education initiatives. Both of these areas are the focal points of First Niagara’s signature program, Mentoring MattersSM.
Mentoring Matters is First Niagara’s company-wide, charitable giving program that provides monetary and employee volunteer support to exemplary mentoring organizations. Established in 2007, the program connects First Niagara with innovative mentoring program providers throughout the bank’s primary service areas in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In 2012, First Niagara awarded nearly $1 million to 33 impactful organizations through the 2012-2013 Mentoring Mattersgrant program.
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) is one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, a company comprised of locally managed facilities that includes about 162 hospitals and 112 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and England and employing approximately 205,500 people. Employees play a critical role in helping HCA deliver high-quality care to its patients around the globe. To help employees and their immediate families who are experiencing financial hardships, the HCA Hope Fund was established in 2005. The HCA Hope Fund is an employee-run, employee-supported public charity. Joe Flynn, Director of Community Engagement & HCA Hope Fund, shared some insights with the Center on the HCA Hope Fund and its role within the company.