Corporate Citizenship Perspectives

Understanding your material issues is essential to corporate citizenship success

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on May 4, 2016 8:56:18 AM

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”—Albert Einstein

What did Einstein mean by this? There have been two spins on this statement. The first being that some things are too complex to be understood fully and thereafter simplified and the second being that real understanding allows us to focus on what matters and describe the problem to be solved.

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Why is this relevant to the corporate citizenship practice? Our work context is incredibly complex. The arenas routinely touched by corporate citizenship programs include the natural environment, financial markets, investors, communities, employees. How do we balance those priorities? Creating a materiality assessment focused on opportunities for success and risk of negative outcomes is critically important. Understanding our goals as problems that we are solving helps to keep in focus the most material facts of our case as they shift or intensify over time and guide our allocation of effort and resources. The Center has resources that can help you determine which issues are most important to your success.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Communication, Stakeholder, Materiality, Strategy

Impact investing: Connecting money management with mission

Posted by Stewart Rassier, Director of Executive Education on Feb 2, 2016 3:07:19 PM

Impact investing is an emerging area that companies are beginning to add to their philanthropic portfolios. The definition of impact investing is twofold: fund a worthy social cause to provide value to the community while returning financial value to the investor.

A new notice put out by the IRS in September makes this a particularly favorable time for companies to begin operationalizing the task of impact investing. The 2015 IRS report, “Investing Made for Charitable Purposes,” affirmed the private foundation’s right and ability to invest in a way that advances their charitable goals, even if the expected rates of return on those investments may be less than other possible investment options.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Finance, Strategy, Impact Investing

How does community involvement benefit the business?

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Nov 16, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Since 1995, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship has studied how companies invest in communities and how these efforts connect to their businesses—and has published the findings in the Community Involvement study. Over the past 20 years, we’ve witnessed the role of community involvement evolve to become a strategic component of business.

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Topics: Corporate Community Involvement, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Strategy, Engagement

Driving a #GivingTuesday campaign: employee engagement, partnership and participation

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Oct 30, 2015 2:37:41 PM

 “We make a living by what we get but, we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill

Giving Tuesday is a national day of online giving which is held at the start of the annual holiday season following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

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Topics: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Partnerships, Engaging Employees, Giving, Strategy, Brand, Participation

Driving Engagement and Business Performance: The Role of Employee Volunteering Programs

Posted by Colleen Olphert, Director, Membership and Member Services on Sep 9, 2015 3:57:20 PM

The following is excerpted from the most recent issue of The Corporate Citizen. To learn more about how you develop and implement employee volunteer programs to drive employee engagement, consider joining us at one of our professional development courses.

Employee VolunteeringBy thoughtfully developing and implementing initiatives like employee volunteer programs, corporate citizenship practitioners can benefit society and their business at the same time. The key is getting employees engaged.

The Center’s Community Involvement survey finds that more than 90 percent of companies list improved employee engagement among the top three benefits of an employee volunteer program.

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Topics: Engaging Employees, Strategy, Employee Volunteer Program (EVP), Return on Investment (ROI)

GRI’s Reporting 2025: A look ahead with Katherine V. Smith

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Aug 26, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Once the province of a few unusually green or community-oriented companies, sustainability reporting is now a best practice employed by companies worldwide. A full 95 percent of the Global 250 issue sustainability reports, and by doing so gain a competitive edge in every aspect of the triple bottom line.

According to the Value of Sustainability Reporting study—a joint survey conducted by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and EY—sustainability reporting offers a number of benefits. The majority of respondents believe that reporting improves reputation; while nearly 40 percent find it to increase employee loyalty.

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Topics: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting, Strategy

The global benefits of stakeholder engagement

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Aug 4, 2015 4:02:00 PM

Blog_Engagement_BCCCCPhilanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Effective corporate citizenship programs look not only at the social issues they seek to address, but also at the root causes of those issues, assessing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues both at the macro and micro levels simultaneously.

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Topics: Stakeholder, Value of Corporate Citizenship, Strategy, Engagement, Global

Effective CSR communication: Which tactic when?

Posted by Patricia MacKenzie, Director of Marketing & Communications on Jun 30, 2015 3:41:00 PM

Figure12ABCChoosing the most effective tactic to achieve your communication objective can be a challenge. How can you determine what strategy or tactic to employ?

Corporate citizenship is an enterprise-wide undertaking—not simply the responsibility of one person or a single department, so effective corporate citizenship practitioners must be master collaborators. For many, one of the most important internal relationships is the one they share with the communications and marketing department.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Communication, Strategy, Digital Media, Influence

Your most important corporate citizenship client

Posted by Katherine V. Smith, Executive Director on Jun 3, 2015 1:41:47 PM

Warren Buffet tells a story about Charlie Munger that illustrates a great life lesson,

“Charlie, as a very young lawyer, was probably getting $20 an hour. He thought to himself, ‘Who’s my most valuable client?’ And he decided it was himself. So he decided to sell himself an hour each day. He did it early in the morning, working on these construction projects and real estate deals. Everybody should do this, be the client, and then work for other people, too, and sell yourself an hour a day.”


At the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we are privileged to spend our days working with corporations to help them achieve their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) objectives—objectives that—if successfully achieved—will make the world a better place. This purpose informs our mission, strategies, and goals. We try to make your hours efficient by doing some of the work for you.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Executive Education, Strategy, Professional Development, Best Practices

A Winning Mindset for Your Corporate Citizenship Journey

Posted by Nikki Korn on Apr 8, 2015 2:56:00 PM

Winning-Mindset-for-Corporate-CitizenshipLet's be honest—every day we wake up with a different level of energy and patience to think big and manage our corporate citizenship efforts. We each juggle the need to be strategists, issue area experts, catalysts for internal and external action, and practical leaders about what we can accomplish. This process is not easy and requires a lot more than caffeine.

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Topics: Corporate Citizenship, Conference, Responsible Corporate Leadership, Strategy, Culture

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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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