Corporate citizenship professionals from across the United States and Canada will be traveling to the Boston College campus to attend our Management Intensive and Leadership Academy courses. These groups explore business and management approaches and tools that can be applied to their corporate citizenship, CSR, employee engagement, and sustainability jobs. Each year, one of the most popular questions we field is: "How do you create a corporate citizenship strategy?"
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
The following is excerpted from 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 Executive Education courses.
By 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.
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.
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.
Choosing 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.
Warren Buffet tells a story about Charlie Munger that illustrates a great life lesson,
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.