Want to do something for Colorado? Have your business engage in efforts to positively impact societal causes, what is called corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is an effective way to:
In summary, as a Colorado business, you have a unique opportunity to positively impact your local communities through CSR. Want to learn more? Contact us!
One of the many benefits of participating in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities is that it imbues our work with a sense of purpose. But what if we don’t have access to CSR opportunities? Maybe we’re a solo entrepreneur, work remotely or our employer’s CSR is underdeveloped.
Good news! The practice of “job purposing”, defined as making meaningful contributions to others or a societal cause as part of our work week, is as effective as CSR in igniting purpose in our workday. You might job purpose by, for example, shifting to sustainable purchasing, mentoring a new hire or otherwise contributing to others or society as part of your work week – however you can. Think of job purposing as DIY (do it yourself) CSR: It’s less institutionalized and formal than a CSR program but has the agility to allow anybody to partake.
Other examples of job purposing include:
Want to learn more about igniting purpose at work? Watch the TEDx video by our partner, Bea Boccalandro, who coined the term job purposing or contact us.
In a prior post, we presented an introduction to pro bono, or skills-based, volunteering. In this post, we share the two main reasons your company might want to develop an employee pro bono service program: to contribute to society and to strengthen your organization.
Contribute to society
Studies suggest that pro bono service is an effective way to strengthen nonprofit organizations, drive social impact, and address societal issues. For example:
Strengthen your business
The most compelling reason to offer employees the opportunity for pro bono service is to support societal causes. Yet, another excellent reason is supporting the success of your organization. Pro bono service has been shown to benefit the employer in three key areas: employee outcomes, such as satisfaction and engagement; employee skill development; and sales and related outcomes, as detailed below.
Improved employee recruitment, satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and retention
Employee skill development
Improved company reputation and sales
In summary, engaging your employees in pro bono service can be a win-win way for your company. To learn more, contact us!
(1) “95% of Nonprofit Professionals Report that Pro Bono Service Improved their Organization’s Effectiveness,” Taproot Foundation, 2016.
(2) “Community Engagement Scorecard,” HP, 2015.
(3) Nathan Dietz and Dr. Robert T. Grimm, Jr., “The State of Volunteer Engagement: Insights from Nonprofit Leaders and Funders,” Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, 2023.
(4) Debbie Haski-Leventhal, Andrew Kach, and Mehrdokht Pournader, “Employee Need Satisfaction and Positive Workplace Outcomes: The Role of Corporate Volunteering,” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (2019).
(5) Haski-Leventhal, Kach, and Pournade, “Employee Need Satisfaction and Positive Workplace Outcomes.”
(6) Brian D. Knox, “Employee Volunteer Programs are Associated with Firm-Level Benefits and CEO Incentives: Data on the Ethical Dilemma of Corporate Social Responsibility Activities, Journal of Business Ethics (2020)
(7) Bea Boccalandro, “Increasing employee engagement through corporate volunteering,” Voluntare (2018).
(8) Kiera Dempsey-Brench and Amanda Shantz, “Skills-based volunteering: A systematic literature review of the intersection of skills and employee volunteering,” Human Resource Management Review (2022).
(9) “2016 Deloitte Impact Survey: Building Leadership Skills Through Volunteerism,” Deloitte, 2016.
(10) Paula Caligiuri et al., “Developing cross-cultural competencies through international corporate volunteerism,” Journal of World Business (2019).
(11) “Are Consumers in the Gulf States Ready to Go Green?”, BCG (2021).
(12) “Balancing Sustainability and Profitability,” IBM Institute for Business Value (2022).
(13) Simon-Kucher & Partners, “The Global Sustainability Study 2021.”
Ever wonder if there’s a simple action your company can take to combat child labor, modern day slavery and other workplace human rights abuses in developing countries? Good news! There is.
You can shift your corporate purchasing to products are certified to be free of human rights abuses by third parties. These certifications provide independent verification that products have been produced in compliance with certain social and environmental standards. By purchasing certified products you will move from perpetuating existing human rights abuses to combatting them. Following are the principal bodies that certify products:
Pro bono service – also known as pro bono work, pro bono volunteering or skill-based volunteering – is the provision of professional or technical services to social-purpose organizations or individuals free of charge. The best-known model of pro bono service is offering the professional services a company sells, such as legal counsel, free of charge. There are, however, many other pro bono models, including:
Project-based team engagement
In project-based team engagement, teams of employees deliver a standard deliverable to nonprofit partners, such as a website redesign or strategic plan development, over a few weeks or months. For example, SAP has a program in which teams of employees spend a week working full time with a Black-owned business on business development and related topics and five weeks working at part time.
In serva-a-thons, programmers, designers or other specialists collaborate intensively during one or several days to create solutions for nonprofit organizations or charitable causes, such as a new app or refreshed website. Cisco’s “Hack for Good,” for example, develops apps, products or other innovative solutions for nonprofits over a period of time lasting no more than a few days.
Board service involves employees serving on the board of directors of a nonprofit. For example, Unilever’s "The Compass" program invites all employees to serve on nonprofit boards, either individually or in teams, and trains and provides other support to those who sign up.
A service sabbatical is when an employee takes a leave of absence from their job to serve full time at a nonprofit, typically for one to twelve months. Patagonia, for example, offers employees a two-month paid sabbatical to support an environmental nonprofit.
In summary, whatever your company is, there’s likely a suitable way for it to engage in pro bono service. To learn more, contact us!
A standard element in a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) is disaster response. Disaster response varies in helpfulness, though. Fortunately, experts suggest that avoiding a few common mistakes will help ensure that your company’s disaster response is truly helpful:
What are the Indicators of CSR Excellence? New Civic 50 Colorado Report has the Answers!
Being a corporate social responsibility (CSR) professional involves answering many questions. Is involving 40% of employees in volunteering good? Is it vital to offer volunteer grants (making monetary contributions to the organizations where employee have volunteered)? Should community engagement be discussed at the company board level?
Good news! We just published a report on how the Civic 50 Colorado and the Civic 50 US, companies honored for their exceptional community involvement at the state and national levels, answer these and many other questions. The Civic 50 Colorado 2022 Report presents dozens of CSR data points over the last four years. These quantitative benchmarks from the best performers in CSR can help CSR professionals find answers to their questions.
For example, the Civic 50 honorees answers to the above questions follow:
Have other CSR questions? Download the free The Civic 50 Colorado 2022 Report! As always, feel free to contact us for assistance with your CSR.
First Steps for Your DEI Efforts
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) refers to creating and maintaining a workplace environment that values and respects the differences among employees, provides all employees a sense of belonging and promotes equal opportunities for all. While a successful DEI program is a sophisticated endeavor that typically takes years to build, following are five productive places to start your DEI journey:
Top 2023 CSR Trends
No one can predict the future, but a review of the recent past suggests the following three corporate social responsibility (CSR) topics are likely to be highly important in 2023:
In summary, whatever your 2023 CSR plans, try to have them give proper consideration to employee involvement in CSR, disaster response and workplace inclusion.
Want assistance planning your 2023 CSR strategy? Contact us!
This year, which Colorado’s companies have performed best in created a culture of service and dedicating themselves to building a better tomorrow? The answer, according to our Civic 50 Colorado award program, is:
Collectively, the Civic 50 Colorado donated to Colorado causes over $80 million in combined monetary and in-kind giving and over 160,000 employee volunteer hours. They also promoted community engagement through workplace diversity, equity and inclusion programs (98% offer this), formal practices to support voting and related actions (98%), employee paid time off to volunteer (80% offer this) and other efforts.
The Civic 50 Colorado assessment criteria are modeled on the national Points of Light Civic 50 award. Companies are rated based entirely on responses to numerical and categorical questions normalized by number of employees when relevant (to ensure size does not provide an advantage). Each applicant receives up to a possible 1,000 points in each community engagement dimension: investment, integration, institutionalization and impact. The 50 applicants with the highest total score are awarded Civic 50 Colorado honors. Human judging is not part of the determination. In 2022, companies with Colorado operations, community engagement programs and a minimum of 15 employees in Colorado were eligible to apply.
Congrats to the 2022 Civic 50 honorees!
Learn more about the Civic 50 Colorado and stay tuned for the quantitative report (or see the 2021 report)
Spark the Change Colorado, Community Shares of Colorado, B:CIVIC