5 Habits of Companies that Rock at Giving Back

Posted by on March 24, 2014 in CSR, Non-Profit

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As corporate volunteering and giving programs become increasingly prominent at companies across the country, best practices are shaped by the leaders of the pack.  So which companies are paving the way at community engagement right now, and what’s their secret?

A recent report unveiled a list of the 50 most community-minded corporations, as well as the common characteristics of their engagement activities.  The findings were gathered by Civic 50, a national initiative to survey and rank S&P 500 corporations on how they engage with the communities they serve and institutionalize these practices in their corporate cultures.

The report affirms the important role that companies play when it comes to generating community impact.  And it concludes that impact doesn’t come from checkbooks alone (although certainly, corporate giving helps).  Rather, companies harness their power most effectively when they contribute the expertise and resources of their businesses and employees.  And the best way to fuel this kind of company-wide involvement is by cultivating a culture of civic engagement, which comes most easily when companies carefully match their approach to giving back with their core business competencies.

So which companies stand out as stars in community engagement?  According to the report, here are the winners:

Communications: AT&T

Consumer Discretionary: Gap Inc.

Consumer Staples: Campbell Soup Co.

Energy & Utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Financials: Morgan Stanley

Health Care: UnitedHealth Group

Industrials: GE

Materials: Sigma-Aldrich

Technology: Hewlett-Packard

Want to know what these companies are doing to keep community involvement front and center in their business environments?  Take note: here’s five healthy habits of companies that rock at civic engagement:

1. 88% evaluated their employees’ performance in part based on their participation in community engagement.

2. 92% reported specific policies to institutionalize community engagement.

3. 96% say 100% of their workforce is invited to participate in community engagement efforts.

4. 96% evaluated their business performance in part based on the impact of their community engagement programs.

5. Nearly 1 in 3 employees at these companies volunteered or donated expertise. In 2012 this number was 1 in 6.

If you’re looking to kick philanthropy up a notch at your company, follow the leaders and find ways to institute these five healthy habits of community engagement.


Ryan Scott

Ryan Scott is a technology entrepreneur who founded Causecast in 2007, driven to help companies harness their power to do good. Through Causecast’s work in developing public service campaigns for leading brands, Scott observed how even the most socially responsible businesses typically under-utilize their best cause advocates; their employees. In researching this phenomenon he discovered that most of the technology to manage employee volunteering and corporate philanthropy was created in the previous century and was struggling to work at the scale that we need to move the needle on the social issues we face.

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