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08 Dec. 2014 | Comments (0)

The dawn of the 21st century found most companies approaching corporate civic engagement on an ad-hoc basis with a “nice-to-do” attitude focused on charitable giving and traditional episodic volunteering. Today, corporate civic engagement is mainstream.

The idea that companies use their time, talent and other resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business has moved from something that’s “nice to do” to a business imperative and a source of competitive advantage.

Less than ten years ago, Points of Light suggested a stretch goal for companies strategically leveraging the power of corporate volunteerism: Get ten percent of your employees to volunteer. This year, an average of 35 percent of the employees at the nation’s 50 most community-minded companies participated in company-sponsored volunteerism.

And that’s not all. The nation’s 50 most community-minded companies—The Civic 50, named this week by Points of Light and Bloomberg L.P.—set a new bar for the investment, integration, institutionalization and impact of all corporate civic engagement programs and policies.

Key highlights and characteristics of this year’s Civic 50 include:

  • Civic 50 companies are deepening the involvement of their employees.
  • Civic 50 companies are tackling social challenges with greater seriousness than ever before. Their marketing campaigns fight texting while driving, their products minimize greenhouse gas emissions and their teambuilding efforts clean up beaches.
  • Civic 50 companies are strengthening their competitive advantage by linking community engagement to business functions. Their cause-marketing campaigns drive up sales and attract a new following of socially-conscious consumers. Their volunteer programs strengthen employee engagement and skill development. And their community partnerships support diversity and inclusion. These linkages will fuel the sustainability and scalability of business’ ability to do good in the years to come.

The practices of Civic 50 companies—from including community engagement in department scorecards to giving consumers and employees ways to direct corporate donations—represent a leap from the business management of prior generations.

Our hope is that our new report, The Civic 50: A Roadmap for Corporate Community Engagement in America, the upcoming webinars and the continued Civic 50 conversation will provide a framework for companies of all sizes looking to improve the way they engage with and strengthen the communities in which they live and work.

  • About the Author:Jenny Lawson

    Jenny Lawson

    Jenny Lawson is president for innovation and corporate thought leadership at Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, which mobilizes millions of …

    Full Bio | More from Jenny Lawson


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