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12 Oct. 2016 | Comments (0)

In the most comprehensive annual analysis of corporate societal engagement, CECP: The CEO Force for Good, in association with The Conference Board, found in their annual Giving in Numbers survey that the link between a company’s business strategy and their engagement with society is ever more vital, as are the people within the company leading this connection. Download a complimentary copy of Giving in Numbers: 2016 Edition.

With the growing recognition that long-term business performance is tied to social responsibility, companies are allocating bigger budgets to the community engagement team, elevating giving officer roles and responsibilities, and ensuring that both employees and customers are able to show their commitment to giving back through the brand.

“With employees and customers increasingly rewarding responsible businesses, companies are underpinning their business strategies and brands with purpose,” said Jonathan Spector, CEO, The Conference Board. “The data show those efforts starting to pay off, so it’s no surprise to see companies doubling down on their community engagement by expanding teams and giving department leaders more of an audience with the CEO.” Key findings from this year’s survey include:

  • Business performance is tied to social responsibility Companies that increased total giving by at least 10 percent between 2013 and 2015 saw increases in median giving as a percentage of revenue and pre-tax profit, as opposed to all other companies that instead saw decreases in both metrics. Companies with a stronger sense of purpose also had stronger financial and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics.
  • Bigger Budgets Total giving grew slightly with nearly half (47 percent) of companies in a three-year matched set between 2013 and 2015 reporting an increase in median total giving—by 1 percent.
  • Elevation of roles and responsibilities With companies seeing the bottom-line benefits of adding resources to the community engagement office, corporate giving teams are not only expanding (full-time equivalent employees rose 3 percent from 2013 to 2015), but their prominence within the company is rising, with 29 percent of teams reporting closer alignment with the CEO’s office. Further, teams are being called on to share materially significant data: 56 percent of companies say their corporate citizenship department provided ESG information to a particular investor or the company’s investor relations department.
  • Employees and customers seeking out new ways to give back through the company and the brand Employee volunteer participation rate with their company’s community efforts continued to rise to 33 percent in 2015 from 28 percent in 2013. Additionally, about half of companies saw building trust with consumers and other stakeholders as a goal of their societal engagement programs. Fifty-five percent of companies used increased trust (e.g., Edelman Trust Barometer, Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey, etc.) as a benchmark of success for their community investments.

Download Giving in Numbers: 2016 Edition for free! 

  • About the Author:André Solórzano

    André Solórzano

    As a member of CECP's Evaluation and Data Insights team, André translates a rich repository of quantitative data collected from nearly 300 leading companies into actionable insights. These find…

    Full Bio | More from André Solórzano

  • About the Author:Alex Parkinson

    Alex Parkinson

    Alex Parkinson is Principal of Parky Communications, a communications agency specializing in sustainability and CSR reporting and communications. He serves as the Co-Leader of The Conference Board Cor…

    Full Bio | More from Alex Parkinson

     

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