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21 Nov. 2016 | Comments (0)

In July, 2016, 46 experts met to discuss strategies for community impact at the Strategic Community Impact Symposium. In this post, we provide a snapshot of the notes from that meeting, which we published in a report entitled 20 Truths about Corporate Philanthropy. Next week, The Conference Board will host the fall Symposium in New York City. For more information or to register, click here.

Creating a strong culture of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability is an intricate process. Most businesses understand the importance of CSR, but that is only the beginning. Constructing successful programs and initiatives requires a strong understanding of best practices, including impact measurement and sensitivity to a company’s individuality. But it also requires an open mind, a dedication to the cause at hand, and a belief that passion creates purpose. Symposium participants discussed the following broad areas. For more specifics on each, download the complete Conference KeyNotes.

Measure your impact
It’s not enough to have solid social change and sustainability goals; there also have to be quality results. Engage in programming and activities that lend themselves to measurement, and keep track of this information for reporting. After all, you can’t measure what you don’t have. Measurable results come from programs that are going strong—and are capable of growing.

Effectively involve your employees
Your largest resource for change is the company employee base. Create programs that they can engage with and respond to their interests, experience, and levels of involvement. Be conscious of employee engagement. Understand and recognize where participants are with the project at hand, and be conscious of how you can keep them involved and active.

Appoint the right leaders
Identify the people who are truly passionate about the company’s corporate impact and leverage their enthusiasm. Allow them to take on larger roles and larger projects and equip them with the tools to engage their colleagues.

There is no right way to have an impact
Build programs that are best for your organization’s needs and fit with internal resources and company culture. There is no “best way” to engage. It’s the impact and results that count.

Outline roles for the C-suite
To effectively implement programs and ignite internal support, examine how to engage key organization leaders. Understand the relationship between your organization, volunteering, and key C-suite members. After outlining their part in the mission, determine their place in bringing it to fruition.

Share you efforts widely
Use available resources to show the ways your company is engaging and giving back. Tap into employee networks, media reports, social media, and annual reporting as a way of distributing the information. Increased publicity and attention will act as a catalyst for increased participation going forward. Register for the fall Strategic Community Impact Symposium here. Download 20 Truths about Corporate Philanthropy here

  • 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…

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