Giving Thoughts

Aug
28
2014

Director Notes: Corporate Social Responsibility in India

By Melissa Aguilar, Researcher, The Conference Board

In a July Giving Thoughts post, KPMG’s Anita Whitehead highlighted some of the finer details of the revisions to the India Companies Act and what they mean for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in India. There is little coverage of the benefits and drawbacks of mandatory CSR requirements such as those introduced in India. But the latest edition of Giving Thoughts’ sister publication, Director Notes, attempts to change that. The publication is available as a free PDF download.

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Aug
26
2014

Q&A with David Callahan: Speak Truth to Money

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board, and David Callahan, Founder and Editor, Inside Philanthropy

The donor-recipient power dynamic is often one sided, with rich organizations wielding the influence over their nonprofit partners. In one of my first posts on Giving Thoughts late last year, I posed the question of whether nonprofits ever have “reverse influence” over their corporate donors: could a nonprofit decline funding until its backer upped its game in a certain area? It might be a stretch to think that a nonprofit would ever have enough clout to turn its back on funding, but it’s also wrong to suggest that nonprofits should always have to pander to donors. Wouldn’t the donor-grantee relationship be more effective if scrutiny were a two-way street? Enter Inside Philanthropy, a new website that allows grantees to anonymously rate and review their funders.

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Aug
21
2014

New Giving Thoughts Series Article: A Beginner’s Guide to Measuring Social Value

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board

The latest edition of the Giving Thoughts series, entitled “A Beginner’s Guide to Measuring Social Value,” is now available for download. Click here to access the free PDF. This edition was authored by Dr. Tessa Hebb and Babita Bhatt from the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University, Canada.

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Aug
19
2014

Q&A with Alexandra van der Ploeg: SAP’s Approach to Pro-Bono

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board, and Alexandra van der Ploeg, Global CSR Program Lead, SAP

Earlier this month, PYXERA Global’s Amanda MacArthur answered questions about global pro bono, highlighting the leadership development advantages that such volunteer programs bring. Technology and software solutions company SAP uses these programs to give high-performing employees the chance to develop skills while making a positive impact in the developing world.

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Aug
14
2014

China’s Entrepreneurs Only Now Thinking About Wealth Distribution

By Anke Schrader, Researcher, The Conference Board China Center

In a recent interview with CNNMoney (read the full article here), I discussed with journalist Sophia Yan the difficulties that would-be donors in China have to address before the philanthropy sector here can really start growing. Other philanthropy-focused reports, most notably Joan Spero’s Charity and Philanthropy in Brazil, Russia, India and China, have highlighted the emerging wealth in developing markets such as China, and the accompanying sophistication of the donor class and social sector. But there is still a long way to go.

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Aug
12
2014

Mixing Business and Social Good Is Not A New Idea

By David Burkus, Assistant Professor of Management, Oral Roberts University

More and more business schools are building programs to support students who want to do business while doing good. In addition, companies are rebuilding their recruiting processes to attract top talent that cares less about financial rewards and more about social impact. It seems like every day I see a new blog post from a thinker or business leader discussing how to innovate a process or build a whole new business model to make a profit and a difference. One key theme in these conversations, even if unspoken, is that this is a new, unexplored territory for both entrepreneurs and established businesses.

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Aug
06
2014

Nonprofit Boards: Boot Camp for Corporate Executives

By Alice Korngold, Author, A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems…Where Governments Cannot

With global corporations actively pursuing growth opportunities in emerging markets, Harvard Business School Professor Bill George raises the compelling leadership development challenge facing these businesses in this HBR blog. He points out how companies require entirely new approaches to prepare leaders for “aligning employees around the company’s mission and values, empowering people to lead, and collaborating horizontally rather than managing vertically. Further, George calls for new ways to develop the cultural sensitivities, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness of thousands of new leaders. Clearly, traditional leadership training and education will not suffice.

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Aug
01
2014

Insight Minute: Giving in Numbers

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board

In the July edition of The Conference Board Insight Minute, I highlight some of the early findings from the forthcoming Giving in Numbers report, published by CECP in association with The Conference Board. Click on the video below to find out more.

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Jul
30
2014

A Case for Strategic Philanthropy

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board

The question of whether corporate philanthropy actually generates business value is a perennial one. Solid empirical evidence to support the ubiquitous anecdotal argument is generally hard to come by, but earlier this year the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) released research that attempted to fill this gap. At the surface, the interesting findings question whether there is actually business value from corporate philanthropy. But instead of answering the question once and for all, the report supports the argument that corporate philanthropy should be strategic, rather than just the purview of the CEO or senior leadership.

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Jul
25
2014

The India Companies Act 2013: What You Should Know

By Anita Whitehead, Managing Director, KPMG LLP

The India Companies Act 2013 requires companies to spend 2 percent of profits stemming from their Indian businesses on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in India. It also requires companies to establish a board-approved CSR policy and a board-level CSR committee. However, a number of questions remain about the fine details of these provisions.

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Giving Thoughts series

The Conference Board Giving Thoughts series is a monthly online publication in which corporate philanthropy experts delve into the most pressing issues affecting our members.

Download the latest issues:
A Beginner's Guide to Measuring Social Value

Defining Impact

A Standard for Social Impact Reporting

Data Collection and Analysis in Philanthropy

Classifying Social Impact Measurement Frameworks

Deconstructing Impact Investing
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