Giving Thoughts

Apr
22
2014

Social Impact Scorecard: Measuring Expected Impact

By Karen Maas, Associate Professor, Erasmus School of Economics

Arguably, most investments have economic, social and environmental impacts, but approaches to measuring the social impact of investments are still in their infancy. In a recent edition of the Giving Thoughts series, I classify 30 impact measurement frameworks to help practitioners navigate through these tools and select the most appropriate framework for their needs.  Only some of the 30 frameworks analyzed in that report address “expected impact”, a concept that the Dutch investment group PGGM and the Erasmus Center for Strategic Philanthropy introduced in the Social Impact Scorecard.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr
17
2014

Chart of the Week: Employee Corporate Social Responsibility Training

By Thomas Singer, Researcher, The Conference Board

Few companies include corporate social responsibility (CSR) training as part of their employee training programs. Only 9 percent of S&P Global 1200 companies and 5 percent of S&P 500 companies reported offering CSR training. Companies in the utilities sector were most likely to include CSR training for their employees, followed by companies in the telecommunication services sector.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr
16
2014

Response to Gary Wexler: The Incessant Demand for Data is No Bad Thing

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership, and Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board

In his recent post, “Could the Incessant Demand for Data Kill Innovation in the Nonprofit Sector?”, Gary Wexler argues that data can’t deliver a comprehensive assessment of the nonprofit sector, because there are fine details and hidden components that simply can’t—and shouldn’t—be measured. He says that pressuring nonprofits to provide information on all facets of their work can constrain the generation of ideas and experimentation in the social sector. We think his argument is flawed. Here’s why.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr
10
2014

Webcast on Demand: 501(c)’s and the Proposed Political Activity Rules

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board

If you missed The Conference Board’s webcast on proposed regulatory changes for 501(c)4 organizations, also known as social welfare organizations, it is now available on demand. Members of The Conference Board can watch it for free here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr
08
2014

The Re-Emerging Art of Funding Innovation

By Gabriel Kasper, Senior Manager, and Justin Marcoux, Senior Consultant, Monitor Institute

As philanthropy has gotten more strategic over the last decade, many foundations have begun to lose their appetite for risk and experimentation. But a small number of funders have begun to intentionally seek out and support high-risk, high-reward innovations with the potential to truly transform our most intractable social challenges.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr
03
2014

Could the Incessant Demand for Data Kill Innovation in the Nonprofit Sector?

By Gary Wexler, Founder, Seize the Conversation Transformational Seminars, and Adjunct Lecturer in Nonprofit Marketing, Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism

“Where is the data that proves your nonprofit is creating either transformation or pervasive system change?” “Show us the data that explains how many thousands upon thousands of lives have been affected by your work.” These are questions posed and statements made by almost everyone in the philanthropy field when examining the success of nonprofit output. It is all about data.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr
01
2014

Last Chance to Participate in the Giving in Numbers Survey

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board

The deadline for the 2014 Giving in Numbers survey has been extended. If your company has revenue in excess of $2 billion, you still have a chance to take part.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
26
2014

501(c)’s and the Proposed Political Activity Rules: Implications for Business

By Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board

This winter, the IRS and Treasury Department issued proposed regulatory changes for 501(c)(4) organizations, also known as “Social Welfare Organizations.” Much has been made of the political activity of these groups and the extent to which their activities are funded by the “dark money” of corporations. It is likely that new rulemaking will impact ways in which corporations interact with these social welfare organizations as well as other tax-exempt groups such as unions, charities, and membership organizations. Register now for an exclusive webcast on this issue from The Conference Board.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
18
2014

The China Challenge: Is It Worth the Effort?

By Jenny Bowen, Founder and CEO, Half the Sky Foundation

When we began our work in China fifteen years ago, I don’t think a term like “social enterprise” even existed. In fact most of the healthy NGOs were actually GONGOs, or government-operated non-governmental organizations. Most ordinary people I met in the early days were just struggling to get by and provide for their families. I work in state-run children’s welfare institutions; most people didn’t even know such places existed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
13
2014

What It Means to Be an Impact Investor

By Tessa Hebb, Director, Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, Carleton University and Advisory Board Member, The Conference Board Initiative on Corporate Philanthropy

In the first report from The Conference Board’s Giving Thoughts series, Paul Brest and Kelly Born outlined the various concepts of “impact” in impact investing, adding an important publication to the limited academic work in the field. The report highlighted some key points about investor intent, points that were also outlined in a special issue of the Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment in 2013.

Read the rest of this entry »

Subscribe to Giving Thoughts

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:
Data Collection and Analysis in Philanthropy

Classifying Social Impact Measurement Frameworks

Deconstructing Impact Investing
Back to Top