Giving Thoughts


Which U.S. Companies Are The Most Community Minded?

By Jackie Norris, Executive Director, The Corporate Institute, Points of Light

The third annual Civic 50 survey is now open for submissions. The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, in partnership with Bloomberg LP, honors the 50 most community-minded companies in America each year. It also helps participating companies benchmark and share community engagement best practices, providing a roadmap for them to best use their time, skills, and other resources to benefit the communities in which they do business. The Civic 50 aims to help translate good intentions into sound business practices for years to come.

Through last year’s survey, we learned that:

  • Nearly all (96 percent) Civic 50 companies invite their entire workforce to participate in community engagement efforts.
  • All Civic 50 companies measure the business impact of civic engagement on at least one aspect of their bottom line, such as increased sales, brand loyalty, or employee recruitment.
  • Nearly one in three Civic 50 company employees volunteered or donated their expertise. In 2012, this number was one in six.
  • 92 percent of Civic 50 companies reported specific policies to institutionalize community engagement in their company.
  • 88 percent of companies evaluated their employees’ performance in part based on their participation in community engagement.

We select the Civic 50 winners based on four dimensions of US community engagement:

  • Investment How extensively and strategically does the company apply its resources to community engagement in the US, including employee time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and leadership?
  • Integration How well does a company’s US community engagement program support business interests and integrates into business functions (or how it “do well by doing good”)?
  • Institutionalization How well does the company support community engagement in the US through its institutional policies, systems, and incentives?
  • Impact How does the company measure the social and business impact of its US community engagement program?

Survey improvements

To ensure that we are collecting the most relevant information, we asked a panel of distinguished academics representing major universities from across the country to advise us on how we could improve the survey content, questions, and evaluation. The result is a stronger—and shorter—survey.

Our panel comprised:

  • Professor Bea Boccalandro, Georgetown University Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership
  • Dr. Edward Freeman, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  • Dr. Ira Harkavy, The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Pamela Harper, Marist College School of Business
  • Professor Peter Levine, Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University
  • Dr. Kelvyn Moore, Bentley University
  • Dr. Nicholas Pearce, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
  • Dr. John Peloza, Gatton College of Business and Economics at University of Kentucky
  • Dean Alan Solomont, Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University

About the survey

The 2014 survey contains quantitative and multiple-choice questions that inform The Civic 50 scoring process, and summary narrative questions to capture potential case study material.To calculate a corporation’s score, points are accrued in the following dimensions: Investment (1,000 points), Integration (1,000 points), Institutionalization (1,000 points) and Impact (1,000 points).

Companies with revenue of $1 billion and over are invited to participate in the survey, which will be available through August 15, 2014. Results will be announced late fall 2014.

For more Information and to take the survey, visit For program or content questions, please contact

About the author:

Jackie Norris

Jackie Norris
Executive Director, The Corporate Institute
Points of Light

Jackie is the Executive Director of the Points of Light Corporate Institute and leads the corporate strategy and employee engagement programs. Prior to that, Jackie served as the Senior Advisor to the CEO at the Corporation for National and Community Service and as Assistant to President Obama and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. Jackie helped to develop a strategic plan to address the issues the First Lady is involved with including healthy eating, national service, military family and women in the workplace. Jackie has served as a trusted advisor to various political candidates and most recently led Iowa to an Obama victory in the 2008 presidential campaign as the Iowa State Director. Stay connected with us, follow @TheCivic50.

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