Giving Thoughts

Jul
14
2016

A Corporate Giving Challenge: Check Your Assumptions, Change Your Approach, Increase Your Odds of Success

By Aggie Sweeney, Chair, Giving USA Foundation

The June 14 release of Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2015, brought encouraging news: at an estimated $373.25 billion, charitable donations hit a record for the second year in a row. That amounts to more than $1 billion a day contributed to charitable causes by America’s individuals, corporations and foundations. The impact corporate giving had on that total is explored in this guest post. Readers might be surprised to learn some long-held assumptions aren’t backed up by the report’s data.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul
07
2016

Senior Leadership Engages with Employees on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability

By Thomas Singer, Principal Researcher, The Conference Board

Last month, The Conference Board released The Seven Pillars of Sustainability Leadership, a key business issue report that looks at how business leaders prepare and steer their organizations for leadership in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. One way is by connecting senior leaders with employees on these issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
29
2016

Brexit: A Cautionary Tale for Nonprofit Boards

By Alice Korngold, Co-Editor, Giving Thoughts Blog, and Author, A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit By Solving Global Problems… Where Governments Cannot

Three-quarters of the UK’s FTSE 250 companies had not discussed contingency planning for a possible Brexit with the chairman of the board or the chairman of the audit committee. The failure of corporate boards and management to engage on a matter of such significance presents a cautionary tale for nonprofit boards on at least three levels: risk management; board process and agendas; and board composition. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
23
2016

The Board’s Responsibility to Determine its Role

By Alice Korngold, Co-Editor, Giving Thoughts Blog, and Author, A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit By Solving Global Problems… Where Governments Cannot

This is the first in a series of posts about building highly effective nonprofit boards.

It is essential that each nonprofit board clearly determines what it seeks to achieve in advancing the organization and its role as a board in maximizing the organization’s success. Nonprofit board members want to be useful in helping the organizations they serve. Often, however, it’s unclear precisely what role they should perform in order to add value. As a result, board members tend to default to management activities because that’s familiar. Yet, having board members in management roles is counter-productive for nonprofits that employ a management staff. Each nonprofit board must conduct a process to determine its precise role in taking the organization forward.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
14
2016

Advancing the Well-Being of Apparel Workers

By Michael Kobori, VP of Sustainability, Levi Strauss & Co.

At Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.), the safety and well-being of apparel workers has always been a critical part of our business. More than 20 years ago, LS&Co. established itself as the industry standard bearer for responsible supply chain practices with the introduction of its Terms of Engagement—a comprehensive workplace code of conduct for our manufacturing suppliers that outlines requirements by which all of the factories we work with must abide. But we knew we had to go beyond compliance to invest in programs that focused on improving the lives of the workers who make our products—both inside and beyond the factory walls. We knew we could, and should, do more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
09
2016

Collaborate or Compete? When it Comes to Corporate Responsibility, How about Both

By Tim Mohin, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Advanced Micro Devices

We would all like to think that companies collaborate on social responsibility—after all, combining the resources of corporations can increase the impact they can have on social issues. And for the most part, they do. But, let’s not sugarcoat this, companies use their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts as a source of competitive advantage. And, as CSR rises in importance, the competition over being responsible is heating up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
06
2016

Leading Corporations Gained Competitive Advantage through Societal Engagement Programs

By Alex Parkinson, Senior Researcher and Associate Director, Corporate Leadership, The Conference Board

In the most complete annual analysis of corporate societal engagement, CECP, in association with The Conference Board, found in their annual Giving in Numbers survey that companies continue to recognize the connection between corporate social responsibility and building a strong business.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun
02
2016

“Big Issues, Many Questions” by CEP: A Response Focusing on Corporate Foundations

By Alice Korngold, Co-Editor, Giving Thoughts, and author of A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems…Where Governments Cannot and Alex Parkinson, Senior Researcher and Associate Director, Corporate Leadership, The Conference Board

In his essay on pressing issues facing U.S. foundation leaders and boards, Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, recommends that foundations become more relevant in serving society. Corporate foundations are in a strong position to meet this demand, since they are influenced by market forces.

Read the rest of this entry »

May
31
2016

Corporate Support for the Social Enterprise Ecosystem in Asia

By Dr Rob John, Visiting Senior Fellow, National University of Singapore Business School, and Advisory Board Member, The Conference Board Initiative on Corporate Philanthropy

In my forthcoming working paper on the changing face of corporate philanthropy in Asia I’m exploring how giving by businesses is influenced by new models of philanthropy and the rise of social entrepreneurship. In previous posts, I’ve given examples of how corporate venture capital funds are investing in early stage enterprises that generate social value profitably; how skills-based volunteering is helping to strengthen the strategy and operations of nonprofits; and the potential for giving circles to engage employees with charities in their community. In this final post, I’ll illustrate how two Asian listed companies have fully embraced the growth of social enterprise through a range of innovative activities that support individual enterprises and their ecosystem.

Read the rest of this entry »

May
24
2016

Giving and Receiving: Where Philanthropy and Corporate Value Intersect

By Cecily Joseph, VP, Corporate Responsibility & Chief Diversity Officer, Symantec Corporation

Symantec’s vision is to make the world a safer place, and to accomplish this we need a team with the diversity of expertise and experience to protect against threats, both known and unknown. I believe that diversity helps us understand our customers better, enables us to respond to trends more quickly, and stimulates innovation. This is why we’ve made investing in diversity—both internally and more broadly in society through our philanthropic partnerships—a priority at Symantec, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it directly translates to a higher performing industry, company and bottom line.

Read the rest of this entry »

Subscribe to Giving Thoughts

Giving Thoughts Series

The Giving Thoughts Series is an online publication in which corporate philanthropy experts delve into the most pressing issues affecting our members.

Download the latest issues here:
Using Corporate Philanthropy to Build Long-Term Perspectives

Making Sense of Social Impact Bonds for Companies

Nielsen and the World Food Programme: Revolutionizing Data Collection

Or visit our Giving Thoughts Series Archive to download all of our previous issues.