Common Impact Blog

The CSR Scoop - 7/22/2015

By Lauren Salzman | Jul 22, 2015

Happy hump day!  We know that Wednesdays are particularly tough in the summer, as we look forward to those long, summer weekends.  To bring you into the home stretch, we’re sharing this week’s scoop focused on everything purpose and the challenges of nonprofit growth.  Read on to find a few of our favorites from this week’s CSR chatter.

The Scoop:


We’re loving the always brilliant and witty Bea Boccalandro’s latest blog Job Purposing – Not what you think.  Highlighting Caroline Barlerin’s belief that engaging employees in social causes should “bring life to their work, not work to their lives,” Bea goes on to dispel notions that job purpose is limited to CSR, volunteerism or a distraction from work, among others.

And speaking of purpose, PriceWaterHouseCooper (PWC) has become a global leader in integrating purpose into its business and its workforce.  In Shannon Schuyler’s We Need to Redefine Purpose she outlines how PWC thinks about creating a purposeful workplace.  And, even more compelling, is how she herself holds true to PWC’s purpose of build trust in society and solve important problems by asking herself every day whether her plans and actions reflect those intentions. 

“One thing we can be sure about: purpose can be powerful, palatable, and even tangible if we understand its true meaning on a multitude of levels - individual, collective, systemic - and how to activate it in a unified manner.”

Purpose is about the power of collaboration and uniting individuals from different sectors, background and environments with a shared goal of creating valuable social impact.

Bouncing over to the world of nonprofits, Martin Levine and Ruth McCambridge share “Growth Lessons for Nonprofits from Teach For America” that share the struggles of success in the nonprofit sector.  Do you put your growth dollars in management or front line staff?  How do you engage critics?  How do you create a strong but inclusive culture? All questions that Levine and McCambridge pose to the nonprofit sector, but feel just as relevant for business.

In last week’s Huffington Post article, Brady Josephson provides us with 3 Things You Can Do to Engage Millennials. From the looks of it, these are great tips to engage employees at all stages in their careers!

  1. Have an (easy) online giving and fundraising tool. Optimize your online giving experience to make giving more customized to each individual employee so that they feel more valued and closely connected to the company.


  1. Work through the Millennials that are already involved with you. Word of mouth is a very efficient recruiting tool, not to mention an inexpensive one! Provide employees with the platform to spread the word about their volunteer contributions and donations to motivate others to participate.


  1. Create (simple) campaigns and programs for companies to engage with. Focus on incentives, skill development and competition to boost engagement and help increase volunteer rates. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone.

Our friends at VolunteerMatch are no stranger to the benefits of high employee engagement and they have a plethora of inspirational stores to share.  Their new book, Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World, features chapters from 35 experts in the field of volunteer engagement – now, that’s a lot of knowledge! To give us a sneak peek at the contents, VolunteerMatch released a blog post from Deidre White, CEO and Amanda MacArthur, VP of Global Pro Bono & Engagement at PYXERA GLOBAL.  Along with outlining distinctions between pro bono and hands-on volunteering, White and MacArthur underscore the importance of the two way exchange of resources and an equal level of commitment between the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

Large companies have the resources to create a robust employee engagement program and the statistics to prove the business case, but what about the intrapreneur within a company, large or small, that wants to start a new program? In How To Boost Corporate Philanthropy Without Quitting Your Job, Ryan Scott shares the perspective of the employee, after receiving an email from a young woman about leaving her job because her company doesn’t have a robust volunteering program in place.

“This inquiry is another reminder that employees aren’t just interested in working for companies that give back - they’re walking away from companies that don’t. Across the world, businesses that hope to attract and retain top talent are being forced to respond to this groundswell of interest in corporate philanthropy."

Here are a few suggestions on how to incorporate philanthropic initiatives into your job:

  • Talk to HR. Your HR department will be able to tell you if there is a volunteer program already in place and if so, how you can become more involved. Chances are that you are not the only one interested in this type of program and your inquiry may help the company better communicate volunteering or giving opportunities that are open to employees!


  • Email Your CEO: Corporate social responsibility initiatives stem from the top and it is important to make sure upper management knows that volunteering is an important priority for their employees.


  • Suggest a Roadmap: Create a strategic plan that outlines the vision for your program and show your Manager/CEO that you are taking a proactive approach to something you are passionate about incorporating into your day-to-day work.



Join Common Impact and the Women’s Coding Collective for Beginner HTML & CSS for Nonprofits with Women’s Coding Collaborative Co-Founder Susan Buck. This training will help you demystify web development, while building the skills and confidence to keep your organization's branding looking fresh in websites, emails, and other electronic media.
July 23, Cambridge, MA

Are you are purpose-driven, nonprofit professional looking to connect with like-minded individuals?  Join the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network for the 2015 YNPN National Conference and Leadership Institute that will challenge you to push your career forward, shift your organization toward new thinking, and get re-energized about making change in your community.
August 6-8, Little Rock, AR

In an effort to align business with purpose, it is becoming a necessity for the corporate sector to invest in their surrounding community.  The 2015 Corporate Philanthropy Institute presented by Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) and Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), will explore how companies are going about breathing authenticity and value into corporate engagement efforts.  This year’s event will prepare professionals working in corporate citizenship and philanthropy to meet the challenges presented by this evolving dialogue on authenticity, purpose, values, and their intersection with business goals and interests. 
September 21, San Francisco, CA