Common Impact Blog

The CSR Scoop - 9/18/2015

By Danielle Holly | Sep 18, 2015

Common Impact is buzzing this Friday in advance of our 15th Anniversary celebration next week and that launch of Pro Bono Perspectives, a new resource to support companies and nonprofits in working together to solve complex community challenges.  Stay tuned for the pro bono party!

In the meantime, check out what’s newsworthy this week: from Deloitte’s deep dive into Purpose Driven Talent, to new measurements of employee engagement, to an important perspective on the role of companies in addressing social challenges.  This week’s Scoop gives you the lowdown you need as you head into the weekend.  

Purpose Driven Talent


This week, Deloitte University Press released Purpose Driven Talent, making the case for connecting talent and leadership development to social impact initiatives.  At the center of the authors’ research is the work that companies such as Fidelity Investments, GSK and Danone are doing to inspire and develop their people through skills-based volunteer efforts.  The authors share the approach these companies have taken as true pioneers in what is now the popular concept of shared value.  The piece walks through the benefits of these strategic skills-based volunteering programs (recruiting, retention and skill development) to the tricks of the trade in bringing them to life and helping them scale.  

Here’s a sneak peek at the multiple perspectives you’ll find:  

Dave Conley, director of risk management at Fidelity, recalls, “One day, my boss came up to me and said, ‘We have this new initiative with Common Impact. They set up projects with local nonprofits and you are doing this project.’ It was not an ‘ask;’ they knew I would say yes. They said, ‘It will be great for your personal development, great for the firm,’ and they were right.”

Ahsiya Posner Mencin of GlaxoSmithKlein reflects these same results from the corporate perspective. After the volunteering stint with GSK’s Pulse program, each participant writes a case study. “It’s a helpful exercise for employees to eloquently communicate what they did, their impact, and their learning. It also provides them with a platform for public talks at the team and company level.”

It’s a long one, but worth the read -- especially for the intrapreneurs and corporate changemakers out there!

Infographic: Agile and Actionable Engagement Metrics


And, while we’re on the topic of purpose-driven employees (when are we not?!), we’re loving this infographic from Human Capital Institute that shares where companies are right now with measuring employee engagement and where they’re going.  Over the next three years, we should expect to see an uptick in three key engagement metrics:

  • “Stay” interviews instead of exit interviews
  • Social network analysis
  • Net Promoter Score

We see that the way that companies think about and measure employee engagement is changing with a workforce that’s more digitally connected, harder to retain, and dedicated to working for an institution that they can be proud of in their community.  What metrics have you seen used at your organization or company that effectively measure the changing workforce?  

Corporate Efforts to Address Social Problems Have Limits


An important perspective from Eduardo Porter in the NYTimes last week, posing the argument that a shift in the corporate consciousness and rising popularity of shared value is not enough to address our global social challenges.  While he submits that there has been stronger understanding and concern from high level corporate executives regarding income inequality, and several strong examples of shared value initiatives transforming communities, he points to several factors that should temper our optimism that socially conscious business is the be all end all solution that we need to alleviate society’s ills.

  • There isn’t always harmony between corporate and community objectives: “For starters, social and corporate objectives are obviously not always aligned. If so many so-called win-win opportunities for companies exist, why haven’t more been taken?”
  • The critical role of the public sector:  “Addressing America’s lack of shared prosperity may also require higher taxes, more stringent regulations and other changes that lavishly paid corporate leaders with Harvard M.B.A.s would be unlikely to welcome.”
  • The need for systematic cultural change in companies, not just enlightened self interest: “Social change will not happen without profound changes in corporate culture and practice.”

Porter’s perspective underlines the many complexities, motivations and seeming contradictions have arisen in the new socially conscious mindset of business.  Some companies are getting it right, some are figuring it out, and some have opted out.  What is clear is that business alone cannot fight the pervasive social issues that keep our communities from thriving.  A strong public and nonprofit sector is also needed to ensure that the policies and services that build our social fabric are working in concert with each other, not in opposition.  What’s your take on a business’ role in society?  What examples have you seen of business, nonprofit and government working together in lockstep?

Upcoming Event


BSC Event: Future of The Sharing Economy – Opportunities & Challenges of Collaborative Consumption

When:  Tuesday, September 22nd from 7-9PM

The Sharing Economy minimizes waste and environmental impact, saves costs, cuts down barriers to entry, and increases productivity in a mutual give-and-receive exchange.  Join a panel of Sharing Economy thought leaders and delve into the opportunities and challenges that come with collective collaboration. They’ll highlight the distinction between the Access Economy - where consumers are primarily interested in low costs and convenience - and an authentic Sharing Economy, rooted in trust and the strengthening of communities, and explore when, how, and if The Sharing Economy can be a source of empowerment.


  • Melissa O’Young, Head of NY Community, Airbnb
  • Odile Beniflah, International & Partnerships, Meetup
  • Lee-Sean Huang, Co-Founder / Creative Director, Foossa
  • Eric Ho, Founder, miLES
  • Delphine Braas, Cofounder, Marketing & Business Development, Sailo
  • Marcos Salazar (moderator), Co-Founder & Executive Director, Be Social Change