December Corporate Citizenship Highlights

The holiday season is a great time for corporate citizenship, as companies and consumers come together to give back to the communities in which they live, work, and do business. During December, CSR practitioners have been called upon to organize countless corporate giving and volunteer initiatives, with impressive results. Just a few weeks ago, companies rallied to gain support for #GivingTuesday, and saw a whopping 36 percent increase in donations. Some companies, like Center member Microsoft, stepped up their game by matching donations benefiting Microsoft Youthspark, a company-wide, global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youths by 2015.

Other companies chose to give back by tackling hunger this holiday season. With rising food prices and stagnant wages, there are more Americans taking advantage of food assistance programs. To help nonprofits like Feeding America—which served a record-breaking 3.2 billion meals last year—and the Food Bank for New York City, corporate citizenship departments pulled together innovative volunteer projects. Member company Bank of America created a project called Food Bank To Go, in which nearly 1,000 employees purchased and packaged food and supplies for those in need.

Tweet: #Volunteer projects and nonprofit #partnerships are a great way to engage employees in corporate citizenship.Volunteer projects and nonprofit partnerships are a great way to engage employees in corporate citizenship. If you’d like to learn more about how you can increase involvement in volunteer projects in 2015, consider joining the Center for our Volunteerism class. In addition, be sure to check out these great Center resources:

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  • Do you want to take your nonprofit partnership a step further? Recently, Christine Hoisington, senior manager of community partnerships at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Erin Dietrich, director of corporate citizenship at Netsuite, shared how they help their partners build and scale essential capacity in addition to supporting their work during an hour-long webinar.
  • Earlier this year, leaders AstraZeneca Canada Inc. and State Street Corporation discussed innovations in volunteering during an hour-long webinar. Speakers provided examples of skills based volunteering and board service training programs.
  • Research has found that volunteer programs can generate favorable employee attitudes that facilitate employee retention, increase behaviors that help a firm function effectively, and benefit a company’s bottom line.
  • A study provides evidence that employee volunteerism can foster emotional attachment to the company and result in greater buy-in to its corporate culture, while enhancing awareness and understanding of business goals and strategies.
  • Researchers found that personal and professional opportunities, not altruism, are the main factors that motivate employees to participate in employee volunteer programs. Emphasizing the chance to learn new career skills, to network, to support an employer, and to get away from the normal workday routine can be more effective ways of encouraging employees to volunteer than emphasizing the satisfaction of helping other people.

* This research brief is being provided freely to nonmembers. Research Briefs are distributed monthly to Center members, and provide summaries of recent or seminal research findings from corporate practice and academic study that offer insights and tools corporate citizenship practitioners can apply to their work.