By: Michele Egan Sterne, Vice President, For Momentum
If you are like me you enjoy the glitz, glamour and excitement of the Golden Globes, Grammy’s and Oscar’s. Who will win the coveted awards? Even more importantly, what will they be wearing on the red carpet?
So, what follows Oscar night? For companies keeping an eye on corporate social responsibility trends, the next big award date is March 1. That’s the deadline to participate in The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. The 50 most community-minded companies in the nation are determined by this impactful annual survey. Each year, companies and CSR practitioners eagerly await the results with great excitement.
Sure, there are lots of lists and rankings out there, and you might be asking yourself why should you take the time to participate in The Civic 50 survey? This is not just about receiving recognition, it’s a proven tool that offers guidance to corporate managers who invest in community engagement, and even more importantly, to the customers who wish to support them. It is a chance to externally validate your company’s CSR efforts and to see how you measure up against leading socially responsible companies in all industries. And, of course it’s an opportunity to celebrate this honor with fellow CSR leaders at the annual Conference on Volunteering and Service.
By benchmarking and observing best practices The Civic 50 provides a framework for good corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills and other resources to improve the quality of life in their communities. Companies earn high marks when they integrate community engagement with the business of the firm, institutionalize it with policies and incentives, and carefully evaluate impact.
All eligible companies that submit a completed application by March 1, 2017 will receive a free individual scorecard, which lists a company’s score and ranking in each of the four evaluated dimensions and for The Civic 50 overall. Honoring the best of the best companies, with revenue of $1 billion or more, selections are based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program:
- Investment: How extensively and strategically the company applies its resources to community engagement in the U.S., including employee time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and public leadership.
- Integration: How a company’s U.S. community engagement program supports business interests and integrates into business functions, or how it “does well by doing good.”
- Institutionalization: How the company supports community engagement in the U.S. through its organizational policies, systems and incentives.
- Impact: How the company measures the social and business outputs and outcomes of its U.S. community engagement program.
Building and sustaining vibrant communities is not just the responsibility of The Civic 50. Companies of all shapes and sizes are tackling social challenges with greater commitment than ever before. They all deserve an award for recognizing and demonstrating how doing good is good for business.
I believe an important factor that will lead to even more companies adopting CSR programs is the continued sharing of best practices and opportunities to learn from our peers. Contact me to discuss how For Momentum can help your CSR program – and, who knows, it may be your turn to walk down the red carpet! I’ll be watching what you are wearing…
P.S. The 2017 Civic 50 applications close soon – on Wednesday, March 1st. Visit The Civic 50 website for more information.