For Momentum’s Take 5 blog series continues with Christine Riley Miller, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Foundation at Dunkin’ Brands. We ask Christine five questions that will help you learn more about Dunkin’s Joy in Childhood Foundation’s mission to help sick and hungry kids, and Christine.
Christine Riley Miller has been in her current role at Dunkin’ Brands for 7 years. Prior to that, she served as Director of Corporate Responsibility and Cause Branding at Cone for 5 years. Christine also served as Program Manager, CSR Initiative at Harvard University, KSG Center for Business and Government, Director of Development at Walden Woods Project and as Director of Corporate Relations, Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc. Let’s Take 5 with Christine!
Look into your crystal ball…what’s the next big thing in corporate philanthropy trends? Digital and social. The challenge for companies will be how to move away from traditional programs at retail and innovate using digital assets and social media to drive engagement, support and action. Customers are increasingly engaging with companies in the digital and social space, and cause strategies will need to continue to evolve to take advantage of this new frontier for fundraising.
What’s the most amazing thing people should know about you or your job? Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees who live and work in thousands of communities across the United States. This allows us to have a hyper local impact through the Joy in Childhood Foundation grant making program. We only accept nominations for grant recipients from our franchisees and corporate employees. In many cases, the person submitting the request for a grant has a personal relationship with the nonprofit organization – and that makes the impact even more meaningful!
What do you wish people knew about Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation? I wish there was more awareness for the Joy in Childhood Foundation. Our Foundation recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and has provided more than $14 million in grants to local charities that provide joy to sick and hungry kids. The Foundation has been successful because of the deep commitment and support from our franchisees and their employees, our guests, and Dunkin’ Brands corporate employees across the United States.
What person has had the most influence on your cause career? Without question, Carol Cone, CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE. Not only is she the mother of cause marketing but she taught me the value of thinking outside the box, asking the hard questions and taking chances on ideas that might seem a little crazy at first. Cause, especially these days, has to be about innovation because the world is evolving very quickly and the old ways of doing cause marketing will feel tired and become ineffective very quickly.
What are the biggest challenges facing corporate foundations today, specifically in the QSR industry which relies heavily on the franchise model? The challenge, when you have multiple stakeholders, is always how to rally around a focused cause to ensure meaningful impact. There are so many critical issues that we could support and we neither have the resources nor bandwidth to address all of them. We continuously strive to remain focused yet flexible to ensure engagement and impact.
Five Fun Facts About Christine:
- Favorite App: IMDb
- Last Book Read: The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
- Hobby: Running
- Favorite Place to Unwind: The beach
- Guilty Pleasure: Dark chocolate