Similar to the Daft Punk song, GlaxoSmithKline’s mission is “to do more, feel better, and live longer”. Through its skill-based international volunteering program, PULSE, the company contributes to that mission via changing communities, employees, and the overall company.
When announcing the program back in 2009, CEO Andrew Witty remarked, “There will be a real opportunity … for those people who really feel they want to give something back to society to do that. It is a great chance for our company and the individual to add tremendous value which otherwise cannot be bought.” He elaborates on PULSE and its benefits here.
I had the opportunity to learn more about the program from GSK Investigator and PULSE volunteer, Nick Falco. For six months, he worked alone at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Abuja, Nigeria. Check out our conversation below, and Falco’s cool Tumblr cataloguing the experience here.
As you may know, this week—April 21-27—is Volunteer Week, which is a great reason to engage your employees for good. For example, I’m coordinating a team volunteer outing to help one of our nonprofit customers.
Having a corporate volunteering program is a boon to recruiting top Millennial talent. My generation looks fondly upon employers that support employees’ connection to cause. Show appreciation for your passionate employee volunteers (and increase brand loyalty!) with charity rewards. Not only will you incent positive behavior, but volunteers will feel good about paying it forward.
We are completely heartbroken over the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon this Monday. Like you, our thoughts are with the victims and families.
If you're looking for ways to help, we’ve created the following action list:
• Support Boston Marathon runners and their charities. You can learn more about the John Hancock nonprofit program and donate to runners’ fundraisers here.
• Make an appointment to donate blood. While the Red Cross is not currently soliciting funds or blood for the Boston area, the organization asks anyone interested in donating blood to make an appointment to give in the coming months. You can learn more here.
• Follow #BostonHelp on Twitter to learn about additional ways to volunteer.
Additional information on the giving response:
• Massachusetts and Boston officials have announced the formation of The One Fund Boston to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events. The fund is currently awaiting 501c3 status and Network for Good will be able to process donations once their status is confirmed. Boston Marathon sponsor John Hancock has pledged $1M to the fund. You can learn more at One Fund Boston.
• The Association of Grant Makers in Boston will meet via webinar on Thursday to discuss a larger philanthropic response. More information about the event is available here.
Image via CNN : Students from the Clifden Academy hold an American flag and candles during a vigil on April 16 in Dorcester, Massachusetts, in honor of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the bombings.
New York Life cares about social good. Unsurprisingly, this means their CSR work has been “intricately entwined” within their business, culture, and brand. How does the insurance company bring this all together? I turned to Liz McCarthy, senior VP of corporate communications, for the inside scoop.
All text below is Ms. McCarthy’s.
Business is a core social good. The work of the New York Life Foundation, our company’s philanthropic arm, is a natural extension of [social good]. In keeping with its long-term focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people – particularly those at risk – in the areas of educational enhancement opportunities and childhood bereavement. The latter has been a very important focus for us over the past several years, because it is such a natural outgrowth of our business, and there’s a tremendous need: No one else is really focusing here, and the long-term impact of losing a parent or other loved one during childhood can be devastating.
By Kate Olsen
Are there still people in your company who don’t understand the value of employee involvement programs?
Employee engagement is multi-dimensional and in addition to competitive benefits, mentorship, state of the art facilities etc., cause programs are hallmarks of the best workplaces. Here are the data points you need to make the business case for creating a holistic employee engagement strategy that includes community impact.
While we’ve featured IBM many times, we’re in employee engagement mode (our new eGuide is proof of that), and thought their international Corporate Service Corps (CSC) program was worth mentioning again.
How CSC works: IBM sends 10-15 employees—ranging in skillsets and national origin—to a developing market for four-week assignments that are pre-scoped by NGO partners such as CDC Development Solutions. At the intersection of business, technology, and society, IBMers work with and within communities to solve economic development problems.
We had a chance to chat with Tom Vines, VP of Business and Technical Leadership, who is behind much of the CSC design and implementation. Here are 3 takeaways from our conversation:
By Kate Olsen
A portfolio approach is a key differentiator between an employee social impact program that just checks the box and a truly dynamic program that speaks to the interests, skills and capacity of a diverse workforce. Here are five opportunities you can add to your company’s portfolio to engage a wider swath of employees in your cause initiatives.
1) Employee Giving Program
2) Organized Volunteer Days
By Kate Olsen
We at Network for Good would like to take a moment during this busy time of year to salute the incredible impact our partners generated this year. Our partners made a difference for thousands of nonprofits, not to mention all those in need who benefit from those nonprofits’ programs. We salute their efforts to give back with the We Did Good Awards for cause marketing, disaster relief giving, employee engagement, rewards & loyalty, social good platform and volunteering. You can see all the award winners here.
We would also like to share a few highlights from 2012 to illustrate our partners’ commitment to doing good in partnership with Network for Good:
Warner Bros. & DC Entertainment launched the We Can Be Heroes campaign to support famine relief in the Horn of Africa with donations equally benefiting the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children. Donations have reached $1 million, which DC Entertainment matched 100%.
The second annual Generosity Day took place on February 14. The inaugural Generosity Day, on Valentine’s Day 2011, was hosted by Sasha Dichter, CIO of the Acumen Fund, Scott Case, former CEO of Malaria No More and current CEO of StartUp America Partnership, Ellen McGirt of Fast Company, and Katya Andresen, COO & CSO at Network for Good. This year, the campaign was hosted on Causes.com, where participants could make a pledge to say ‘yes’ to being generous for 24 hours, recruit their friends and family to participate and share their acts of kindness.
Yahoo! News launched ‘Remake America,' an original video series chronicling the lives of six American families as they struggle to achieve ‘The American Dream’. ‘Remake America’ teamed up with U.S. charities to aid the six families that appear on the series and others like them. Through these charities, viewers had an opportunity to find resources and expert advice, as well as support other families in similar situations across the U.S. through embedded donation links in the content.
More than 22,000 runners participated in the Boston Marathon, sponsored by John Hancock. Each year, John Hancock provides local non-profit organizations with guaranteed entries into the race and the tools and support to help their runners raise money to for their missions. More than 1,000 runners set up fundraisers on CrowdRise, the official fundraising partner, raising millions for charity.
Network for Good launched a new version of our donation processing web service featuring PayPal payments, making it simple for Network for Good's partners to add PayPal to their sites, products and mobile applications and collect donations.
Kevin Bacon, actor, musician and founder of SixDegrees.org (in partnership with Network for Good) headlined at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Chicago. Kevin shared the story of how he came to found SixDegrees.org and challenged us all to become a celebrity for a cause close to our hearts.
Network for Good initiated our inaugural monthly Companies for Good Twitter chat (#C4Gchat) with a theme of patriotic cause marketing. The chat featured AT&T’s Helping Heroes Home campaign (part of on the company’s Connect for Good platform on Causes.com) to support Cell Phones for Soldiers – a nonprofit organization that provides American troops serving overseas cost free methods to stay connected with their families back home. Additionally, the chat highlighted the Got Your 6 partnership to advance the successful reintegration of the more than 1 million veterans returning back into civilian life over the next five years.
Network for Good launched the new ‘How to Help’ microsite, a secure, branded campaign tool for collecting donations for charities speeding relief to disaster victims. In the wake of natural disasters, Network for Good powers giving for companies such as Adobe, AOL, Emtec, LinkedIn, Time Warner, and Zuora.
YourCause, innovator of CSRConnect - an all-inclusive online employee engagement platform for volunteering and giving, hosted its annual CSRWorks client summit with the theme "Innovation through Collaboration". Participants gained insights on the latest trends in employee engagement and learned about best practices from peers.
Capital One associates participated in “One Week,” a dedicated week of community service to improve lives and strengthen communities. One Week activities focused on the areas of education, financial literacy, affordable housing and economic development – the four pillars of Capital One’s Investing for Good community relations platform – with events across the country. Capital One also hosts the No Hassle Giving Site where cardholders can donate cash or rewards to over 1 million charities. Capital One generously covers all transaction fees so 100% of donations reach the recipient charities.
LinkedIn launched a Superstorm Sandy relief campaign to benefit nonprofit partner Covenant House. LinkedIn leadership matched the first $100,000 in donations to double the impact for homeless youth in Atlantic City who were displaced by the hurricane and subsequent flooding.
Inspired by the threat facing the polar bear and its habitat, Coca-Cola and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have joined forces to help protect the polar bear's home. As part of the Arctic Home effort, currently underway, Coca-Cola committed $2 million over 5 years and has agreed to match up to $1 million of consumer donations made during the Winter 2012-2013 campaign.
We thank our partners and all our Companies for Good friends for your pledge to give back with customers and employees. We look forward to even more impact in 2013.
By Kate Olsen
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending The US Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) 2012 Corporate Citizenship Awar..., known as “The Citizens”. The nominees were narrowed down to 4 or 5 companies for each of 4 categories (winners in bold below). What struck me about the pool of nominees and their programs, was that most companies were being recognized for programs that align with their core business capabilities. It’s heartening to see the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) evolving to a point were corporate savvy and philanthropic dollars go hand in hand to address social issues while building business. CSR is coming for age!
Take GM for example. The company spent the past 5 years turbocharging its recycling program through the GM ‘Saving Green by Thinking Green’ program and learned just how much sustainable practices can reduce waste, enhance productivity and efficiency, and improve quality. In 2011, GM recycled or reused more than 2.6 million metric tons of waste materials in plants worldwide, avoiding 10 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. That’s smart business.
Or Google. Google’s ‘Get Your Business Online’ program helps small businesses get a free website, domain and Web hosting, as well as the expertise businesses need to build a good Web presence. Google is ensuring that small businesses don’t get left behind with advancing technology and helping grow its search, advertising and other business lines. That’s ‘good’ business.
Or Capital One. Capital One’s ‘Investing for Good’ program targets community investments in four areas: affordable housing, education, small business and workforce development, and financial literacy. While the market for community development loans decrease 45% during the recession, Capital One’s increased 270%, proving that responsible lending, paired with guidance and oversight can create opportunity even in tough economic times. Through the initiative, Capital One not only helps communities in need, but also builds its own loan portfolio and customer base. That’s responsible business.
These are but a few snapshots of innovative and generous projects making a difference for communities and businesses alike. If you want to read more about the 2012 Citizens nominees and winners, check out the BCLC website.
Best Corporate Steward
- Capital One Financial Corporation*
- IBM Corporation
- UnitedHealth Group
Best Business Neighbor
- The Dow Chemical Company
- General Motors Company
- Google Inc.*
- National Football League
Best International Ambassador
- Alcoa Foundation
- Qualcomm Inc.
Best Partnership (People’s Choice Award)
- Caterpillar and First Response Team of America
- Hilton Worldwide and Global Soap Project
- Intel Corporation and World Vision
- General Mills, Merck & Co., Inc. and CARE
- WellPoint and Boys and Girls Club of America
*Network for Good Partner
Photo Credit: Capital One Financial Corporation
The National Conference on Volunteering and Service never fails to excite and inspire and the 2012 edition is no exception. From moving first-hand accounts of what volunteering means on the frontlines of service, to empowering keynotes by heavies like Kevin Bacon (SixDegrees.org), Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Second Lady Jill Biden and J.R. Martinez to new models of impact from social entrepreneurs like Lauren Bush Lauren (FEED Projects), the convention hall is abuzz with ideas and conversation. But I think former First Lady Barbara Bush stole the show – or at least the Opening Plenary – with her wit and sincere remarks about the power of civic action and her husband’s indelible impact on service in America.
The theme this year is ‘Turning Point’ and the agenda really highlights a redefinition of citizenship not constrained by traditional definitions of service, but empowered by new models and accelerated pathways to change. Discussions of skills-based and pro bono volunteering abound, as do conversations about digital engagement and the power of technology.
What has impressed me most this year, is a new focus on cross-sector knowledge transfer. I’ve never seen so many sessions that feature corporate and nonprofit partners sharing joint learnings from long-term initiatives – partnerships such as Chase and World Vision, which teamed up to enable disaster relief or Capital One, Points of Light Institute, Common Impact and Taproot Foundation, which teamed up to deliver a new pro bono volunteering resource (http://readinessroadmap.org/) to the sector. Additionally, there are several sessions that feature corporate practitioners sharing trade secrets to their nonprofit counterparts. A session titled “What Nonprofits can Learn from Corporate Social Media Managers” with representatives from Edelman, Dell, McDonald’s and the City of Chicago was particularly effective in illuminating social media best practices, but also in reassuring nonprofits that companies struggle with the same things.
In my opinion, social challenges are best solved when collaboration brings the right resources together in the right way at the right time irrespective of in which sector (nonprofit, private, government) those resources may originate. I’m encouraged to see the lines between sectors blurring and a true common purpose emerging – at least here where everyone has ‘drunk the Kool-Aid’ and understands how such an approach can make a difference.
My favorite take-away from the event comes from Mark Hoplamazian, CEO & President of Hyatt, who spoke at the Business Track Opening. According to Mark, successful corporate responsibility strategies succeed when you have an authentic application paired with a clarity of purpose. By ‘authentic application’, Mark means that you’ve enlisted the hearts and souls of your audience and they have made a genuine commitment to the cause of their own accord. By ‘clarity of purpose’, Mark means that you have defined an objective that everyone can relate to and embody. For example, in the 1960s, if you asked anyone at NASA what his job was, he would reply that he was working to put a man on the moon - it didn’t matter if he was a machinist on the line or an astrophysicist. For Hyatt, the clarity of purpose is to ‘provide authentic hospitality by making a difference in the lives we touch every day’.
What’s your company’s clarity of purpose? And how do you apply it authentically?