Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, has released a new report, “Inspiring and Leading in Times of Change: Insights and Best Practices from The 2017 Civic 50.” The Civic 50 provides a national standard for superior corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills and other resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business. The report presents the benchmarking information, insights and best practices of The 2017 Civic 50 and illustrates the best examples of how the corporate community can lead and inspire during times of rapid and complex change.
“The 2017 Civic 50 represents the very best of business in America. Honorees are daring to get connected through service and reaffirming those classic values of citizenship in the belief that they can be an example for the future,” said Jennifer Lawson, president of networks at Points of Light. “They are leaning into models of investment for social impact that leverage capital investment with strategic and skilled volunteer service, using their products and knowledge to make significant progress to address social challenges. We hope that the insights and best practices in this report provide guidance to help inform other business managers and corporate citizenship leaders who want their organizations to turn good intentions into sound business practices.”
The Civic 50 honorees are public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more, and are selected based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program – investment, integration, institutionalization and impact.
Key Statistics and Highlights from The Civic 50 Report
Being a community-minded company is about better engagement, not more. Companies are adopting strategic practices to accelerate impact in communities. Skills-based volunteering, multi-faceted investment and matching gifts are on the rise, and companies are taking on leadership roles to advance social issues.
The most community-minded companies in the country realize they can make a bigger impact in communities and harness the talents of their employees by contributing time and talent to critical causes. The average percentage of skilled volunteer time at Civic 50 companies increased from 20 percent in 2014 to 26 percent in 2017.
The average percentage of grants from The Civic 50 companies providing additional support through volunteers, in-kind goods or multi-year pledges increased from 38 percent in 2016 to 43 percent in 2017.
Total giving for employee matches and Dollars for Doers grants increased, up from $135 million in 2016 to $146 million in 2017. This demonstrates how companies can support and empower employee giving and volunteering, and it sends a message to employees that the causes they care about are important to the organization.
Companies continue to use their voice to take leadership positions on social issues by promoting public awareness or behavior change. Companies are stepping into new and uncharted roles as leaders and advocates in social action, policy and community-building. In 2017, 62 percent of Civic 50 companies took a leadership position on four or more national public education and/or policy advocacy efforts.
Companies are taking to heart the adage of “doing well by doing good” and putting it at the center of business. Civic 50 honorees use community engagement to drive key business functions, including employee engagement (88 percent), diversity and inclusion (84 percent), marketing and PR (84 percent), and skill development (72 percent).
Civic 50 companies are building community values into their business and empowering changemakers to be a powerful force for change.
100 percent of Civic 50 companies seek input from community leaders on local needs and their community engagement programs, and 74 percent have formal efforts that actively solicit community feedback through surveys, focus groups or community meetings.
62 percent of Civic 50 companies include community engagement as a formal component of employees’ performance reviews, emphasizing its importance to organizational culture. This is up from 50 percent in 2016.
64 percent of Civic 50 companies offer employees volunteer time off to support their service to the community.
78 percent of Civic 50 companies list community engagement on department or business unit scorecards, creating incentive and accountability structures around community goals.
At nearly 70 percent of Civic 50 companies, executive leaders support community engagement by participating in community activities at least once a month.
At nearly 80 percent of Civic 50 companies, executive leaders encourage employees to participate in community activities at least once a month.
Civic 50 companies are demonstrating their impact by measuring what matters — social and business outcomes. While storytelling and volunteer recognition are important, Civic 50 companies are also using robust measurement practices to evaluate and demonstrate how they are making an impact.
76 percent of Civic 50 companies measure the social outcomes of their volunteer programs, going beyond measuring outputs, and 76 percent measure the outcomes of their social advocacy work.
Recognizing that doing good also helps the business bottom-line, 68 percent of Civic 50 companies measure the outcomes of their community engagement programs on marketing/PR, 66 percent measure business outcomes related to employee engagement, and 64 percent measure outcomes related to diversity inclusion.
The Civic 50 survey is administered by True Impact, a company specializing in helping organizations maximize and measure their social and business value. The survey instrument consists of quantitative and multiple-choice questions that inform The Civic 50 scoring process. The Civic 50 is the only survey and ranking system that exclusively measures corporate involvement in communities. Points of Light partners with VeraWorks to analyze the data and to produce The Civic 50 report.
“Inspiring and Leading in Times of Change: Insights and Best Practices from The 2017 Civic 50” has full analysis of The 2017 Civic 50 data, best practices and case studies for each of the ten sector leaders. For more information about The Civic 50, to download the report or to learn about learning webinars taking place through October, please visit www.civic50.org.
About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.
About True Impact
True Impact provides web-based tools and consulting support to help organizations measure the social, financial, and environmental return on investment (ROI) of their programs and operations. For more information, visit www.trueimpact.com.
VeraWorks is a global consulting firm that helps managers and companies offer employees the opportunity to do societal good through their everyday jobs. For more information, visit www.veraworks.com.
Vice President, Marketing & Communications