Corporate Social Investing: The Breakthrough Strategy for Giving & Getting Corporate Contributions
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By following the practical steps described here, businesses and nonprofits can forge creative alliances that can boost corporate profits while at the same time providing added resources for schools, colleges, cultural organizations, civic groups, and other important charities.
Weeden's breakthrough plan, based on his innovative concept of corporate social investing, has the potential to dramatically change the way businesses and nonprofits interact. If widely implemented, it could substantially increase corporate support for nonprofits, turning the tide against cutbacks, offering profound benefits to businesses, and revitalizing the essential services nonprofits provide.
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Corporate Social Investing
Berrett-Koehler publications are available through most bookstores. They can also be ordered directly from Berrett-Koehler: Tel: ; Fax: ; www. Please contact Berrett-Koehler: Tel: ; Fax: Orders by U. Step 7. In , Paul Newman was awarded his second Oscar. These charities include not only the seven international camps the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Association that provide therapeutic camping experiences to children with serious and often life-threatening conditions but also hundreds of other charities in the United States and abroad. In his life and philanthropy, Paul Newman acknowledges the role of luck— the generosity of it in his life and the absence of it in the lives of many others.
He is quick to voice his respect for the hard work, ingenuity, and leadership that typify the American business executive, but he also reflects on the luck of being in the American business environment in which these talents can flourish. It is an environment that in no small measure flows from the extraordinary partnership between business and the more than six hundred thousand organizations that make up the nonprofit sector. A decade and a half ago, my friend A. It started as a kind of a joke, but it ended up giving back in satisfaction much more than we gave. Our surprise over the success of our business has been dwarfed by something else—the discovery of what can happen when a line of food products is mixed with a hefty dose of creative marketing and then sprinkled on an assortment of social needs.
This business has taught me a lot of lessons but none more important than demonstrating how, with a little effort and imagination, commercial enterprise can have a powerful influence on society. I completely understand why most other companies cannot replicate our unusual economic business model. For publicly held corporations and most private enterprises, the profit motive is essential. Besides paying taxes, companies are inclined to set aside little or nothing at all to address issues and problems on the other side of the company property line. Giving money or product to a nonprofit is too often seen as an erosion of shareholder value.
Contributing money has become, to many businesses, equivalent to giving an edge to a competitor that keeps its purse strings tightly knotted. Along comes Corporate Social Investing. This is a book worth reading because it establishes important rules of the road for corporations. The ten-step plan described in the book creates a common denominator for every business, no matter how big or small. The standards seem reasonable and appropriate for any company in any industry segment.
The plan should go down easy, even for the most profit-driven businessperson in the country. This book reminds us that corporate contributions when measured as a percent of profits have been on the decline for a long time.
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The concept of corporate social investing is the tide-turner. If companies buy into the plan and they should , corporate social responsibility rises to a new level. Corporations have at their disposal a management plan that will enrich their own businesses and at the same time do a lot of good for people and places that need their help. In the end, it is also about leadership, social values, and the health and well-being of an extraordinary phenomenon called the nonprofit sector.
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From our great universities, cultural institutions, hospitals, and research centers, to local environmental groups, library committees, and homeless shelters, America and increasingly other countries as well is a nation of innovative and high-quality alternatives. Keeping in mind that the nonprofit sector has played no small part in sustaining one of the most favorable business environments in history, corporate leaders would do well to include its nurturing as an important strategic business objective.
Whether a company sells cars, airplanes, financial services—or salad dressing, it makes good business sense to preserve and enrich the nonprofit sector. Corporate social investing gives corporations an opportunity to take one more step in what is definitely a mutually beneficial direction. He is on the board of several charitable and educational institutions. Finding both money and volunteers for thirteen nonprofit organizations is a high priority for me these days. These are not easy tasks, as anyone who has been asked to solicit donations or recruit people to donate their time will attest.
Corporate Social Investing is a book that may make both of these usually unglamorous duties a little easier and more understandable. The ten-step plan described in the following chapters offers corporations and nonprofit organizations a way to develop strategic relationships that yield a type of bilateral return on investment—that is, an ROI that benefits both the business and the nonprofit. This plan is at the heart of the corporate social investing concept and is an approach that should add value to any corporation or nonprofit that engages in the process.
A quick scan of the book may give a reader the erroneous impression that only businesses need to get a grip on how to apply the principles of corporate social investing. That simply is not the case.
Corporate Social Investing: New Strategies for Giving and Getting Corporate Contributions
Any employee or volunteer in a nonprofit organization that gets—or is looking to get—private sector support needs to understand the notion of corporate social investing for at least two reasons. First, corporate social investing opens up different fund-raising channels. It shakes off some of the constraints that come attached to traditional corporate philanthropy and allows companies and nonprofits to design creative partnerships that can result in mutually advantageous outcomes.
Which nonprofits are likely to be first in line for these additional private-sector resources? In many cases, they will be those organizations that are able to grasp how corporate social investing works. The second way in which corporate social investing could have a major impact on the nonprofit field happens to coincide with a strong personal interest of mine: volunteerism. When a business commits money to an organization, it is often accompanied by a commitment of employee time.
As the number of business-nonprofit financial connections grows larger with corporate social investing, I predict that the opportunities for recruiting volunteers into the nonprofit field will also expand. I am a strong believer in volunteerism. I have seen many organizations in which hours have proven more helpful than dollars. That is why I am disturbed by what is happening to volunteerism in the United States and in other nations as well. And I have good reason. Although there has been a slight uptick in the number of volunteers in the past few years, America actually had five million fewer people donating their time in than seven years earlier!
In other words, in the United States we have a ways to go just to get back to where we were in And if we look at the percentage of the U. What has led to this situation? The changes in the social fabric of the United States and many other developed nations have left their mark on volunteerism.
There are over 10 percent more Americans in the workforce today than there were in , and there are twice as many women employed outside the home now as in In spite of the large number of women now in the workforce, women still represent a majority of volunteers in the United States, according to a Gallup Organization survey. Here are some of the personal benefits from volunteering that respondents mentioned to researchers:. I have seen how these kinds of positive personal outcomes often translate into reduced absenteeism from work, less stress in the office, and an overall improvement in job performance.
A three-year study carried out by The Conference Board backs up my observations with evidence. Researchers tracked employees in four hundred Target stores part of the Dayton Hudson Company who participated in Family Matters, an initiative sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in to engage more people in voluntary community service. The Conference Board released its findings in , including an analysis of how volunteer leaders involved in the project thought volunteerism affected Target stores. Significant percentages of those leaders agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements:.
If the numbers are impressive, what the Target volunteer leaders had to say is even more so. The Conference Board reported these statements as part of its report:. On employee morale. We attract better employees who are happier and more positive toward Target. Their attitudes show in their work.
On improved productivity.
A happy team member at home and at work increases productivity—you get more than percent. On stronger commitment to the company. I think team members take a sense of pride in knowing that their company is out there doing something good for the community; working for Target is more than just a job. Each would go on to become a best-seller. Peter Lynch is often featured or mentioned in books on investing by other authors. They are written in a down-to-earth, approachable manner and offer advice. Experienced stock traders can learn a great deal from these books too, as Lynch often explains his best and worst decisions in detail.
He also emphasizes the roles of common sense and thorough research in investing. You are certain to learn a thing or two about investing and trading in stocks. His books offer a deep dive into the subject matter and complete with nuggets of both life and investing wisdom. In his books, Lynch explains the fundamentals of the stock market, how it works, and why you should pay close attention to news reports. Therefore, he strongly urges the reader to always go for stocks of companies that they believe in and wait for them to go up over a long period of time rather than selling for quick profits.
On the other hand, if you invest the same sum on the lowest day of the year, you can expect an Peter Lynch also encourages the reader to look for the tenbagger stocks. Instead, he urges the reader to hold onto them, despite the trend of taking profits by selling winning stocks. Our list contains books for novices, intermediate, and advanced investors. Keep reading to find out what you can get from each book.
In Learn To Earn , you will learn the basics of getting started in the investing world. Lynch also sheds light on how to assess companies you want to invest in and how to analyze their financials. Get this book. On the pages of Beating The Street , Peter Lynch explains to readers how an amateur investor can perform as well, or even better than, Wall Street pros and large investment firms.
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He also states that the highest growth potentials are to be found in undervalued companies rather than the high flyers.