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Corporate Philanthropy & Volunteering Blog

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5 Ways to Summerize Corporate Philanthropy

 
tropical vacation packages

It’s not just your imagination: summer is getting in the way of getting things done at work.  To the tune of a 20 percent drop in workplace productivity, according to a Captivate Network study, with projects taking 13 percent longer to complete and workers becoming a whopping 45 percent more distracted.

Holy guacamole! (Preferably served poolside, with extra chips, thank you).  Should we all just surrender to the sunshine and rendezvous back in September?

If only.  But how to corral all those wandering minds and keep them focused on work during the lazy days of summer?  

Sustainable Computer Recycling for Earth Day

 
Mother earth

As evolving technologies keep us hooked to new and updated gadgets, and Americans now own (according to the Environmental Protection Agency) an estimated three billion electronic products, one inconvenient question lurks constantly in the shadows:

What are we supposed to do with all of our old gizmos?

While responsible businesses and consumers want to recycle their outdated technology equipment - and often think they are - the reality of the electronics recycling business is an eco-horror show.  Rife with misperception and abuse, the e-waste industry is notorious for cashing in on the good intentions of those who want to do right by Mother Earth and then delivering nothing but more problems for old mom.

How Free Beer Leads to Sustainable Employee Engagement

 
beerandsustainability

This post was featured in Forbes.com.

A single work week might not seem like the kind of timeframe required to make a huge impact.  But that’s all it took for Integrate PR to run an electronics recycling drive that responsibly recycled 2,617 pounds of electronic waste. So how did a tiny Houston-based PR firm manage to recycle over a ton of electronics responsibly using only 40 man-hours? 

First and foremost, Integrate’s success highlights the importance of employee engagement. A new employee was amazed that Integrate didn’t recycle and quickly took matters into her own hands, raising a hue and a cry, inspiring Integrate PR to exercise greater responsibility when it comes to curtailing waste. When the time came to give back to the community, it was a no brainer. Electronics recycling “seemed like a great service to offer the companies in the building, but also the surrounding community,” said Allie Herzog Danziger of Integrate PR. 

Leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility to Save the World, That's All

 
beeonflower

This post was featured in the Huffington Post.

Employee volunteer programs make employees feel good and, as such, evidence suggests that such programs lead to greater employee engagement. But what good does a corporate social responsibility program do for the rest of us? Isn’t all this corporate philanthropy just an attempt at getting publicity and write offs?

Not at Intel, anyway.  The Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor chip manufacturer has decidedly immodest goals for its corporate community involvement.  Suzanne Fallender, Intel’s Director of CSR Strategy and Communications, states that Intel’s vision is to “connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.”  The company aims to do this both through increased access to technology, but also through its CSR and employee matching gift program.

What's Hot in Corporate Volunteering: Employee Integration

 
hot trend in giving back

This post was featured in The Huffington Post.

Human resources professionals know the drill: if you want to maximize an employee’s potential, you need to engage him as fully as possible.  That’s why attractive employee benefits and compensation packages only go so far, and why Employee Volunteer Programs are on the rise.  Want to know how to engage employees?  Corporate managers agree that volunteerism delivers big benefits with employee engagement, professional development and employee morale.  No surprise, then, that according to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s 2011 Giving in Numbers survey, 89% of leading companies had a formal domestic employee volunteer program and 94% offered at least one matching gift program in 2010.

So now that businesses are increasingly engaging their employees through corporate philanthropy, what’s the next step in competing for talent?  How are companies going to up the ante?

How Corporate Social Responsibility Alleviates Public Distrust

 
Corporate distrust is why CSR matters

While the Occupy Wall Street movement has cooled a bit, one thing hasn’t changed: public distrust of corporations is at an all-time high.  According to a poll taken last year by GfK Custom Research, a majority of Americans (64 percent) say it’s harder to trust corporations now than a few years ago.  Over half (55 percent) say that it will be tough for corporations to gain their trust in the future.  And among so-called “influencers,” corporate distrust stands at a whopping 74 percent.

This dismal impression is in keeping with the popular (more like unpopular) view of CEOs, the public face of corporations.  According to Edelman's most recent Trust Barometer, 2012 saw a massive decline in trust of CEOs.  On the other hand, trust in peers (regular folks like employees) dramatically increased, and for the fifth year in a row, NGOs are the most trusted institution in the world. 

Given this set of facts, what's a corporation to do? How can a perceived bully go from being hated to loved...or at least liked?

Cool Solar Earth Balloon Helps Green Energy Soar Sustainably

 
Cool solar earth balloon

There are many new forms of green energy, but perhaps none as interesting as the Cool Earth Solar “Balloon.”

Here’s the concept behind the design: 

  1. An inflatable plastic thin-film balloon (solar concentrator) is created 

  2. Upon inflation, the balloon focuses sunlight onto a photovoltaic cell held at its focal point

  3. The design produces 400 times the electricity that a solar cell would generate without the Cool Earth’s concentrator  

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