Every year, The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, in partnership with Bloomberg LP, honors the 50 most community minded companies. Determined via results from a survey, the Civic 50 illuminates the companies that are best at engaging their communities and employees to create impact.
The Civic 50 assesses companies through four levels of criteria:
**Investment: How extensively and strategically the company applies its resources to community engagement, including employee time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and leadership.
**Integration: How a company’s community engagement program supports business interests and integrates into business functions, or how it “does well by doing good.”
**Institutionalization: How the company supports community engagement through its institutional policies, systems, and incentives.
**Impact: How a company measures the social and business impact of its community engagement program.
So let’s take a look at the best of the best and then dig into how they arrived on this list. Drumroll, please….
2. Adobe Systems Incorporated
5. Altria Group, Inc.
6. Apollo Education Group
8. Bank of America
9. Baxter International Inc.
10. Caesars Entertainment
11. Capital One
12. CenterPoint Energy
14. Comcast Corporation
15. ConAgra Foods
16. CSAA Insurance Group
18. Dr Pepper Snapple Group
19. Eli Lilly and Company
20. FedEx Corporation
21. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
22. Gap Inc.
24. General Mills
25. Hasbro, Inc.
26. Health Care Service Corporation
28. Intel Corporation
31. Motorola Solutions, Inc
32. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
33. Prudential Financial, Inc.
35. Raytheon Company
38. Southwest Airlines
39. Sprint Corporation
40. State Street Corporation
41. Symantec Corporation
42. The Hershey Company
43. Toyota Financial Services
45. UnitedHealth Group
47. Valero Energy Corporation
50. Western Union
The goal of the Civic 50 is to highlight the best corporate philanthropy performers in the country and then illustrate how other companies can follow their example. What kind of example are we talking about? Check out these stats:
**An average of 35% of U.S. employees at Civic 50 companies participated in some type of company-sponsored volunteerism. The average participation rate for other companies is 30%.
**On average, U.S. employees at Civic 50 companies volunteered a total of 5.73 hours annually.
**An average of 20% of U.S. volunteer time at Civic 50 companies is categorized as skills-based volunteering.
**An average of 13% of Civic 50 company cash contributions are matches to U.S. employee giving.
**On average, 43% of Civic 50 grantees received additional support in the form of volunteerism or in-kind donations.
**64% of Civic 50 companies said they took a leadership position on four or more national public education or policy advocacy efforts.
**18% said they took a leadership position on one to three national efforts.
**78% of Civic 50 companies have a formal structure to seek input from U.S. community leaders, such as a survey, focus group or community meeting.
**50% of Civic 50 companies include community engagement as a formal written component of employees’ performance reviews. (For more on this trend, read my blog about how volunteering is becoming a part of performance reviews.)
**70% of Civic 50 companies have community engagement listed on division/department/business unit scorecards or evaluations.
**100% of Civic 50 companies offer awards and recognition opportunities (both internal and external).
**82% of Civic 50 companies allow employees paid time off to volunteer.
**84% offer U.S. grant-matching.
**76% of companies offer U.S. volunteer “Dollars for Doers” grants.
**100% of Civic 50 companies have online portals to support U.S. community engagement.
**72% of Civic 50 companies say that leadership participates in U.S. company community engagement events or activities at least 12 times per year.
**46% say leadership encourages employee participation in community engagement
events/activities at least three to five times per year.
**66% of Civic 50 companies say their leadership present on community engagement to the company’s board at least 12 times per year.
All of the Civic 50 companies have shared in the benefits of a strong community engagement program. The Civic 50 examined the best practices on display with its top 50 and concluded the following:
1. Community engagement boosts employee engagement. Many of the Civic 50 companies have data showing that employees who volunteer score higher in morale, engagement, pride and/or productivity than employees who don’t. Hasbro’s employee survey revealed that their community engagement program is second only to year-round half-day Fridays as the reason why employees love to work there.
These findings are consistent with other research showing the link between volunteering and engagement. For example, The Civic 50 report cites a study by The Corporate Executive Board Company that involved millions of employees across several industries. The study showed that, on average, every employee who participates in corporate community engagement activities adds $2,400 of value to the company as a result of decreased turnover and increased employee engagement. Similarly, a Deloitte survey revealed that millennials are twice as likely to be very satisfied with their career progression when they have the opportunity to volunteer through their employer.
2. Companies and communities find value in skills-based volunteering. According to True Impact and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, specialized support that can provide five times greater value than traditional volunteering. This form of volunteering not only taps into existing skills but also helps employee strengthen and develop new skills. That could be why skills-based volunteering is really taking off at Civic 50 companies, with, on average, one out of every five employee volunteer hours being skills-based. The Civic 50 also notes research from HP, which found that employees who participate in skills-based volunteering are even more satisfied and experience an even greater bounce in morale from volunteering than those who only do extra-hands volunteering. (Read my blog about this, New E-book Says Best Corporate Volunteerism is Skills-Based.)
3. Companies raise their voice to advance social change. The days of checkbook philanthropy alone are over; companies have recognized that they have a unique and powerful role to play in the public discourse and action around improving the world. The Civic 50 notes that experts like Harvard Business School corporate strategy guru Michael Porter now advocate for community engagement as a strategic means of generating financial returns. Eighty-two percent of Civic 50 companies have taken a national leadership position on a social issue like strengthening STEM education (Read about Causecast’s partnership with the White House to inspire girls in STEM.)
4. Purpose is Aligned with Profit. Increasingly, companies like those in the Civic 50 are folding community engagement into their core business and supporting social change via their own business success. More than 80% of Civic 50 companies connect their community engagement work to key business functions, including marketing/PR, sales, skill-development, recruiting or diversity and inclusion.
The Civic 50 are the emblem of doing well by doing good. They have forged deeper connections with their shareholders, customers and employees; as such, their social impact efforts have strengthened not only their communities but their businesses as well.
Inspired? You should be. To read this full report and other Civic 50 studies, or listen in to past webinars, go to www.civic50.org.