Key CSR Insights from The Civic 50 Honorees of 2023

Aug 29, 2023

Each year, Points of Light’s Civic 50 honors the most community-minded companies in the nation that are leading the way across four dimensions: investment of resources, integration across business functions, institutionalization through policies and systems, and impact measurement. The 2023 honorees top the charts on all fronts, and there’s much to learn from them.

4 key CSR insights from The Civic 50 to bring back to your organization:

1. Financial Generosity

In terms of financial and in-kind donations, The Civic 50 honorees have gotten more generous over the years, contributing an average of .55% of revenue in 2023 (up from .34% in 2019). By comparison, data from CECP find that most U.S companies, on average, donate the equivalent of .18% of revenue. Not every organization will have equal capacities for generosity, but you can explore more intricate approaches to philanthropy.

2. Internally Oriented Programming

The Civic 50 have steadily increased the percentage of employees participating in internal company volunteering, such as employee resource groups and green teams, from an average of 33% in 2019 to 54% in 2023. Conversely, lockdown and other factors reduced the average percentage of The Civic 50’s employees involved in external volunteering, such as packing meals at a soup kitchen or serving on a nonprofit board, from 40% to 31% during those same five years.

3. Strategic Integration of Community Efforts

Community engagement has become more central to business management. The percentage of The Civic 50 honorees that discuss community engagement in corporate board meetings has steadily increased from 86% in 2019 to 98% in 2023. Similarly, 2023 is the first year in which a majority of The Civic 50 honorees leveraged community engagement to support each of the 11 major business functions, including purchasing, skill development and marketing. The takeaway: corporate social impact is at its best when it is fully integrated with business operations.

4. Commitment to Social Justice

The percentage of honorees that focused their community involvement on civil/human rights, equality, equity and inclusion increased from 24% pre-pandemic to 52% in 2021. It’s now at 60%, making social justice that number one cause area. Similarly, the percentage of The Civic 50 that formally consider the diversity of board and staff in selecting partner nonprofits increased from 44% in 2021 (the first year this data was available) to 64% this year. If the increased attention to social justice (and disaster response during the pandemic) has reduced focus on other cause areas, it appears to have done so only modestly. Research has shown that both your employees and the general public care more than ever about not only whether but also how your organization takes a stand.

The Civic 50 honorees demonstrate deeper and more sophisticated corporate social impact. Learn more about how to take your company’s strategies to the next level by downloading the full Civic 50 Insights report.

Points of Light

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