A ROADMAP FOR GOOD CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP

The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation each year as determined by an annual survey administered by True Impact. Since it was launched in 2012, the program has served as benchmarking tool and platform for sharing best practices in the corporate citizenship sector. The survey is based on Points of Light’s Corporate Civic Engagement Framework that provides a roadmap for companies committed to leveraging their time, talent, and resources to drive social impact in their business and communities. The Civic 50 honorees are selected based on the four dimensions of this framework: 

  • INVESTMENT: How the company strategically invests its resources in community engagement and social impact, including employee time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and public leadership. 
  • INTEGRATION: How the company integrates its community engagement and social impact programs throughout its business functions and interests (i.e., “does well by doing good”). 
  • INSTITUTIONALIZATION: How the company institutionalizes its community engagement and social impact programs through organizational policies, systems, and incentives.
  • IMPACT: How the company measures the social and business impact outcomes of its community engagement and social impact programs.

Below you will find more information about the 2020 survey including key deadlines, instructions, survey questions (Word version / Google Doc) with the survey questions, and FAQ. 

TAKE THE SURVEY

Please review the below instructions, resources and eligibility guidelines before starting.

SURVEY OVERVIEW & INSTRUCTIONS

Survey Timeline

  • 12/5/2019 – Survey launch 
  • 12/10/2019 – Survey overview and support webinar (recording / presentation)  
  • 3/16/2020 – Survey submission deadline 
  • 3/31/2020Survey deadline extension
  • May 2020 – Company status notification 
  • 6/8/2020  – Public announcement 
  • July 2020 – Scorecard reports provided to applicants 
  • Summer 2020 – The Civic 50 key findings report released

Eligibility

Public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more are eligible to participate and the survey. Points of Light reserves the right to not include companies on The Civic 50 list which are not considered to be in good standing during the research year. Basis for not being “in good standing” includes, but is not limited to: the company experiencing official, significant legal sanction; an adverse company event so significant that it deems The Civic 50 practices presented in its application as a misrepresentation of the company’s overall community involvement efforts; or any development that puts into question the company’s community involvement to the degree that most people would not find it reasonable to find the company on a list of the most community-minded companies in the nation. 

Methodology & Process

The survey instrument consists of quantitative and multiple-choice questions that inform The Civic 50 scoring process, and summary narrative questions to use to promote best practices. To calculate a corporation’s score, points are accrued in the following dimensions: Investment (1,000 points), Integration (1,000 points), Institutionalization (1,000 points) and Impact (1,000 points). Any monetary or numerical data requested by this survey to assess the magnitude of corporate investment, involvement, or impact will be normalized by company revenues or number of employees to control for size. Additionally, rating formulas are designed to minimize any inherent advantages or disadvantages across industries.

Recognition & Awards

Points of Light lists The Civic 50 honorees in alphabetical order, and recognizes the top company in each sector based on the Global Industry Classification Standard telecommunications, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, healthcare, industrials, materials, information technology, utilities and real estate. Only the top 50 companies and the sector leaders will be shared publicly with attribution. Companies that participate but do not have qualifying for the top 50 or as a sector leader are kept confidential. All other information submitted on The Civic 50 application may be aggregated and shared for benchmarking and continuous improvement purposes, but will be anonymous (not attributed to any specific company). 

Additionally, as the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, Points of Light also provides Volunteer Awards to honoree companies leveraging their employees time and talent to drive change in their company and communities. 

Survey Instructions

How to Start and Access the Survey
Upon your first visit to the survey site, enter your email address. This email will serve as your login for your company’s survey assessment when you return to the survey page. Once you save your work in the survey tool or advance to a new section of the survey, you will receive an automatic message to this email address with a link back to your survey. 

How to Collect Your Data
While responses can be added and updated in the survey, many companies find it easier to collect their data offline in a separate document before entering and submitting their responses. Applicants can view the survey questions (Word version / Google Doc) to help with this process. 

 How to Save Your Work
To save your progress in each section, please click the green “Save Your Answers Before Completing” or “Next & Save” button at the bottom of each page. Once you save your work in the survey tool or advance to a new section of the survey, you will receive an automatic message to this email address with a link back to your survey. 

How to Navigate the Survey
Applicants must respond to each question in a section before navigating to a new section. All responses can updated before submitting your survey. To navigate to another section of the survey, use the links in the left sidebar or use the “Previous & Save” and “Next & Save” buttons at the bottom of the survey page. DO NOT use your browser’s “back” function to move between sections. 

How to Download or Print Your Survey Responses
To download your saved survey responses at any time, click the “Print Survey” button in the left sidebar. Please be sure to save your survey before printing it. 

How to Submit Your Final Survey
Once you have completed all questions in the survey, you can submit your survey application from the final Report Options section. After clicking complete, you will receive an email confirmation. Please note, you can still access your survey to review/edit before the survey deadline. 

Please note – you will need to upload a vector or high-resolution logo file for your company before submitting your survey. 

Survey Questions

All of the questions can be viewed and downloaded (Word version / Google Doc) outside of the survey tool. Companies often find it easier to collect their data offline in this document before entering and submitting their responses in the survey tool. The survey is organized by the following sections:  

  • Company Profile 
  • Dimension 1 – Investment 
  • Dimension 2 – Integration 
  • Dimension 3 – Institutionalization 
  • Dimension 4A – Impact (Social Value) 
  • Dimension 4B – Impact (Business Value) 
  • Verification & Feedback 
  • Report Options 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the presentation available from the launch webinar on December 10?
A: Yes, here is a link to the presentation and recording from the launch webinar.

Q: What organizations are eligible to participate in The Civic 50?
A: Public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more are eligible to participate. 

Q: Is there a cost to take The Civic 50 survey?
A: There is no cost to take the survey and all applicants receive a complimentary scorecard report from True Impact that list your company’s individual score and ranking in each dimension. Companies also have the option of purchasing more detailed benchmarking and analysis reports from True Impact after the completion of the survey.  

Q: Why should my company participate?
A: Companies that participate in The Civic 50 have a unique opportunity to gain national recognition for their community engagement programs, take a leadership position in corporate community involvement and to share their best practices with the broader business community. Many companies have also said that the process of taking the survey and receiving their individual scorecards with information on their rankings helped them understand how they could improve their programs and strategies in the future.  

Q: If I participated last year, can I use the same responses?
A: Yes, provided the responses are still accurate for the year the application covers. The methodologies you may have used to compile data will continue to be relevant. Please take the time to make sure the breadth and depth of your organization’s work is represented. Please also note that the qualitative examples you submit will form the basis of a best practices report, so we encourage you to share your best and latest work. 

Q: Can both a holding company and a subsidiary company take the survey?
Yes, both can apply separately, however, the holding company’s submission cannot include or reflect the subsidiary company’s data. If you have any questions regarding your company’s eligibility, please email [email protected]. 

Q: How should we account for a grant made to a nonprofit located in the U.S. that operates international programs?
A: For grants made to nonprofits located in the U.S., but that operate international programs, companies can include a general estimate of the portion of their investment that would support the organization’s domestic programs and operations.

Q: What if my internal corporate policies use different definitions for terms used in The Civic 50 survey?
A: All definitions for terms used in The Civic 50 survey can be found in our glossary of terms. For discrepancies between The Civic 50 definition and your organization’s legal definitions, we require companies to use The Civic 50 definition in lieu of your organization’s definition to ensure accurate results. 

Q: Who should submit the survey on behalf of my corporation?
A: The highest-ranking official responsible for community engagement programming and initiatives should submit the survey on behalf of your corporation. We have found that a staff member who is familiar with the work of the company and the survey should review for accuracy and completeness. We have provided space for companies to provide contact information for additional individuals should you deem necessary. 

Q: How much time will it take to complete the survey?
A: Based on prior year data, we estimate it will take 4-6 staff hours to complete data collection and response for The Civic 50 survey (not including your internal approval process). For convenience, applicants can collect their data offline (Word version / Google Doc) and also save their responses in the survey tool (view Survey Instructions for more details).

Q:  When will I receive my score?
A: A personalized report of your organization’s score will be available from True Impact, following The Civic 50 announcement. These reports will be available for all companies that participate in the survey for the purposes of continuous improvement. 

Q: How will the information I submit be used?
A: All data collected in this survey will contribute to a company being listed on The Civic 50, unless explicitly noted otherwise. Only the top 50 companies overall, sector leaders, and their case studies requested in optional questions will be shared publicly, with attribution. Companies that participate but do not have qualifying for the top 50 or as a sector leader are kept confidential. All other information submitted on The Civic 50 application may be aggregated and shared for benchmarking and continuous improvement purposes, but will be anonymous (not attributed to any specific company). 

Q: How do the rankings control for differences in industry or corporate structure?
A: Any monetary or numerical data requested by this survey to assess the magnitude of corporate investment, involvement, or impact will be normalized by company revenues or number of employees to control for size. Additionally, rating formulas are designed to minimize any inherent advantages or disadvantages across industries. 

Q: I’m a multinational corporation. Which activities should I document?
A: The Civic 50 is a U.S. award based on the company’s community engagement program in the United States.  

Q: What industry classification system do you use?
A: We will recognize The Civic 50 honorees in alphabetical order, and will list the top company in each sector based on the Global Industry Classification Standard. These sectors are telecommunications, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, healthcare, industrials, materials, information technology, utilities and real estate.  

Q: Is there feedback available for continuous improvement purposes?
A: Yes. All eligible companies that submit a completed survey will receive a free individual scorecard, which lists the company’s individual score and ranking in each dimension. Additional reports to support more detailed corporate reporting and continuous improvement efforts are available for a fee. Please contact [email protected] for more information.  

Q: How long has The Civic 50 survey been available?
A: The Civic 50 was founded as a partnership between the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light and Bloomberg LP in 2012, and developed with a high-profile working group of lead researchers and industry thought leaders. Dozens of corporate advisors also provided strategic guidance on the program’s objectives, including defining indicators, developing methodology, and identifying partners and participants. To see lists of honorees from previous years, visit www.civic50.org

Q: Who was involved in the development of The Civic 50 survey instrument?
A: The following academic leaders reviewed the survey during its development in 2014: 

Professor Bea Boccalandro, Georgetown University Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership; Dr. Edward Freeman, University of Virginia Darden School of Business; Dr. Ira Harkavy, The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Pamela Harper, Marist College School of Business; Professor Peter Levine, Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University; Dr. Kelvyn Moore, Bentley University; Dr. Nicholas Pearce, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management; Dr. John Peloza, Gatton College of Business and Economics at University of Kentucky; Dean Alan Solomont, Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University​. 

About True Impact

True Impact is a web-based measurement and reporting tool for charitable investments. Companies and their nonprofit partners use True Impact to measure the social impact of grants, volunteerism, and other philanthropic investments, to demonstrate success and identify opportunities for improvement. True Impact can be used as a stand-alone tool, or as an integrated add-on module with any grants or volunteer management system. For more information, visit: www.trueimpact.com

About VeraWorks

VeraWorks is a global consulting firm that helps managers and companies offer employees the opportunity to make a positive societal impact from their everyday work in a manner that strengthens the business. Clients include FedEx, IBM, PwC, Toyota, TOMS Shoes and Western Digital. For more information, visit www.veraworks.com

Glossary of Terms

For a list of defined terms in The Civic 50 survey, please visit the True Impact glossary page.  

Contact & Support

For questions regarding The Civic 50 program, survey questions, and support resources and webinars, email: [email protected] 

For technical assistance with the survey and scorecard reports, email: [email protected] Applicants can also submit technical issues directly to True Impact using the help button at the bottom right corner of survey page.

The Civic 50 2019 Insights & Benchmarking Report

Download The Civic 50 2019 Report to learn the latest trends, insights and best practices in good corporate citizenship.

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