A ROADMAP FOR SOCIAL IMPACT

The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation and in select local regions 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. 

Local Host Partner Resources

The below resources are for local partner organizations to successfully launch and manage The Civic 50 program.

Survey Links & Questions

Colorado 

Orange County 

Philadelphia

The questionnaire/mini-assessment is a useful tool for smaller companies with fewer than 15 employees that are not eligible to take the full survey, or those that simply want a quick, non-quantitative assessment to help think more strategically about their community and employee engagement activities.  

Please note, companies that complete this questionnaire will not receive a benchmarking scorecard report.

Logos & Brand Guidelines

If you have any questions about marketing assets or The Civic 50 brand guidelines, please email Jeff Ader at [email protected]. 

The Civic 50 in Text 

When referring to The Civic 50, it is necessary to capitalize and include – “The.“Civic 50” should not be used as a standalone phrase.

Graphics & Logos 

BRAND GUIDELINES

Key Messaging

  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] serves as a roadmap for helping companies strengthen their company’s social impact work and building a network of like-minded leaders committed to engaging their community. 
  • Companies that participate in The Civic 50 [LOCATION] demonstrate a strong commitment to doing good and to continuously improving how they drive social impact in their business and community.  
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION]  serves as roadmap and recognition tool for helping companies think more strategically and holistically about driving social impact in their business and community.
  • Participating in The Civic 50 [LOCATION] helps companies their leaders better understand and articulate how they are positively impacting and responding to needs of their community.   
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] is a planning and evaluation tool to help companies think more strategically and comprehensively about their community engagement and social impact work.  
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] is an initiative Points of Light in partnership with [HOST ORGANIZATION], designed to recognize and celebrate the 50 most community-minded companies in our [LOCATION].     
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] sets the standard for civic engagement and creates a roadmap for companies seeking to best use their time, talent and resources to drive social impact in their company and community.    
  • By identifying and celebrating the practices of the most community-minded companies in our [LOCATION], [HOST ORGANIZATION] is lighting a path for business leaders who want to help their companies translate good intentions into positive social impact.    
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] helps companies become more active leaders in the CSR and Social Impact field and provides valuable benchmarking data to better understand and grow their community impact.    
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] selects companies based on four dimensions of their community engagement program – investment of resources, integration across business functions, institutionalization through policies and systems and impact measurement.      
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] helps companies accelerate change in their organization and community. 
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] companies leverage their time, talent and resources in increasingly sophisticated and innovative ways to respond to community needs. 
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] sets the standard for how businesses engage their communities and creates a roadmap for companies seeking to best use their time, talent and resources to do good. 
  • By identifying and celebrating the practices of the most community-minded companies in our city/region/state, The Civic 50 [LOCATION] is lighting a path for organizations who want to support their communities and translate good intentions into positive social impact. 

The Civic 50 [LOCATION]: 

  • Recognizes and celebrates leading companies ​in our city/region/state 
  • Connects leading companies and facilitates peer-to-peer learning​ 
  • Supports companies’ evaluation and planning efforts to strengthen community engagement work​ 
  • Encourages and inspires local companies to make their community engagement work more strategic and comprehensive​ 
  • Provides data and insights to tell the story about how local businesses positively impact our community and their employees 
  • Creates a framework to deliver additional learning resources and opportunities ​ 

Email Templates & Content

Sample emails for companies

Are you proud of your company’s community engagement work and do you think it helps build a great culture and brand? Have you been trying to better understand and articulate the impact of your volunteering and community engagement programs? 

We invite you to participate in The Civic 50 [LOCATION] this year! 

The Civic 50 [LOCATION] is a roadmap and recognition initiative based on 28 questions that help you strengthen and communicate the impact of your community engagement work. Participating in The Civic 50 [LOCATION] opens up opportunities across your community to connect with other civically engaged companies and CSR leaders and gain additional support through [host site program support/resource offerings]. The top 50 brands representing small, medium and large businesses will also be publicly recognized [event/date] and celebrated throughout the year.  

Participating is easy. Here’s how you get started: 

  • Let us know if you’re interested so that we can share important updates and reminders
  • Sign up for [webinar details/link] 
  • View our resource page [link] and download the assessment questions [link]  
  • Input your data in the online assessment tool (every company that completes this will receive a free benchmarking report!) 

We’re standing by to help if you have any questions or need assistance. 

###

Here’s how The Civic 50 [LOCATION] assessment works and the information you will need to participate: 

In the first section, Investment, you will be asked to answer eleven multiple choice and quantitative questions about how your company invests its resources in community engagement and social impact activities. This includes employee time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and advocacy. Here is a list of the data you will need to track down or estimate for your submission: 

Volunteerism  

  • Number of employees participating in external volunteerism 
  • Number of hours employees contributed to external volunteerism and the percent that was skills-based/pro bono 
  • Number of employees participating in internal volunteerism (e.g., employee resource groups, issue education, etc.) 

Cash Contributions  

  • Total company financial contributions/grants (excluding employee donations) 
  • Total matching contributions for employee donations  
  • Number of financial contributions/grants (excluding employee matching gifts)  

In-Kind Goods  

  • Cost of donated in-kind goods
  • Market value of donated in-kind goods 

The second section is Integration. Here you will be asked six multiple choice questions about how formally and broadly implemented your community engagement work is with various other business functions and departments. 

The third section is Institutionalization. In this section you will be asked six multiple choice questions about your community and civic engagement activities and how they help build a culture of social impact. 

In the final section, Impact, you will be asked five multiple choice questions about how you measure the impact of your community engagement (from anecdotal success stories to quantified outcomes metrics).  

That’s it! In total, there are only 28 questions, most of which are multiple choice. As a best practice, we encourage you to fill out your submission in this Word document [link] before entering it into the online tool. 

We’re standing by to help if you have any questions or need assistance. 

###

The Civic 50 [LOCATION] survey has just launched—and we think you should be a part of it. The Civic 50 [LOCATION], an initiative of Points of Light in partnership with [HOST ORGANIZATION], recognizes and honors the 50 most community-minded small, medium, and large companies that operate in [LOCATION].   

We greatly appreciate all the work you do to support our programs and initiatives. Our collaboration strengthens not only our core mission, but enhances the longevity and sustainability of our organization. We believe [COMPANY] would be a great fit for The Civic 50 [LOCATION], thanks to your commitment and innovation in community engagement and employee volunteering.  

For more information about the program and survey application, visit [WEBSITE]. It is recommended that the highest ranking community engagement and initiatives employee should fill out the survey to maintain accuracy and clarity of the company’s initiatives.  

Honoree Announcement email

The Civic 50 [LOCATION] honorees for [YEAR] were announced on [date], recognizing the 50 most community-minded companies in [LOCATION] determined by an independently administered and scored survey. The Civic 50 [LOCATION] awards, modeled after Points of Light’s national program, provides a national standard for superior corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills and resources to impact local communities.  

[HOST SITE] is thrilled to be able to celebrate the business community of [LOCATION], who are continually working to improve their communities. The honorees will be officially recognized at [EVENT].  

Honoree Notification Email 

Please note: this email contains embargoed information and is not to be shared, published, or otherwise made public until [DATE] 

Dear [NAME], 

Congratulations! We are delighted to notify you that [HOST ORGANIZATION] and Points of Light will recognize [COMPANY] as one of the fifty most community-minded companies in [LOCATION] for [YEAR] based on The Civic 50 [LOCATION] annual survey! 

On [DATE], we will publicly release an alphabetical list of the 50 honorees and in [MONTH] we will follow up with a best-practices report and educational webinars to maximize the storytelling and learning opportunities.  

[HONOREE EVENT INFORMATION] 

[HONOREE MARKETING MATERIALS] 

[HONOREE WEBINAR INFORMATION] 

NON-Honoree Notification Email 

[HOST ORGANIZATION] would like to thank [HOST ORGANIZATION] for participating in The Civic 50 [LOCATION] survey this year. Although [COMPANY] did not score in the top 50 of participating companies, we were incredibly impressed by the overall quality of the submissions we received. The growing competitiveness of the applicant pool reflects the growth in the value companies place in supporting community engagement, employee volunteerism, and social impact. Simply by applying, your company has demonstrated its commitment to corporate citizenship, and for that we commend you.   

All applicants receive a complimentary scorecard report 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.   

As a reminder, [HOST ORGANIZATION] will neither make the survey results of non-ranked companies public nor identify non-ranked companies as having participated in The Civic 50 [LOCATION].   

Once again, thank you for participating in The Civic 50 [LOCATION] survey. We look forward to continuing the conversation on how to support companies committed to impacting their local 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 download this Word document that includes a list of data requirements and the survey questions 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.  

Scoring & Recognition

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).  

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. 

The 16 highest scoring companies from each of the three categories will be named honorees. The remaining two spots (since 16 x 3 = 48, two less than 50) will go to the next two highest scoring companies in different size categories. If a category does not have 16 eligible applicants, its un-designated spots will be distributed evenly to the other categories. 

Important Note:  The survey instrument consists of quantitative (listed above) and multiple-choice questions that inform The Civic 50 scoring process. Not all companies have the same level of resources or engagement in all the activities measured by the survey. Therefore, scoring and awards will be based on the number of employees (small 15-99, mid-size 100-499 and large 500+), and similarly sized companies will be measured within their peer group and compared only on their community engagement programs. 

Survey FAQ

What is The Civic 50? 
The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation and in select local regions 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 of resources, integration across business functions, institutionalization through policies and systems and impact measurement. 

What type and size of companies eligible to participate in The Civic 50? 
Companies with operations, employees and community engagement programs in the designated local survey region are eligible to participate. Not all companies have the same level of resources or engagement in all the activities measured by the survey. Therefore, scoring and awards will be based on the number of employees (small 5-99, mid-size 100-499 and large 500+), and similarly sized companies will be measured within their peer group and compared only on their community engagement programs inside the survey region. Small and medium size companies are encouraged to apply and not be intimidated by the depth of the questions asked. It is not expected that they will be engaged in all the activities included in the survey. 

Important Note:  The survey instrument consists of quantitative (listed above) and multiple-choice questions that inform The Civic 50 scoring process. Not all companies have the same level of resources or engagement in all the activities measured by the survey. Therefore, scoring and awards will be based on the number of employees (small 5-99, mid-size 100-499 and large 500+), and similarly sized companies will be measured within their peer group and compared only on their community engagement programs inside the local survey region. 

What is the date range for the survey data period? 
Your company must submit the survey data period from the company’s last full 12-month reporting period (fiscal or calendar year).  

How will honorees be recognized? 
All 50 honorees will be identified in alphabetical order, drawn from all the small, medium and large company categories, with special recognition for the top scorer in each size segment.   

Is there a cost to take The Civic 50 survey?
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.   

Why should my company participate?
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 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.   

If I participated last year, can I use the same responses?
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.  

What if my internal corporate policies use different definitions for terms used in The Civic 50 survey?
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.  

How should companies respond to questions where they are unable to segment national data at the local level? 
Companies are permitted to use estimations for their responses if they have reasonable confidence in their accuracy. (For example, a reasonable estimate might be based on a proportional allocation of revenue for your locality.) Otherwise, they should indicate “N/A” in the response field.  

How should donations to national organizations be counted?
If your company or office makes a contribution to an organization outside of your survey region (e.g.a donation to a national nonprofit headquartered in another state), you are permitted to estimate the portion that would benefit your survey region. For example, if your company made a $10,000 donation to national organization with 100 chapters throughout the U.S., 10 of which are located in your survey region, you could count $1,000 of that contribution. If you cannot make this estimation with reasonable confidence, then the contribution should not be counted. 

How are the 50 honorees determined with the small, medium and large business categories?
The 16 highest scoring companies from each of the three categories will be named honorees. The remaining two spots (since 16 x 3 = 48, two less than 50) will go to the next two highest scoring companies in different size categories. If a category does not have 16 eligible applicants, its un-designated spots will be distributed evenly to the other categories. 

Who should submit the survey on behalf of my company? 
The employee who is most knowledgeable and responsible for community engagement programing and initiatives should submit the survey on behalf of your company. It is recommended that another staff member who is familiar with the work of the company should review the information to be submitted for accuracy and completeness. 

How much time will it take to complete the survey?
Based on prior year data, we estimate it will typically take 510 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 in the Word document provided and also save their responses in the survey tool (view Survey Instructions for more details). 

When will I receive my score?
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.  

Is there feedback available on our ranking for continuous improvement purposes? 
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. 

How will the information I submit be used?
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).  

Is there anything else I should keep in mind? 
Points of Light reserves the right to exclude companies on The Civic 50 list that are not considered to be in good standing during the research year. Bases for not being “in good standing” include, but are 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 consider it reasonable to find the company on a list of the most community-minded companies. 

Support Materials

 

Data Companies Need for the Survey

Below are the primary pieces of annual quantitative data from your survey location needed to complete the survey. We provide these to give you a sense of the type of information that is needed, though this should not be used for data collection purposes. Please refer to the complete set of survey questions for additional information about this data and to review all of the responses that will be required to complete the survey. 

Volunteerism  

  • Number of employees participating in external volunteerism  
  • Number of hours employees contributed to external volunteerism and the percent that was skills-based/pro bono 
  • Number of employees participating in internal volunteerism (e.g., employee resource groups, issue education, etc.) 

Cash Contributions  

  • Total company financial contributions/grants (excluding employee donations)  
  • Total matching contributions for employee donations  
  • Number of financial contributions/grants (excluding employee matching gifts)  

In-Kind Goods  

  • Cost of donated in-kind goods
  • Market value of donated in-kind goods

Scorecard Reports

Any company that completes a survey receives a complimentary benchmarking report from our partners at True Impact with the option to purchase more advanced options. These reports help: 

  • Provide additional detail on your community engagement program’s strengths, with data to report to key stakeholders 
  • Provide additional detail on how to improve your community engagement program, at the dimension- or question-level 

For more information on these reports, visit: https://www.trueimpact.com/supplemental-csr-services/civic50-scorecard-1 

Social Media Graphics & Posts

BRAND GUIDELINES

Sample Posts 

Hashtags 

  • #TheCivic50 
  • Colorado: #TheCivic50CO  
  • Orange County: #TheCivic50OC 
  • Philadelphia: #TheCivic50Philadelphia

Whenever possible, please use the designated hashtag and tag (@) Points of Light in your social media posts (LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) to help us track and share your content.  

  • [HOST ORGANIZATION] and @Points of Light are recognizing the fifty most community-minded companies in [CITY/COUNTY/STATE] as part of The Civic 50 [LOCATION]. Are you a community engagement champion? Learn more: [LINK] [HASHTAG] 
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION] recognizes companies for their commitment to leveraging their time, talent, and resources to drive social impact in their business and communities. Learn more about [HASHTAG] at: [LINK]. 
  • [HOST ORGANIZATION] and @Points of Light are looking for the next cohort of businesses driving social impact in their local community as part of The Civic 50 [LOCATION]. Learn more: [LINK] [HASHTAG] 
  • The Civic 50 [LOCATION], an initiative of @Points of Light in partnership with [HOST ORGANIZATION], recognizes the fifty most community-minded companies in [LOCATION] by an annual survey. The Civic 50 [LOCATION] honorees are identified for their commitment to leveraging their time, talent, and resources to drive social impact in their business and communities. Learn more about [HASHTAG] at: [LINK]. 

Announcement 

  • Join us and @Points of Light in congratulating the #TheCivic50 [LOCATION] [YEAR] honorees: [LINK]  
  • We’re proud to partner with @Points of Light to recognize the 50 most community-minded companies in [LOCATION]. See the full list of [HASHTAG] honorees: [LINK]  
  • These 50 companies lead by example, making our communities a better place to work and live. Congratulations to #TheCivic50[LOCATION] honorees! [LINK]  
  • Congratulations to The Civic 50 [LOCATION] honorees for [YEAR]! These are 50 most community-minded companies in [LOCATION] and they are setting the standard for community engagement and social impact! We’re thrilled to partner with @Points of Light and recognize these leaders. See the list: [LINK] [HASHTAG] 
  • Today we announced the 50 most community-minded companies in our [CITY/COUNTY/STATE] as part of The Civic 50 [LOCATION]These companies were identified for their commitment to leveraging their time, talent, and resources to drive social impact in their business and communities View the full list of the [HASHTAG] honorees at: [LINK] 

Honoree Company Resources

BRAND GUIDELINES