Here at Vault, we like to think we know a thing or two about what makes a great company to work for—especially in the financial and accounting sectors, two of the core industries that we cover. And, while we ask employees to tell us about issues like philanthropy and green initiatives, we also know that there are lots of other ways that companies can set themselves apart and play a role in their wider communities. Thanks to our friends at Causecast, the employee engagement firm that provided this slideshow, we now have another way of considering the impact that those leading firms make on the communities around them: The Civic 50. Read on to find out more about the Civic 50, and be sure to check out each of the slides above to learn more about what each of these firms has been doing to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Every year, The Civic 50 honors the 50 most community-minded companies, issuing a report about which companies are best at engaging their communities and employees to create impact. An initiative of Points of Light in partnership with Bloomberg LP, the Civic 50 determines its results through a survey asking for each company’s investment in community engagement, integration of community engagement into corporate business interests, how well a company supports community engagement through its institutional policies, and how well a company measures the social and business impact of its community engagement program.
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. If you’re looking for a job, starting with the Civic 50 is a great place to source some of most fulfilling and inspiring companies to work for.
What kind of inspiration 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.
There are so many interesting stories about best practices in community engagement to be found within the Civic 50. To take a deeper dive, we focused on just two areas: finance and accounting/ consulting. While all of the Civic 50 display leadership in giving back, we asked Points of Light to identify the companies within these sectors that they consider to be standouts.
According to Points of Light, here are the financial and accounting/ consulting companies that are demonstrating exceptional community engagement:
Total U.S. Volunteer Hours: 35,756
Total U.S. Cash Contributions: $15,865,073
Total U.S. In-Kind Contributions: 151,866
% of U.S. Volunteerism that is Skills-Based: 22%
Why would KeyBank close two-thirds of its branches on a business day? Because it aims, not just to support, but to transform community issues. This novel move allowed employees to dedicate half a million hours to weeding, painting, teaching and otherwise helping the community thrive during KeyBank’s Neighbors Make a Difference Day. This annual event resonates strongly with employees who participate year after year. “I admire the corporate willingness to set aside its human capital for a day to make a difference in our neighborhoods. It is good for our business, and I'm proud to work for a company that cares,” said Sudha Venkataraman, a Consumer Credit Risk Management employee. KeyBank’s commitment to community is just as evident when it’s open for business. It has invested $1.2 billion in renewable energy, enough to power more than 1.5 million homes, developed energy efficiency and renewable energy financial products and services to better support the sustainability efforts of its stakeholders. It has supported millennial employees in developing the Keys to College Success program through which employees teach soft-skills seminars on building a personal brand, etiquette, communication, mentorships and networking to help prepare underserved students for college.
From its Pathways to Progress campaign to jumpstart the career readiness of 100,000 youth in ten U.S. cities, to its partnership with Revolution Foods to provide children with access to one million nutritious and affordable meals, Citi and the Citi Foundation support innovative projects that enable economic progress across the globe. Citi partners with governments, businesses, citizens and community groups to identify their biggest challenges and to develop a results-oriented framework that harnesses the full capabilities and global expertise of the firm to pioneer solutions. These solutions range from financing new technology that reduces carbon emissions, to providing affordable housing solutions for low-and moderate-income families, to ensuring the next generation of future leaders have the tools necessary to succeed.
Bank of America is a leader in low-income mortgage financing, and in 2013 provided $3.3 billion in community development lending and real estate solutions in vulnerable neighborhoods. This funding will help create more than 13,000 affordable housing units to revitalize communities. Bank employees also spent more than 190,000 hours volunteering to repair homes, build new affordable housing, serve on boards, and contribute to community development. To better serve low-income communities, the Bank launched SafeBalance, a checkless account designed to help customers avoid overdraft fees by limiting their ability to spend what they don't have, and partnered with Khan Academy to launch BetterMoneyHabits.com for simple online financial instruction videos, which received over 7 million views in 2013.
Recognizing the importance of community engagement, 50% of Civic 50 companies include community engagement as a formal component of employees’ performance reviews. For example, Western Union’s employee performance objectives – which are the basis for professional evaluations and bonuses – include a "Social Ventures" objective, which reinforces each employee's commitment to using business assets to deliver business and social results. Such objectives can range from developing a new product that benefits a societal cause, to sourcing from socially responsible vendors, to incorporating community commitment information into an external-facing sales deck.
Skills-based volunteering continues to grow at Civic 50 companies and on average, one out of every five (20%) employee volunteer hours at Civic 50 companies is skills-based. Skills-based volunteering provides communities with valuable, specialized support that can provide five times greater value than traditional volunteering, according to True Impact and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1 HP research also finds 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. Skills-based volunteering can also strengthen employee workplace skills, and 64% of Civic 50 companies use their community engagement work it in this manner.
For example, PwC employees helped the Silicon Valley Education Foundation create a more efficient process to capture in-depth and relevant stakeholder information for their Step Up to Algebra (now called Elevate) program. And because communicating with parents during the program is critical to its success, PwC also advised on communication enhancements to increase the likelihood that participating students succeed.
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