Hop in the driver’s seat of your corporate social responsibility story

Drive the conversation

People are talking about you. Whether you’re part of the conversation or not, it is happening. The topic is your corporate social responsibility activities. Employees, stakeholders, and consumers are engaged and making decisions based on what they see and read.

The problem is that too often you are left out of the conversation because your side of the story isn’t being told. One is left to wonder how your absence affects your reputation in the mind of those that have high expectations of companies and want them to demonstrate a strong commitment to social responsibility.

Research shows consumers make purchasing decisions based on how socially responsible a company is and will boycott one that isn’t viewed in such a positive light.

For far too long, companies have been reluctant to tell their story. They were afraid it would come across as boastful or bragging. Somehow they felt that sharing the story would negate the good works that were being done.

I’ve talked to several senior corporate leaders in the last few weeks that have validated this reluctance. I’ve heard a consistent message. “We are doing good things, but no one knows about it. We need to do a better job of telling our story.” What was once perceived as bragging is now quickly becoming a necessity.

Corporations are increasingly recognizing that it is in their best interest to not only join but drive the conversation and share the story of how they are driving key social change.

We have learned that there is an expectation for companies to be involved. We’re also learning that there are business reasons for doing so.

According to the recently released 2017 Cone CSR Report, millennials are hopeful that businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change moving forward. The same report found that Americans still have high expectations for companies; 92% say they have a more positive image of the company if they support a social or environmental cause.

Here are some tips to help your company drive the conversation and reap the benefits that can come as a result.  

Understand why you are engaged

Before you can tell any story, you need to be clear on the purpose and the why. Companies would do well to think about these questions:

-What does CSR mean to our company, and why is it important?

-What are we trying to accomplish through our involvement?

-Who can we partner with to help us achieve our goals?

-How will our involvement benefit our company and our stakeholders, and help advance change in societal issues?

It is best when companies align their focus areas with their corporate goals and objectives, employee interests and needs, and community issues.

Clearly articulate what you are doing

Once you understand why you are engaged, articulate the value of your efforts. Being able to articulate your message is the difference between bragging and genuine commitment to good corporate citizenship and social change.

Corporate storytelling with Good Done Great

Tell the story using multiple communication vehicles

Make sure your story is being told using a variety of channels. The time-proven methods of annual reports and press releases are still valid. Recent years have seen a growth in the number of companies publishing an annual corporate social responsibility report. All of these are effective and demonstrate the company’s commitment to social change. More and more companies are turning to social media. All of these vehicles can and should be used.

The Cone Report found that 79% of consumers say they are more likely to believe a company’s CSR commitments if they share their efforts along multiple channels.

Use your partners to tell the story. They also have communication networks and channels. More storytellers make for a better story.

Engage employees as storytellers

Feature employees who are actively engaged in giving and volunteering. Use their faces and stories in your social media campaigns and printed reports. Additionally, encourage employees to tell the story to their friends and family. They can use their individual social networks to push out the story even further.  Engaging employees personalizes the story and demonstrates genuine commitment and authenticity.

The Cone Research report found that millennials are likely to tell friends and family about the CSR efforts of their employer and of companies that are committed to social change.

Promote partnerships and encourage participation

In your story, show how you have partnered with others to address a critical need and then invite those reading your story to engage with you. Consumers want to know what you are doing and how their personal actions can make a difference. They also said they appreciate a bold or daring message that makes them think differently. Use your story to invite their participation and action.

Companies are in a unique position to serve as the educator, the convener, and the catalyst for those wanting to make a difference. It all begins with joining the conversation and telling their story.  Be a driver and a catalyst for doing good and reap the benefits that come from being an engaged and involved corporation.

This post was authored by Steve Greenhalgh, our Managing Director of CSR Strategy.

Top 10 CSR social media accounts to follow today

Social media is the perfect platform to share images, facts, quotes, and statistics surrounding your corporate philanthropy efforts. More and more consumers utilize social media to discover information on CSR and engage with companies on CSR-related issues.

We’ve pulled together a list of our favorite brands and CSR strategists that we can all take some tips from to up our CSR social media game. 

1- PPG

PPG is a global company that provides paints, coatings, and materials. They utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share information on their giving and volunteering initiatives. Their own CSR-dedicated Twitter account, @ppg_communities, highlights their PPG Foundation grants and volunteer program, #ColorfulCommunities.

PPG Good Done Great Social Media

2- Ecolab Foundation

Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies, utilizes Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to educate consumers on water scarcity and food safety. These two cause areas correspond directly with their core business.

Their Twitter account, @EcolabFdn, features grant recipients and their employee volunteers. They tweet using #EcolabGives to highlight their work in the community.

Hashtags are a great way to encourage your followers to engage with and follow your content.

3- PwC Foundation

The PwC Foundation utilizes their Twitter account, @PwCFoundation, to promote their cause areas including veteran affairs and youth education. They share articles their employees pen surrounding their personal connection with cause areas. This is a great way to humanize the causes that the PwC Foundation supports.

4- Whole Kids Foundation

The Whole Kids Foundation’s Instagram feed is filled with colorful images of fruits, vegetables, and smiling faces of children who receive support from the foundation. This foundation, one of the Whole Foods Market Foundations, supports schools and inspires families to improve childhood nutrition and wellness. They encourage their followers to post photos with #growinghealthykids to share their work in growing gardens that support the health and wellness of children.

Good Done Great Whole Kids Foundation Social Media

Are you in need of facts and research that support your Corporate Social Responsibility activities? Look no further than these three twitter accounts…

5- @EdelmanPurpose

Edelman is known the world over for their work promoting and protecting the world’s most respected and trusted brands. Their Twitter account features research and insight on the latest CSR buzzwords and themes including finding your social purpose and demonstrating the business case for sustainability. If you are in need of helpful facts or the latest CSR research, follow @EdelmanPurpose.

6- @CECPtweets

We’ve been fans of CECP for awhile now as they bring together business leaders committed to social responsibility. Their Giving in Numbers report provides statistics and trends regarding current CSR programs of some of the biggest brands; this information helps other companies benchmark their efforts. Check out their feed for highlights surrounding current happenings in the CSR space.

7- @RealizedWorth

RealizedWorth works with companies to motivate employees to participate in volunteering and giving programs. Their inspiring and informational content spurs readers into action. Join over 11,900 of their followers to stay on top of content such as “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose: Framing the Volunteer Experience.”

Edelman, CECP, and RealizedWorth fill their Twitter accounts with CSR facts and statistics. Provide your followers with similar information, and they will view you and your brand as thought leaders.

To round out our list of top 10 CSR-related social media accounts, here are three of our favorite tweeters in this space.

8- Ingrid Embree – @trulyingrid

Ingrid, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, at GlobalGiving shares both informational and inspiring tweets featuring feel-good giving stories. If you are interested in staying on top of the latest in CSR and sustainable development, you will find Ingrid’s account filled with information on the SDGs, skills-based volunteering, and news on relevant causes including the refugee crisis.

9- Shannon Schuyler – @ShannonSchuyler

Shannon is the Chief Purpose Officer at PwC and the President of the PwC Foundation. Her Twitter feed features stories of her fellow colleagues and their personal passions and causes in addition to articles and facts on purpose in the workplace. She keeps her feed current by featuring events including Teacher Appreciation Week and Military Appreciation Month. These celebrated days feature new causes that inspire us to give back.

10- Aman Singh – @AmanSinghCSR

Aman has years of experience in CSR from her role as VP, Business + Social Purpose at Edelman to her work with CSRwire and her current role at Futerra.

Her 19,000+ Twitter followers receive news on everything from the circular economy to climate change and open positions in sustainability. In 160 characters or less, she inspires her followers to take action.

Ingrid, Shannon, and Aman engage their followers with content that not only informs but inspires. Successful social media accounts inform their followers while inspiring and encouraging them to take action.

If you are looking to up your Twitter or social media game, these ten brands and individuals serve as inspiration and provide invaluable CSR research. Take example from the above accounts and turn your neutral stakeholders into positive CSR brand ambassadors!

Good Done Great Acquires Tacoma-Based WPG Solutions


(May 11, 2017) — Good Done Great, a leading Corporate Social Responsibility technology and services provider, announced today the acquisition of Tacoma, Washington based WPG Solutions. WPG Solutions is a workplace giving software and solutions provider offering an array of services to meet the social and philanthropic needs of companies, employees, and administrators.

“We’re excited to be offering Good Done Great’s unified enterprise CSR platform to our clients, as we know it will prove invaluable to amplifying their giving and volunteering efforts,” said Brandon Fix, President and CEO of WPG Solutions. “I look forward to joining the Good Done Great team and adding to Good Done Great’s portfolio of high-caliber clients.”

Brandon Fix, President and CEO of WPG Solutions, joins Good Done Great as the Vice President of Enterprise Business Development. He brings over 20 years of experience as a CSR evangelist and proven problem solver, working closely with Fortune 1000 companies. Before WPG Solutions, Brandon founded DonationDepot.com later acquired by Kintera (KNTA) in 2004.

“By adding WPG Solutions’ expertise in working with corporate workplace giving programs to Good Done Great, we further our goal of providing the best CSR experience for businesses of all sizes,” said David Barach, Founder and CEO of Good Done Great. “I am excited to be working with Brandon. We produced great results together at Kintera, and I look forward to witnessing his continued success growing our enterprise business.”

About Good Done Great

Through innovative technologies and engagement practices, Good Done Great inspires, supports, and expands the charitable aspirations of corporations and individuals. From personal giving accounts to scalable Corporate Social Responsibility platforms, Good Done Great provides solutions that eradicate barriers to giving and facilitate meaningful, lasting connections between givers and the causes they care about.

As ardent believers in the power of business to effect positive change. Good Done Great was one of the first certified and registered Benefit Corporations (B Corp). To date we have processed more than $500 million in donations on behalf of tens of thousands of charities around the globe.

LowcountryBizSC features Good Done Great SMB platform release

LowcountryBizSC posted our release surrounding the launch of our CSR platform for SMBs. Check it out here.

Good Done Great releases new CSR platform for SMBs

Today we’re super-excited to announce Good Done Great’s release of our new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform, designed specifically for the country’s nearly 30 million small to mid-sized business (SMB) population. You can read our official release here.

Not only do these companies represent the life’s blood of the nation’s economic engine, their owners and employees already provide a variety of support – donations, goods and services, and volunteer hours  – to countless community (and global) charities.

Our new SMB platform is designed to help these companies create innovative new giving programs and, just as important, track, record, and report on the results of those efforts. This is important because as most of our readers (and all of our enterprise clients) know, CSR is the new ‘killer app’ for brands eager to do their part for a worthy cause as well as to stand apart from the crowd.

“Research consistently shows that when it comes to socially responsible brands, consumers want to buy from them, the best and brightest want to work for them, the markets want to invest in them, and local governments want them to set up shop in their communities,” notes our CEO and founder, David Barach. “With our new CSR solution for SMBs, millions of SMBs at last will be able to reap those same benefits – benefits which, until now, were only available to the CSR programs of the Fortune 500.”

Details of the SMB Giving Platform

Our new SMB platform scales in functionality depending on the size of the company and its CSR aspirations. For small businesses (up to 100 employees), the platform costs just $29/month. For mid-sized companies (up to 5,000 employees), the cost is $299/month.  Features include:

  • Ability to easily set up a variety of giving programs, including campaigns around employee-chosen causes, disaster response, and matching gifts
  • PayDay GivingTM
  • Employee rewards of charitable gift cards
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals alignment
  • Giving history and tax-deductible reporting

SMBs can learn more about the offering or sign up for a free 30-day trial here, and any employee can volunteer to serve as the company’s CSR administrator. All donations are processed by DonateWell, a national Donor Advised Fund (DAF), and disbursed directly into the designated charity’s bank account.

Social media and CSR: how to leverage your good works

Traditionally, corporations did not want to share their volunteer hours or donation amounts publicly because they did not the public to think they were bragging. Times have changed. When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility, it’s important to share your good works with your constituents.

Consumers continue to place demands on corporations to share their good works and CSR policies. They will talk about you no matter what, so it behooves you to take control over the information shared.

According to the 2015 Cone Communications/ Ebiquity Global CSR Study, consumers look beyond the traditional CSR report to learn about corporate citizenship activities. Social media is increasing in importance as an effective communication vehicle for social and environmental programs and products. In 2011, 7% of surveyed consumers indicated social media as the most effective channel; this number increased to 13% in 2015.

Not only do consumers view social media as an effective communication channel but also as a means to share their opinions and thoughts regarding corporations and their CSR programs. According to the Cone Communications/ Ebiquity Global study, “61% of global consumers use social media to address or engage with companies around CSR issues.” The majority of users (34%) utilize social media to communicate positive information about companies and CSR issues. Thirty percent of users use social media as a way to gather information about CSR issues, and 25% use social media as a way to communicate negative information. Your consumers are out there looking for information, and they speak positively about your efforts! Take advantage of social media as a tool to inspire, inform, and engage your consumers in giving back.

Social media and CSR

Here are five tips to successfully engage consumers in your corporate philanthropy efforts through social media:

(1) Be authentic

Do not overstate your commitments or downplay your failures or setbacks. Consumers demand transparency and authenticity from brands. By sharing challenges, you open the door for conversations that may create solutions. Start by hosting a twitter chat on the current issues your company and industry face in CSR and invite your charity partners and other stakeholders to participate.

(2) Inspire your consumers to take action

Social media is the perfect means to share campaigns that inspire your consumers to take actions that benefit the community.

In recognition of International Women’s Day (March 8), Cisco created its first Social Sharing Campaign. This 24-hour Twitter event encouraged Twitter users to retweet any of Cisco CSR’s tweets around Opportunity International, Water for People, or TechBridge. Cisco agreed to donate $1 for every tweet shared on International Women’s Day, up to $25,000.

This campaign inspired Twitter users to act as a Global Problem Solver for Women while raising awareness and funds for three worthy causes.

(3) Promote a cause

As indicated above, social media users use social media to find information about CSR. Use your social platforms to communicate information about timely causes.  

For example, if your consumer base is primarily women, encourage your followers to take action during National Women’s Health Week to protect their health. You will inform your consumers, and they will view your brand as a brand that cares.

(4) Feature your employees

Your employees actively engage in volunteering and giving. Feature them in your social media campaigns, and share their passions and causes on your social media platforms. Your employees will appreciate you recognizing them as changemakers, and your consumer base will appreciate putting a face with your brand.

(5) Engage with your followers

This probably goes without saying, but don’t forget to engage with your followers! Respond to their comments (both positive and negative), share relevant information, answer their questions, and like their comments and questions.

Your consumers and stakeholders thirst for knowledge surrounding your giving and volunteering programs. Don’t be hesitant to share your CSR statistics or opinions on current environmental or social concerns! You may inspire your constituents to join you on your journey to enact social change.

Strategic corporate philanthropy: driving business results through giving

Once upon a time and not too long ago, corporate philanthropy followed a pretty simple approach. Companies would make contributions for various good works with a preference for traditional charities that often helped the underserved, the arts, or education.

The corporate foundation, which is a separate legal entity from the sponsoring company, often became the vehicle companies would use to meet their charitable giving goals. In the not so distant past, corporate foundations did little more than support the company’s employee matching gift program and hand out small donations far and wide in communities where the company operates and where employees reside.

Increasingly, a new kind of philanthropy is moving to the front and center in the corporate world. Company sponsored foundations, like other private foundations, are becoming more proactive. In the case of corporate foundations, they are becoming strategically aligned with the mission and business interests of the company.

We’ve seen a significant shift in the number of companies that are tying their foundation’s giving to specific causes and interests. Corporate Citizenship, a global CSR consulting firm, reports that nearly three-quarters of corporate foundations surveyed across 20 countries said their giving strategy is linked to the parent company’s business focus. The number of companies becoming more strategic and linking charitable activity to their business focus areas is up in recent years, and we expect this trend to continue. 

For example, let’s look at where tech companies, car makers, and energy firms spend their philanthropic dollars. Most of these companies pour grants into STEM education as they look to the future supply of skilled workers for their sectors. Big banks, which rely heavily on entry-level workers coming from diverse urban populations, invest millions in grantmaking to boost basic job skills and career readiness.

Good Done Great Strategic Philanthropy

We see two other significant changes in the world of corporate foundations. The first is the desire to make an impact and demonstrate that they are making a difference. The previously cited Corporate Citizenship study found that half of the corporate funders surveyed said they currently measure their impact, and three-quarters said they would like to.

The second change is that corporate foundations engage with other key stakeholders in the nonprofit and educational sectors to create partnerships to collaboratively address issues.  They aren’t attempting to solve the big challenges alone. For example, when a company identifies STEM as a focus area, they will often partner with educational groups, nonprofits, and governmental entities to collaborate on a strategy to make a significant difference and to ‘significantly move the needle’ on a complex issue.

The Walmart Foundation is a great example of what we’re discussing and what is happening in the world of corporate foundations. The Walmart Foundation was originally designed to sprinkle donations in every large and small community where they have stores. The company has a long list of organizations receiving grants from its foundation. For example, at a store opening, the Walmart Foundation would give a $500 grant to the local United Way. Millions of dollars were distributed in this way through small donations to local nonprofit organizations often with no expectation of how the funds would be spent. It was done as a goodwill gesture on the part of Walmart when moving into a new community.

While the company still makes these type of grants, foundation giving has become more strategic and aligned. Since 2014, giving at the Walmart Foundation has undergone a paradigm shift with a long term push to revamp a tarnished image and increase bottom line results by focusing on core social issues that tie directly to the company’s business. They publicly talk about the new strategy and how it ties back to the company.

As a foundation, they are focusing on several key issues including employment, women’s empowerment, hunger, and veterans. Foundation giving is closely tied to business interests and needs such as promoting better labor practices, helping front line employees get ahead, and providing better job opportunities.

While hunger and veterans’ issues aren’t unique to Walmart, these are issues in which the company can make a significant difference by leveraging its advantage as a top grocery supplier with a presence in communities all across the U.S. The company is donating 611 million pounds of food and $61 million to organizations fighting hunger.

Good Done Great Strategic Philanthropy

Some may argue that these investments and contributions aren’t truly philanthropic in nature and smack of self-interest. However, it is important to recognize that the company is making a difference, and strategic philanthropy is now the norm.

Whether it be Walmart, a large bank, a tech company, a car manufacturer, or any number of companies who invest, collaborate, and measure their impact, a focused strategic approach to corporate social responsibility is good. When companies engage in strategic philanthropy, they can make a difference and have a positive impact both in the community and for the company. It’s a win-win situation.

Is it bad for companies to address issues important to them if at the same time those same issues are impacting communities all across the world? It is a good question and one certainly to ponder. We think it’s a good business practice and one that will continue for years to come.

SCRA provides Good Done Great with a second investment

SCRA initially invested in Good Done Great in 2015. They recently provided us with an additional investment to launch our product into the small to mid-size business market. Read more about our recent investment here.

The Tech Life Podcast features Good Done Great

Rich Conte of The Tech Life Podcast featured Good Done Great in 2015. We thought it was about time that we sat down again with Rich to discuss our latest news and future product plans. Take a listen here!

Giving back: the secret to a happy life

In the 1975 cult classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur and his knights embark on a journey for the Holy Grail. Legend holds that this vessel, discussed throughout Arthurian literature, provides youth and happiness to whomever possesses it.

Throughout history, humans have sought the secret to happiness and fulfillment.

Even the United Nations has designated March 20th as the International Day of Happiness, a day celebrating the importance of happiness in individuals around the globe.

Happiness and Giving Back Good Done Great

Will we find happiness if we find the Holy Grail, or is there another way to secure happiness and fulfillment?

The answer may be simple: give back.

In 2008, Michael Norton, an assistant professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School, conducted a study with Elizabeth Dunn and Lara Aknin of the University of British Columbia. The researchers surveyed 632 Americans and asked how much they earn in a year, how much they spent on bills, expenses, and personal gifts in a month, and how much they spent on gifts for others and charitable donations in a month. Additionally, the researchers asked those surveyed to rate how happy they were.

The research showed that those individuals who spent more on other people were happier. The money they spent on themselves did not impact their level of happiness.

Additional studies indicated the same – individuals that spent their money on other people were happier than those who spent money on themselves.

Norton highlights the importance of corporate social responsibility and employee giving stating that if companies provide their employees with the opportunity to give to their own causes versus providing a blanket donation to a company cause, employees will be happier. This opportunity for employees may entice further charitable giving.

Beyond donating to your favorite charity, volunteering with your favorite charity can also bring you happiness. According to research conducted at the London School of Economics, the more individuals volunteered, they happier they were. In fact, if you spend time helping others, you may feel as if you have more time to yourself.

Researchers from The Wharton School, Yale School of Management, and Harvard Business School conducted a study surrounding time and giving back. According to this study, “giving time makes people feel efficacious – like they can get more done. Therefore, we also included behavioral measures reflective of feeling less time constrained and more capable: committing to future engagements and following through on those time commitments.” By giving away your time to others, you will feel more productive!

If you want to boost your spirits or embark upon a journey to lifelong happiness, the answer is simple, give back. We think this solution is a heck of a lot easier and more fulfilling than enduring a trek with killer rabbits and holy hand grenades.

They say that when you give, the effect upon your brain is similar to eating chocolate. If you love chocolate (and giving), then sign up today for an individual giving account!