Yearly Archives: 2009

True Momentum for CSR

by Risa Sherman

The continued research statistics about the continued momentum of the CSR movement and companies’ progress despite a down economy is encouraging. But recently I saw first-hand that momentum in action – and that was more exciting than any statistic.

A few weeks ago, I spoke at Simmons College School of Management at a seminar in CSR theory taught by Dr. Shuili Du, a CSR researcher and professor of marketing. I found the students smart and well informed and their questions and comments insightful. What has me all jazzed up, though is what happened after I left the class. Continue reading

Method vs. Motive in CSR

by Risa Sherman

My dad has given me many lessons over my lifetime and one of the ones I always seem to draw on is:  Do not confuse someone’s method with his motive.

This came to mind recently when Goldman Sachs announced a $500 million philanthropy initiative to help small business owners through higher education scholarships, access to capital and mentoring.  There is little doubt expressed by journalists and bloggers all around the country that what is motivating Goldman is a desperate need for good will coming out of months and months of revelations around the company’s role in Wall Street’s financial meltdown.

Goldman appears to have begun to embrace what we in causenation always look for from corporate America - transparency. Goldman executive Lloyd C. Blankfein, acknowledged at a conference in New York, on the same day as the philanthropy announcement, that the company had made mistakes, and that it was sorry. He said, “We participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret. We apologize.”

My dad has given me many lessons over my lifetime and one of the ones I always seem to draw on is:  Do not confuse someone’s method with his motive.

This came to mind recently when Goldman Sachs announced a $500 million philanthropy initiative to help small business owners through higher education scholarships, access to capital and mentoring.  There is little doubt expressed by journalists and bloggers all around the country that what is motivating Goldman is a desperate need for good will coming out of months and months of revelations around the company’s role in Wall Street’s financial meltdown. Continue reading

Service is a Strategic Weapon

by Mark Feldman

As I travel back from the Points of Light Institute’s Presidential Summit on Community Service, hosted by Former President Bush (41) and President Obama, I am inspired by the direction and fresh momentum of the national and community volunteerism movement. Discussions have moved well beyond volunteerism as a “nice to do” or “a civic responsibility,” toward a focus on using service as a tool to achieve targeted social outcomes.

As I travel back from the Points of Light Institute’s Presidential Summit on Community Service, hosted by Former President Bush (41) and President Obama, I am inspired by the direction and fresh momentum of the national and community volunteerism movement. Discussions have moved well beyond volunteerism as a “nice to do” or “a civic responsibility,” toward a focus on using service as a tool to achieve targeted social outcomes. Continue reading

Social Responsibility Now Part of Adobe Max Awards

by Mark Feldman

Each year, Adobe celebrates the cutting-edge use of its technology for creating engaging virtual experiences. This year Social Responsibility was added as a new category, and the diverse finalists in this category are worth checking out.  The general public has been invited to vote on the winner. Finalists include a dynamic online forum for Colorado teenagers to discuss peer pressure and making smarter choices in their lives; an interactive game to promote healthy relationships among youth; an online exploration of threatened salmon populations in the North Pacific; and an easy-to-use desktop application that helps Fiat owners drive more efficiently.

Each year, Adobe celebrates the cutting-edge use of its technology for creating engaging virtual experiences. This year Social Responsibility was added as a new category, and the diverse finalists in this category are worth checking out.  The general public has been invited to vote on the winner. Finalists include a dynamic online forum for Colorado teenagers to discuss peer pressure and making smarter choices in their lives; an interactive game to promote healthy relationships among youth; an online exploration of threatened salmon populations in the North Pacific; and an easy-to-use desktop application that helps Fiat owners drive more efficiently. Continue reading

Ending Texting & Driving: A CSR Opportunity

by Risa Sherman

As Congress introduces what is hoped to be life-saving legislation to ban texting while driving, and the National Safety Council earlier this year called for a nationwide ban on cell use while driving, causenation sees a tremendous opportunity for scores of mobile device manufacturers and carriers to stand up and be counted as pro-safety.  Next week the U.S. Transportation Secretary will host the Distracted Driving Summit on this life & death issue.

Like the automobile industry before them that championed seatbelt laws and advocated for tougher drunk driving legislation, it is time for this sector to align corporate values with action and create CSR initiatives that promote more responsible and safer use of its products. The social need being both profound and timely, would allow companies in this space to take some really innovative steps toward addressing the increasing danger of using all types of mobile communications devices while driving.

As Congress introduces what is hoped to be life-saving legislation to ban texting while driving, and the National Safety Council earlier this year called for a nationwide ban on cell use while driving, causenation sees a tremendous opportunity for scores of mobile device manufacturers and carriers to stand up and be counted as pro-safety.  Next week the U.S. Transportation Secretary will host the Distracted Driving Summit on this life & death issue.

Like the automobile industry before them that championed seatbelt laws and advocated for tougher drunk driving legislation, it is time for this sector to align corporate values with action and create CSR initiatives that promote more responsible and safer use of its products. The social need being both profound and timely, would allow companies in this space to take some really innovative steps toward addressing the increasing danger of using all types of mobile communications devices while driving. Continue reading

Cause Consulting Summer Update

by Mark Feldman

We are having a busy Summer working and playing. We hope you are too. Here are some highlights from our world: Brewing the American Dream on CNN;ARAMARK released case study; FutureStage took over Broadway; and the Black Eyed Peas headlined Adobe Youth Voices Live. Continue reading

Pope Benedict XVI Endorses Cause-Related Marketing

by Risa Sherman

So I just read that the Pope has announced a Christmas cause marketing campaign. He has partnered with David Geffen and is making a CD of holiday music to benefit less advantaged kids around the globe. I, for one, couldn't be happier. In my book it communicates a big, pious thumbs up for the practice of cause marketing.

So I just read that the Pope has announced a Christmas cause marketing campaign. He has partnered with David Geffen and is making a CD of holiday music to benefit less advantaged kids around the globe. I, for one, couldn’t be happier. In my book it communicates a big, pious thumbs up for the practice of cause marketing. Continue reading

Training the CSR Professional

by Risa Sherman

When I hear about a theme or a trend that catches my attention, I tuck it away and know I will use it at some point. If I hear about it again in a different circle I know it is an idea that is “bubbling” and is something that will likely resurface, and so I start to think about its relevance to my world. The third time this theme crosses into my domain, I know it is an established conversation that many are having. And in the past 10 days or so, at varied intersections, I have been part of conversations about what it actually takes to work in the CSR field. Is it training? DNA? Professional experience? Formal education? I don’t know the definitive answer, but I do know there is more than one path.  Mostly, I am just thrilled the conversation is actually taking place in numerous circles.

When I hear about a theme or a trend that catches my attention, I tuck it away and know I will use it at some point. If I hear about it again in a different circle I know it is an idea that is “bubbling” and is something that will likely resurface, and so I start to think about its relevance to my world. The third time this theme crosses into my domain, I know it is an established conversation that many are having. And in the past 10 days or so, at varied intersections, I have been part of conversations about what it actually takes to work in the CSR field. Is it training? DNA? Professional experience? Formal education? I don’t know the definitive answer, but I do know there is more than one path.  Mostly, I am just thrilled the conversation is actually taking place in numerous circles. Continue reading

Voices that Matter

by Nikki Korn

For the past four years I have been working with Adobe on its Adobe Youth Voices program, a signature initiative that empowers young people from underserved communities around the globe to share their voices. I could not be more thrilled that the Black Eyed Peas have continued to add their voices to support and raise awareness of the power of young people.

I am completely inspired by these kids and it has become a personal passion of mine to expose people in my networks to their creations.

One young filmmaker I really admire is Maria Centeno from East Palo Alto, CA. Part hip-hop artist, part journalist, part poet, part graphic artist, her film What Has This World Come To? is a commentary about paying attention to what is going on around you, seen through Maria’s eyes. More than 25,000 people have viewed Maria’s work! Take a few minutes to watch it. Continue reading

You Go Girl! – CNN Tells Micro-Entreprenuer’s Story

by Risa Sherman

At causenation, the corporate philanthropy programs we like best are the ones that get us up off the couch with a fist-pumping cheer for the people that cause initiatives help. So today we give a big “You Go Girl!” to Lucy Valena of Voltage Coffee who was featured yesterday on CNN’s American Morning. Continue reading

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