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Private Sector Takes a Stand

Posted by Danielle Iwata
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Private Sector Takes a Stand

“Brand Impact,” “Brand Democracy,” “Brand Activism” – whatever you call it, you should get in on it.

 

In recent years, it might have seemed like taking a stand on social or political issues could spell disaster for a company. And yet, more and more often, we are seeing brands and their leaders speaking out.

 

Why would a company risk losing customers and profit if a stance could alienate significant portions of the country?

 

Stakeholders expect it.

 

As reported by eMarketer, two-thirds “want brands to take a stand on social and political issues.”  With over half of the respondents stating that companies should take a stand on human rights and labor laws, combined responses for “yes, all brands should take a stand” and “only if it relates to products/services” were all above 64%.

 

According to Edelman’s 2017 report: The Rise of the Belief-Driven Buyer, 1 in 2 people are belief-driven buyers, meaning “they choose, switch, avoid, or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues.” In the 2018 survey, they found that 64% of respondents are belief-driven buyers. This stance is the majority across all ages, with the highest percentage among the 18-34 range. However, 35-54 and 55+ are steadily increasing at a faster rate.

 

Even internally, almost 57% of employees at Fortune 1000 “think corporations should play a more active role in addressing social issues,” as reported by Povaddo. 55% want the “company and/or CEO to be more vocal on important societal issues.” Employees want more outlets and resources to be engaged with political or social issues.

 

Why are brands expected to take stands?

 

The private sector has power.

 

Consumers are looking to corporations to lead the way. Per Edelman, 57% of respondents in the US believe “it is easier for people to get brands to address social problems than to get government to take action” and 53% believe “brands can do more to solve social ills than government.”

 

Likewise, according to GlobeScan and BSR’s State of Sustainable Business 2018 report, 71% of respondents believe that large global companies are “more effective than governments at advancing the sustainability agenda.”

 

 

What’s one way companies can take a stand?

 

The arts can make a difference.

 

Although the arts are not explicitly listed as an issue, they intersect with each category. As demonstrated in the Art + Social Impact explorer, the arts can play a significant role in all arenas. Through business partnerships with artists and arts organizations, we have seen the power of the arts in advancing human rights, the environment, gender equality, LGBTQIA+ rights, and more.

 

Here’s to hoping that an increase in expectation and effort from corporations to be mindful of and invested in social and political stances means an increase in engagement with the arts.

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Arts Volunteering Paints a Better Business

Posted by Chris Zheng
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Arts Volunteering Paints a Better Business

Long-term growth in business is only possible if there is a thriving future in which that growth can occur. Businesses that realize this almost certainly have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan or department, a company’s way of creating a vision for a compassionate company culture, supporting the creation of a sustainable and improved future for the community in which the business operates. CSR is taking off everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations, and employee volunteer programs are the most popular method of engaging responsibly with the community.  

 

Currently, the average corporate volunteer participation rate now rests at about 31%, indicating that there is a lot of room for growth in the CSR sectors of businesses. Companies are finding ways to build employee participation in volunteerism through offering a wider array of charity and organization options. One of the most popular methods of volunteering- the arts.

 

Whether it is pro bono consulting or financial work with Business Volunteers for the Arts or simply going to a local arts organization and volunteering some time to staff an event or help prepare materials, volunteering with and for the arts is a perfect way to build a future of culture, creativity, and expression for employees and in the larger community.

The data backing up the importance of volunteer programs is clear–they are not only a great way to build an external company profile, but also an exemplary method for improving internal operations. Compiled data by Cybergrants, an employee engagement software developer, demonstrates that giving back also means getting back employee satisfaction and productivity. When polling employees on workplace failures, 97% cited a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication as the root issue. 64% of employees who currently volunteer stated that volunteering with work peers strengthened their relationships.

 

The benefits don’t stop there. 78% of people who volunteer say that is reduces stress levels, promoting wellness and efficacy in work. In terms of personal development, 90% of HR executives agreed that contributing business skills and acumen to a non-profit can aid in the development of leadership skills. Additionally, volunteering out of the office certainly translates into direct benefits in the office. Studies show that a well-designed corporate social responsibility program can increase employee engagement by 7.5%, raise productivity 13%, and can even reduce turnover by 50%.

 

Incorporating the arts into CSR volunteer programs allow for employees to directly participate in improving their communities. Starting an employee volunteering program now is a decision that guarantees a flourishing future for the arts. 

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Looking to Refocus Your Corporate Citizenship in 2015? 5 Questions to Help

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Looking to Refocus Your Corporate Citizenship in 2015? 5 Questions to Help

As we embark on a new year, many companies are reflecting on what they can do to improve their business operations. Many are looking to begin or improve their corporate citizenship and sustainability practices. In the article below, Realized Worth has provided 5 key questions to help focus your business's community impact.

 

As you read the article, think about how involvement in the arts could be the key player in advancing your business's impact on the community. As the 8 reasons businesses partner with the arts teach us, when you partner with your local arts, you partner with the whole community. Business partnerships with the arts strengthen economies, improve neighborhoods and cities, and help to attract new businesses and top-notch talent. Perhaps the arts could be the secret weapon you need to positively impact your business's bottom line in 2015.

 

5 Key Questions to Help Focus Your Community Impact

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