— June 23, 2017
Any change in presidential administration is bound to cause changes in national philanthropy, but there hasn’t been an effect like this in recent memory. With the election of President Donald Trump and associated cabinet picks, philanthropy has seen explosive and immediate changes. While we frequently compile yearly trends, it must be said that this year is different from any in recent memory. With that in mind, there are a few key trends to pay attention to in 2017 to get the most out Corporate Social Responsibility.
#1- Constitutional Rights Groups are Trending Up
On both sides of the political spectrum, individuals are taking a stand for their rights under the constitution. Their concerns include free speech, free press, the separation of church and state, equality, privacy rights, the right to assemble and protest and more.
For example, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received $ 7.2 million in the first five days after the election. In comparison, after the 2012 presidential election, the ACLU received $ 27,806 in the same amount of time. These donations could be increased even more if companies and employees work together to support causes.
Tip: Find out which constitutional rights groups are active in your community and offer employees opportunities and incentives to get involved.
#2- Women Lead the Charge in Donations
As of 2016, only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs were women. However, women control about 51% of American personal wealth, which is about $ 14 trillion. It’s expected that they will control $ 22 trillion by the year 2020. Many women who feel their rights are being threatened under the new administration are taking a stand for what they believe in. That means an increase in donations, an increase in participation and an increase in CSR organization.
After the 2016 election, for example, Planned Parenthood reported receiving donations at 40x their normal rate, showing that those women who oppose the new administration are willing to put money into the cause.
Tip: If Planned Parenthood or NARAL are controversial organizations at your company, lend support to other women’s rights groups that are more bipartisan. The National Organization for Women is a good place to start.
#3- Employees Take A Stand
Millennial employees have been making it clear for several years that they prefer to work for environmentally and socially responsible companies. In fact, 76% of Millennials would even take a pay cut to work for responsible company.
With the change in administration, they are becoming even more vocal about wanting CSR options at their workplace. Overall corporate giving has increased by 4.7% in 2017, and is expected to continue increasing in 2018. This upswing in employee participation is bound to be a great asset for the future, when in the past it has been a struggle to engage employees in CSR.
Tip: Ensure your employees have a variety of ways to get involved with their community, across a range of organizations and nonprofits. Gift matching, paid volunteer hours and fundraisers are excellent ways for executives to make options available and attract and engage Millennial employees.
#4- Philanthropic Strategy Becomes the Norm
As always, truly transformational CSR doesn’t come about overnight. However, more companies are beginning to see that it requires careful strategic planning from all levels of the organization. In fact, 29% of teams are reporting increased involvement with the CEO’s office to better facilitate top-down changes.
Corporate giving teams are growing in both size (a 3% increase since 2013) and prominence. With the increase in nonprofits and charities under the new administration, CSR teams are having to strategize and market themselves more than ever.
Tip: Where possible, devote more funds and time to your CSR programs to ensure they stand out from the rest. Your employees are looking for places to maximize their donations to causes they believe are under threat, help them make the most of their donation dollars!
#5- Impact Investing Rises
In 2016, a study by the Global Impact Investing Network revealed that 205 respondents had invested $ 22.1 billion in nearly 8,000 impact investing transactions. This has grown from their 2015 results, which catalogued a $ 15 billion investment from respondents.
Because impact investing combines charitable giving with financial return, it is the perfect way for large corporations or donors to get involved with the community without affecting profits. Although it has taken some time for investors to get on board (due to side effects like slow, minimal returns and high risk), 72% of surveyed companies with a sustainability mindset offered higher profitability.
Tip: Because impact investing is more of a long-term venture, survey employees to find out what they care about most and get involved with one cause?—?be it sustainable energy, agriculture or housing.
The Bottom Line
In 2017 and beyond, it’s expected that employees and individuals will want to get more involved in the causes they care about. Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the best ways to ensure they have opportunities to do so, which means we will be seeing rises in CSR team size, strategy and impact.