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2014 Corporate Philanthropy Institute Live Blog

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We're live blogging today's Corporate Philanthropy Institute. Follow along for highlights from the conference. NCG staff will be updating this blog regularly throughout the day for all your CPI coverage needs.


Well here we are. The end of the 2014 CPI. 

Well, almost. While today's offical program has ended, NCG is pleased to join Silicon Valley Community Foundation for the Powered by EF awards dinner to celebrate the corporate community. For those of you attended the Powered by EF event, we look forward to spending the evening with you.

And for the rest of you, see you next year!

2:50 pm - 3:45 pm | Closing Plenary

Here we are in the home stretch. It's been a thought-provoking day. Now we finish with the closing plenary.

  • Carla Boragno, Senior Vice President of Site Services, Genentech
  • Marc Blakeman, Regional Fice President-External Affairs, AT&T
  • Scott Shafer, Senior Correspondent, KQED [moderator]
  • Larry Warnock, Vice President for Security Strategy, Cloudera

Here are the highlights from the plenary:

  • How is Genetech think about its social responsibility? Genetech is an innovative company. They want to think about incorporating that philosophy in terms of their philanthropy. It's part of their culture, engaging employees. It's a holistic approach born out of its company's values.
  • How does AT&T think about its's social responsibility and how has it changed over the years? AT&T has a 103 year history. It's mission is connecting people. That value is a part of its company and philanthropy.
  • How as a start-up has Cloudera thought about social responsibility? In a start up it's the executive's responsibility that the culture will include giving back to the commmunity. Leveraging employee power.
  • How does self interest fit into how CEOs think about CSR? If you look at the corporate goals, there is a way to holistically incorporate CSR goals. It's not in competition with the company's bottom line. It can be good for the business. The C Suite has stakeholders: employees, investors, and customers. That's how it decides what to do. It's simple. If you look at any CSR program, it's benefitting one of those three stakeholders.
  • Do CEOs think of CSR as risky? This notion of being involved in the community is inherently risky--that idea has gone away. The risk is controlled by setting expectations. If you say you're going to end world hunger--you're probably not going to achieve that. Having a defined impact you can measure allows you to set appropriate goals.
  • Are there some projects that year to year don't look like successful? You have to take the long-term perspective. If it's aligned with company values and business goals, then the risk is mitigated.
  • Are there any projects you'd avoid because of the risk? AT&T has become very laser-focused. They have failed on some projects, but learned from those failures. For Cloudera, risk is to not embrace the community service as part of its mantra. The community is a life raft that we are in. It is our responsibility to patch holes, bail water--with success comes the responsibility to give back. What's risky is a company just writing a check. Employees are smart. If there is an inconsistency in what's being said and what's being done creates risk.
  • What are your thoughts of local and international giving? AT&T has its employees at home and its business overseas. Employees drive programming based on personal interest. Genetech looks at the issue areas rather than the geography.
  • Do companies try to reign in ideas that come from employees? Sure. Because it has to be consistent with the brand. 
  • Where there any proposals your companies considered and turned down? There are a lot of good ideas out there but not way to measure the metrics. The higher the dollar amount the more important the metrics are. If the work didn't align with the issue areas of the foundation, we couldn't support.
  • Would metrics have mattered 20 years ago? I think philanthropy 20 years ago was more private and more personal--driven by personal opinion by the top of the pyramid (CEO). I think the decision process is more transparent and broader. 20 years ago the check writing had little focus and purpose--now we want to make a difference. That's a culture shift.
  • What difference has social media made? It's been hard for older companies like AT&T--letting people say whatever they want. There has to be a shift. But it's allowed for deeper relationships with customers. It's become a very powerful tool. The reality is that social media is with us. It's the great equalizer. Everyone has a voice. You can protect your brand, but your actions speak louder than press releases. Employees entering the workforce want to be at companies that are doing good in the community--it's about talent retention.
  • Do you think with the emphasis on metrics, that philanthropy and companies might under invest in areas that are crucial but difficult to measure? I think companies that are visionary do make long-term investments. A lot of the problems philanthropy wants to solve are long-term problems.
  • Many of us have wish lists. What is the one thing you don't have you'd want? AT&T need a bit more discretionary money for those things that don't fit neatly into the caterogies we've set up. Cloudera would like the opposite--it has too many programs. It wants to focus to have more of an impact. Genetech would love to realize the great ideas that employees are bringing forward.
  • There is high burn out and drain because CSR professionals are saying "no" alot. There's a lot of battles to demonstrate the value within our organizations. Any advice, when we've had a bad day what we can do? Keep the faith. Remind yourself that you are doing good work. Jump over the system to where the funds are going and meet the people impacted by your work as a way to recharge. Don't get disconnected to the people who are benefiting from your work.
  • What are your thoughts on failure? A lot of corporations push for risk in its business, but it doesn't trickle down to the CSR team. How can we convince our executive teams to risk and fail? Communication is key. Talk to your president and explain it may not work out. An open dialogue helps so they're not caught off guard when failure happens. Also, shar the successes. It's also important to have a culture of learning from your failures. Fear of failure is an obstacle of forward movement. If you're in an environment where there is abject punishment for failure--go some place else. If they fire you--great, go some place where risk and failure are encouraged.
  • How do you motivate middle management to lead by example and engage with CSR? Find out who your early adaptors/change agents are. Get them to spread the word.

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm | Afternoon Breakouts

Lunch is over and we're jumping back into the CPI with afternoon breakout sessions. And due to NCG staff leanings, we find ourselves at the Telling Your Story: Communication Strategies & Approaches session. 

Panelists for this breakout include:

  • Erin Dieterich, Director of Corporate Citizenship, NetSuite
  • Dotti Hatcher, Executive Director of P.A.C.E. Global Initiatives, GAP Inc.
  • Melanie Janin, Managing Director of Communications, Business for Social Responsibility [moderator]
  • Jonah Sachs, CEO, Free Range

The session begins with a video:

Jonah Sachs: Story Wars Book Trailer from BrightSightGroup on Vimeo.

Here are the highlights from Jonah Sachs' presentation:

  • Stories are an important way for people to receive information. If data isn't wrapped in a story, 1/2 the power to move minds is lost.
  • We're using communications methods that are from a bygone past. It was a broadcast era--cast the audience as damsel in distress and product as savior. This doesn't work anymore because people want to curate their own stories/information. This means we're returning to an oral tradition society. People share with their networks, make it their own. So we need a new model like the hero's journey model (which you see in all societies). It's about an ordinary person who makes the world better. When you hear a story that makes you feel better about yourself, you're most likely to share it. So instead of the brand being the hero, the audience is the hero.
  • Think about every story you put out there. Think about those stories as a character. A well-told story tells a well-known truth. How do those stories align with the message of your organization. How do the morals of those stories resonate with your brand's core values? If your company's core brand is self expression, are the stories you pushing out reinforcing that core value? Stories are vehicle for values. 
  • Stories are about conflict. They're never a straight line (from things that are bad to things that are good). Stories of social impact that most spread are often stories with the classic three act structure. We discover what's wrong. We try and fail. Then we learn and overcome. How do we show what the real conflict is?
  • Tips: Identify stories about real people, doing real things, struggling, failing and succeeding in the in. Make them people you audience can identify with. Great stories make great change possible. Identify what your core values are so you can then align stories to it.
  • The places where the brand intersects with the actual work being done in the field are the best example. Dove's real beauty changes story from "you're dirty if you don't use our soap" to "the stories about beauty that are perpetuated by the media are a lie" and "you are beautiful."

Here are the highlights from Erin Dieterich's presentation on NetSuite's employee engagement program:

  • NetSuite is trying to mobilize resources to create transformative change in the social sector. These programs began 2 years ago. So telling the story is a way to get more engagement.
  • Marketing Campaign Collateral: You need to help your employees connect to your message. Used NetSuite's marketing team to spread message about pro bono work. Employees are the heroes. NetSuite volunteer superhero is on all messaging to drive home that message.
  • Case Studies & Testimonials: Employee profiles that tell story of how employee got involved.
  • Social Media & Blogs: Showing employees making impact and letting employees tell their own story. Using Yammer to see what employees have shared and inspire other employees.
  • Photos & Video: using Flickr Group, all volunteer leaders post pictures from their events. It's a constant way to see visually the efforts that employees are doing around the world. All employees around the world can feel united in their volunteer efforts. With regards to video--it's an amazing resource if used correctly. You need to know what story you want to tell. The production value matches the story. It needs to be concise (no more than 7 minutes).
  • NetSuite tries to get Communications and Marketing to leverage the stories that are being created.

Here are the highlights from Dotti Hatcher's presentation:

  • The reason why telling your story is important: if you don't, someone else will and they're probably do it wrong.
  • The story that GAP wanted to tell through the implementation of its P.A.C.E. program is that the women worldwide who work in factories where GAP clothes are made can advance in their careers.
  • GAP used to be very adverse to telling stories. Because it can seem self serving. What GAP has focused on is letting the women tell the stories themselves.
  • GAP's founders believed in giving back--it's core to the values of their company. But wanted to move from traditional philanthropy to social investment because we all have a stake in making the world better. 
  • GAP worked to align its CSR with its business strategy. First and primary focus was to invest in the women who make clothes for their company--invest in her family, her community. Her growth is a benefit for the business.
  • GAP sees P.A.C.E. is a social brand. 

12:00 noon | Lunch Break!

There is no program during lunch. CPI attendees are enjoying a networking lunch.

10:40 am - 12:00 noon | Morning Breakouts

There are four breakouts and the live blog can only follow one and that break out session is Global Philanthropy for a Changing World.

Panelists for this breakout include:

  • Jeff Hoffman, Program Director for the Global Social Investing Council, The Conference Board
  • Alicia Procello Maddox, President, Avery Dennison Foundation
  • Carmen Perez, Manager- Measurement Standards, CECP [moderator]
  • Nicole Robinson, President, Mondelez International Foundation

Here are highlights from the panel as our moderator Carmen interviews each of them.

  • What are the challenges of working in the developing world with regards to global giving? So many organizations (NGO community and non-govement, government run organizations)--finding the right partner is challenging. Due diligence on the front end is critical.
  • Any new trends we should be aware of? New trends on how businesses are operating. Also seeing more collaboration among companies, utilizing experise to address issue very quickly (i.e. addressing ebola). Very exciting to see.
  • What about Disney's structure as a business affected its approach to community engagement? There wasn't one overall strategy for company. Had to build a structure and centralize it. There are a lot of sub-brands that you have to be respectful of. Having a global budget (to bring in resources) meant the regional offices were willing to partner.
  • Why is "mindful snacking" part of Mondelez's approach? Mondelez has 2 big goals: 1) Top tier financial performance, 2) Create a great place to work. "Protect the well-being of people and planet" is one of their core strategies. "Mindful snacking" fits under that strategy because many of the markets they want to go into have issues with obesity. Mondelez is self-regulating itself to be proactive. The company also supports sustainable chocolate practices to improve the livelihoods of the farmers.
  • Are there different global pressures that encourage your product portfolio? It's been a slow build. 80% of Mondelez's sales are outside the U.S. When people can see there's positive intent and shared value, they want to partner with you.
  • Mondelez operates in 100 countries, but only 12 where you do philanthropy. How did you choose them? They're the top 10 markets because that's where the company's resources are--marketing, communications--talent of the company is used to make both the company and foundation stronger.
  • How do the employees in the other markets respond? The big communities parnteships are only in the 12 markets. But there is a global volunteer program. And for perspective, it's important to note that in some of the markets there are only 2 employees.
  • What was important in the roll out of global CSR for Avery Dennison? Philanthropy means different things in different parts of the world? We've had to have a lot of conversations with employees around the world. So we've gone where there is reception. It's a culture change for people to adopt as a business imperative. We need to engage our employees in these conversations. It's slow when you are in the U.S. and visit once a year.
  • What is the support from leadership? How does it impact your work? When a company has a more B-to-B, what is role of employee? Role of employee is critical. As we hire younger people or become more savvy. Buy in from the CEO took years. Now we have it. It doesn't always translate to the regional managers in other countries. The C-suite is crtical. But in global work you need buy in a couple of layers down in order to get the work done.
  • Regarding employee metrics--Do you have specific metrics on a local level? Mondelez had a selfie campaign this year. It unified people. Mondelez has a global volunteer website so people can track their volunteer work. The company also wants to make it a great place to work. So CSR adds questions regarding volunteering to the HR annual survey. Avery Dennison asks regions to report. Has had success adding questions to HR surveys. At Disney's biggest site was in Florida--7,000 employees. There were a whole set of interal metrics. They also worked with an outside agency to look at health of community to see how Disney World was affecting it positively and negatively.
  • What's your relationship with HR? How do you handle situations when employees spend "too" much time volunteering--their work in the company is only average, but CSR communications is spotlighting the employee. Or, managers who didn't want to evaluate employees based on their volunteering. Are there different experiences in different regions? The relationship of volunteering and how CSR spills into HR. There are lot statistics regarding retention--employees are more likely to stay if volunteering. Cost of re-hiring and training come to bear. It seems like the bridge between CSR and HR is being built. In Mondelez volunteering is at the manager's discretion. If volunteering is affecting the employee's performance, then the manager can step in. Avery Dennison clears volunteer awards first with HR. HR is their reality check of the business reality that's not just the money making side, but the personel side.
  • At Avery Dennison and Mondelez--what affect does mergers and divestments have on your work? It's about business alignment. Following what the business recognizes helps. Know your audience. "Right thing to do" resonates with employees, but not necessarily CFO. When the businesss changes it's also an opportunity--even painful changes. Mondelez has adopted colors and language as a way to smooth the merger with Cadbury.
  • How do things that pop up outside of your world affect your work? India's company act which requires that 2% of profits of a company be given to charity. If the company's goal is to give 1%, but India requries 2%--leads to conversations regarding alignment when one country is out of alignment with your overall giving program. This is all new. Will be interesting to see how it plays out--if other countries begin to adopt requirements. For Avery Dennison ebola was a non-starter since the company doesn't operating in Africa. Mondelez buys a lot of chocolate in Africa, though not in the countries affected by the outbreak. Its approach to humanitarian aid has been proactive so money they've given to the Red Cross who are on the ground. But could not give to countries outside where they work.
  • Some campaigns don't resonate nationally. Not sure is it's being communicated clearly to employees--have you encountered this and how have you mitigated it? And regarding matching gifts, has that been sucessful? Mondelez decided matching gifts didn't work because cultural norms didn't align with employees. Though employees did want to give during a disaster. Avery Dennison got rid of matching gifts world wide because they found only top tier was giving and company was funding a lot of private gifts. Avery spends a lot of money on posters and translation. And then works with HR--has to be in the employee's language.
  • In 5 years from now, what will be talking about? Shared Value. Impact--measuring and sharing. We'll see a change in leadership at the CEO level. The new leader will look at how the entire company is doing business in a responsible way--it will be embeded.


9:30 am - 10:30 am | Morning Plenary Speaker Matthew Bishop

Our plenary speaker Matthew Bishop is the Globilisation Editor and New York Bureau Chief of The Economist. He's also the author of Philanthrocapitalism

Here are some of the highlights from his presentation:

  • There is a sense that government is exhausted.
  • Now, inequality and what we do about it one of the top 2 items that any politician will have on their agenda.
  • There's a general sense that companies are on the side of the 1%.
  • There is more activity on college campuses--students are demanding that their universities make moral investment choices.
  • Over next 10-15 years we'll see shift to greater concern about supply chains.
  • Companies that are thinking about their role in society have to expect they will more visible and challenged to prove they are serious about what they are doing. They will be judged by their customers and workers.
  • The "sharing economy" (even if they aren't really about sharing) is indicative of where the pubilc wants to go--feels more on the side of humanity.
  • The White House is demonstrating some innovate ways of working with foundatons.
  • We have new players in the form of billionaries--the super rich. Philanthrocapitalism was born on that day when Gates and Buffett pledged to give away the majority of their wealth
  • We have the emergence of impact investment which will be big in the coming years. Impact investing is investing that has both the intention of making money but also achieving a social goal.
  • The key organization form for the 21th century is the "posse." Like in Western movies, there's a problem affecting a town, a coalition comes together to address the issue. Coalitions will come together to achieve a specific purpose and then disband once the problem is solved.
  • Business world has greater commitment to innovation and willingness to take risk. Government avoids risk.
  • Leverage is something business people understand--the system they exist in, the tipping points.
  • Measuring success is something businesses are better at.
  • We need a big data revolution in order to find out what ideas are working and what aren't.
  • There are a whole bunch of areas where cooperation can help the entire industry (i.e. hackathons)
  • Capacity building in the nonprofit sector is the number 1 way business can help.
  • The B corporations are going to be a growing part of landscape. Question is: how will existing companies demonstrate that they are taking social missions seriously.
  • A lot of companies are sitting on data that they aren't even aware of and society can benefit from that big data.
  • Corporations can use its lobbying power (i.e. the B Team) to effect policy change that can have positive effects.
  • Impact investing is poised to take off. But how fast it will take off it yet to be seen. A particular problem is a lack of big projects to invest in.
  • Giving Tuesday is an example of how the social impact world can learn from business. All the companies involved with corporate philanthropy can come together for "the opening day of the giving season." 
  • Parting questions to help you be more successful: What problem do you want to solve? Is it a strategic goal, or tactical? Who are the best partners for your posse? What is your unique contribution to the posse? What does success lok like, and how are you going to measure and report progress?

9:00 am | Welcome

Welcome to the 2014 Corporate Philanthropy Institute! We're excited to spend the day examining the world of Corporate Philanthropy Institute and exploring its impact on the world.

8:30 am PDT | Sponsor Shout Out

Today's CPI is taking place at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood City and there's only one word for it: swank.

This picture doesn't do it justice.

And now would also be a good time to thank all of our sponsors who made today's conference possible.


8:00 am PDT | We Are Family

It's 8:00 am. Registration is open and We Are Family is playing in the background. Now, NCG staff especially requested the 60s and 70s music playlist. Mainly because it's good wake-up music. But it feels appropriate that the first song to play reminds us all that we're all connected. That we're one big corporate grantmaking family.

Speaking of family, NCG is pleased to partner this year with Silicon Valley Community Foundation to present this year's Corporate Philanthropy Institute. And on behalf of both NCG and SVCF, I can say we're very excited to present this year's line up of speakers. This is going to be an engaging and thought-provoking day. So stay tuned for more updates.