MM Memo 02.24.18

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Each week, we compile and summarize the top articles on corporate social impact, impact investing, and conscious capitalism from around the world, and deliver it to your inbox every Saturday morning for you to enjoy and digest.  

Feel free to shoot us an email with any feedback, insight, tips or suggestions. If you like what you are reading, we would love it if you would share it with your friends.


5 WAYS GROWING BUSINESSES CAN SHOW A COMMITMENT TO CSR


If you aren't currently investing in corporate social responsibility at some level, then you're missing out on an opportunity to help others and build your brand.  Here are some practical steps you can take this year: Study what other brands are doing; pick a relevant issue; hire strategically; give more than money; and don't be shy about promotion.

You aren't going to make everyone happy. Even if you're convinced that the social cause you're investing in is perfect, there will always be people who will complain or disagree with your ideology. At the end of the day, all you can do is be genuine and honest. A good social cause, coupled with transparency, will help your brand overcome a litany of mistakes and forge powerful, profitable connections with your customer base.


 
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PEOPLE WANT TO HELP THE WORLD, BUT THEY WANT TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR IT

A recent study found that aspiring millennial entrepreneurs aren't just thinking about how they can help, but if their contribution will be valued by the recipients. And while the findings might seem a little odd at first glance -- you don’t just want to help people out of the kindness of your heart? -- it makes sense when you look at how not just millennials, but workers of all ages, think about recognition at work. 

In 2015, IBM put together a study called “Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths: The real story behind millennials in the workplace.” They found that for millennials, gen Xers and baby boomers, most of their goals at the office were pretty similar. A quarter of millennials, 21 percent of gen Xers and 23 percent of baby boomers reported that one of their long-term goals was to make a positive impact on their organization.

There is also the question of how that “value” can manifest itself. 2016 Gallup data about employee recognition found that there were a number of ways workers feel appreciated across all cohorts -- and money isn’t the most important one. It can be public or private recognition, a positive review, more responsibility or just general satisfaction and pride in their work.


IT’S OFFICIAL: SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES BOOST REVENUE

U.S. firms are using sustainability strategies to boost revenues, cut operating costs and achieve better borrowing rates, according to new research that underscores the business benefits of going green. The findings were released last week by Dutch banking giant ING and were based on the results of a survey, carried out by Longitude, of 210 finance executives from U.S.-based companies with annual revenues of between $500 million and $20 billion. The survey found the potential to expand revenues was the most important factor when deciding to implement sustainability strategies, with 39 percent of respondents citing revenue growth as a priority. Cutting costs was identified as the main driver for sustainability initiatives by 35 percent of respondents, while 30 percent said they primarily were seeking to boost brand reputation.


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