CSR Blogs

Five “Keys” to Unlock a Successful Sustainability Program - Key 5: Maximize Stakeholder Engagement

Part 8 in the series "The New PR"

Companies that have a genuine commitment to sustainability can implement their programs in ways that add value and clearly demonstrate their commitment.

Accurately Define and Identify Stakeholders

Many businesses take a marketing approach to customers – selecting to focus their efforts on the most profitable segments of their market. This is a sound business strategy that companies usually...

Restoring Chitimacha: How Companies Can Serve as Agents of Cultural Preservation

“The artist has a special task and duty: the task of reminding men of their humanity and the promise of their creativity.”

As historian, sociologist and critic Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) so eloquently noted in the quote above, all art – visual, musical, literary, architectural, performing, culinary – reflects the best of humanity.  We are, after all, the culture that we create.

This month, the Smithsonian held its 46th...

Nonprofit Board Self-Assessment: Creating the Path Forward

Given financial threats and opportunities and a passion for their missions, a growing number of NGO/nonprofit boards are seeking to assess how they can become stronger and more effective in maximizing their greater potential.

Business executives and professionals and people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives who serve on NGO/nonprofit boards can bring valuable expertise in helping boards consider new revenue models and opportunities and explore ways of increasing the organization's impact through new partnerships.

In my work with hundreds of NGO/nonprofit boards, they...

Five “Keys” to Unlock a Successful Sustainability Program - Key 4: Tangible, Local Benefits

Part 7 in the blog series The New PR

“All politics is local” – Tip O’Neil

With exceptions such as relief after the Indian Ocean tsunami and other disasters that draw international attention and concern, for the most part, people like to see the benefit of corporations in their own community. Impacts such as employment opportunities, contributions to tax revenues and bringing needed goods and services to the community are easily understood...

Everything I Need To Know About Life I Learned On My Nonprofit Board


In my experience, people on nonprofit boards almost always act with good will; they become disappointed or frustrated, however, when roles are unclear, and that can bring about tension. Under such circumstances, the board can get stuck. When the board underperforms, so does the organization; the community suffers.

This is a life lesson for people in workplaces, families, classrooms, and any relationship. That peace, happiness, and fulfillment come from creating a mutual understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish and each person’s role in achieving...

Penn State, And How Nonprofit Boards Will Shape Up In The Wake Of Scandal

To begin with, many of you did plenty. If you’re reading this post, then it’s likely that you’re active in social media. Public attention to recent nonprofit board scandals, as well as robust participation via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media has been influential in the cases of Penn State, University of Virginia, and the Komen Foundation. There were financial and reputational consequences for organizations led by people who made bad decisions.

Beyond these three cases, you are having an exponential impact because two messages are loud and clear: 1) Boards of nonprofit...

Five “Keys” to Unlock a Successful Sustainability Program - Key 3: Employee Engagement and Empowerment

Part 6 in the blog series The New PR

Employees are closest to the community of stakeholders because they are community stakeholders with the unique perspective of knowing the needs of both the community and the company.

Recently I attended a conference on social media. One presenter offered up the notion that companies are no longer able to control their ‘brand’ or image using the example of a recent YouTube video ‘...

Nonprofit Board Scandals: Let Them Move Governance Forward

The nonprofit board scandals of the past year are highly distressing: revealing everything from complete board dysfunction in the firing of the CEO at the University of Virginia, to the cover-up of criminal behavior at Penn State, to policy decisions that arguably destroyed Komen's leading nonprofit brand. In all three cases, the financial and reputational losses are quite severe. People to be served by the mission and outsiders have been harmed, the victims at Penn State devastatingly so.

However, the fact that these boards and organizations have been raked through the coals,...

Five “Keys” to Unlock a Successful Sustainability Program - Key 2: Integrate Sustainability into Day-to-Day Operations

Part 5 in the blog series The New PR

From a Vision to a Culture (building an internal constituency)

For sustainability to be integrated into a business model, it must be compatible not just on the theoretical level, but also practically on a day-to-day basis. Asking people to engage in behavior that is seen as incompatible with their regular duties is a recipe for failure. For this reason, the human...

NOW is the Best Time to Rebuild Your Board: Here’s Why and How

According to surveys by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, nonprofits face growing financial pressures while also experiencing greater demands for services. At the same time, there are new funding opportunities for nonprofits, including corporations seeking to advance social and environmental purposes as well as investors and new philanthropists. The smartest NGOs/nonprofits will weather the financial threats while capturing substantial new revenues in the next several years....

Five “Keys” to Unlock a Successful Sustainability Program - Key 1: Alignment with your Core Business Model

Part 4 in the blog series The New PR

Successful businesses are adept at determining market changes, trends and expectations. They cannot be in such a rush to embrace the “new” trend that they abandon their fundamental and core purposes.

For any program to be valuable to a business, it must further the goals of that company. Businesses must therefore be prudent when it comes to sustainability efforts, and not rush headlong into activities or partnerships that are not aligned with...

MBAs Without Borders: Experience In Emerging Markets Gives Graduates An Edge

"Without question, I'm far more likely to hire MBA graduates who have had management consulting experience in emerging markets over graduates who have not," said Amit Sinha, Head of Database and Technology Marketing at SAP.

As an employer who hires graduates from many MBA programs, Sinha himself took advantage of the International Business Development program when he was a graduate student himself several years ago at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.

"Graduates who have worked on...

Business… with Liberty and Justice for All (Part Two)

The world is more peaceful today than it has been since 2009. This is the finding of the 2012 Global Peace Index, released last week by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

As noted in my ...

Five “Keys” to Unlock a Successful Sustainability Program

Part 3 in the blog series The New PR

The measure of success is not how well your business model supports sustainability objectives but rather how well your sustainability efforts support – and define - your business model.

The five “keys” that I have developed over the last fifteen years and have been teaching for about a decade are those elements that I believe are necessary to build a unlock the full potential of...

United Way Worldwide Restructures, With A Focus On Global Reach And Getting Involved

"Business strategy and social impact are a powerful combination, especially when companies fully align and integrate the two," says Barry Salzberg, the newly named chairman of the board of United Way Worldwide (UWW) and global chief executive officer at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL).

If you’re as surprised as I was to hear United Way described as a global NGO, this is actually recent and big news. In...

Evolution becomes Revolution: The Changing Role of Professional Communicators and ‘The New PR’

Part 2 in the blog series The New PR

The changing information needs of both stakeholders and companies are redefining the role of corporate communications departments and professionals including community, investor, government, and employee relations. Companies are recognizing that increasingly savvy – some would say cynical – audiences are becoming more and more discerning about messages that corporations are sharing.

Using the internet as simply another...

Nonprofit Boards: Take Heed of the Lessons of the University of Virginia

There continues to be upheaval emanating from the board rooms of major nonprofit institutions, including The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Penn State, and the University of Virginia. The facts will emerge over time as various perspectives are shared and evidence is revealed and examined. In the meantime, boards must realize that bad practices of old are no longer tolerated in this era where very little can be hidden from the public eye.

In a world where public and private organizations are held accountable for their decisions and the ramifications for the people they...

Business… with Liberty and Justice for All

The 2012 Global Peace Index was released this week. This annual study of relative peacefulness and stability, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, found that in spite of some unfortunate pockets of strife and unrest (think Syria and Somalia), the world is more peaceful today than it has been since 2009....

The Connection Between Sustainability and Communications: An Introduction

Part 1 in the blog series The New PR

The role of communications professional has dramatically and irrevocably changed in recently years. The instant-information age has not only changed the ways in which information is shared, it has exponentially increased the amount of information that people both need and receive.  In media relations the news cycle has expanded to 24 hours; and the increasing prevalence and importance of non-traditional social media (and the increasing influence of bloggers...

Increased Support For Small And Growing Businesses Helps Advance Emerging-Market Prosperity

“We will have achieved success when people at the ‘base of the pyramid’ have access to quality products at competitive prices,” said Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, managing partner at IGNIA, an impact-investing venture capital firm based in Monterrey, Mexico. "When so many entrepreneurs see thriving companies in emerging countries that they set up competing enterprises, thereby creating entire...

Communicating for Social Impact: Lessons from the Gates Foundation and Google Creative Labs

Recently, I interviewed Tom Scott, Director of Global Brand and Innovation at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Aaron Koblin, Creative Director of the Data Arts Team at Google Creative Lab, on Grand Challenges Explorations: Aid is Working. Tell the Worlda competition to find groundbreaking ways to...

A Lesson in Ethics From the Olympic Games

We each have our own favorite memories from the Olympic Games -- whether it be Jessie Owens demonstrating the absurdity of Adolf Hitler's racist notions, gymnast Nadia Comaneci's perfect "10"s, Kerri Strugg's valiant vault on a sprained ankle to win gold or Michael Phelps' eight gold medals. This summer the world can once again look forward to breathtaking athleticism and triumphant and emotional moments that can only come from the collective shared global experience that are the ...

5 Ways For You To Prepare For Your Next Better Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Baby Boomers held an average of 11 jobs from the ages of 18-44--and the trend continues with their children, members of Generation Flux. The BLS also estimates that Boomers experienced an average of over five periods of unemployment during those years. In today’s economy, for all generations, one can only imagine the likelihood...

Hale Celebrates Its First Anniversary: Women’s Rights, Health, Education and of Course…Mobile


This month, Beth and Zoe celebrate the official one-year anniversary of Hale Advisors, inc. – a partnership that stemmed from shared savvy business acumen and a similar vision for company growth and success.

As a way to commemorate, it was decided that a company off-site was in order.  And what better way for a women owned and operated business to celebrate than to attend the Women for Women International* Annual Luncheon in New York City?

The event kicked off with a warm welcome and expression of sincere gratitude for the generous corporate sponsor and private donor...

A schism over Fair Trade

Paul Rice is a man on a mission.

The 51-year-old president and CEO of Fair Trade USA, who has led the group since 1998, says he wants the practice of Fair Trade to become bigger, engaging more consumers and helping more farmers around the world. To that end, Fair Trade USA last year quit the international Fairtrade Labelling Organizations, or FLO, an international...


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