CSR Blogs

Nepal’s Green Massage

Can something as ahhh-some some as a massage be green? Why not? Our definition of green extends to experiences that give back, that are embedded in a local economy and directly benefit local people in need. If your massage does that, it’s green. But I go even further. I say massage can even offer insight into a country’s culture. I’ve had my muscles brutalized by Russian babushkii, my neck twisted by Thais and my organs rearranged by Indian swamis.

Impact Investing: Getting Financial Returns While Building A Better World

Imagine trillions of private sector dollars pouring into healthcare, affordable housing, education, agriculture, distributed utilities, and restructured social spending in emerging markets and here in the U.S.  No, not in the form of charity; rather, in the form of "impact investing." This is already beginning to happen, according to Antony Bugg-Levine, the newly named President and CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF).

The Red Flag over Playmobil’s Castle

 My daughter loves Playmobil.  She spends hours constructing and then animating complex scenes and she’s a master at combining parts from different sets to create new structures that aren’t in the well-thumbed Playmobil catalogue.

Swimsuit Maker Vilebrequin Wants To Keep Our Beaches Clean

A cynic might say that bathing suit manufacturer Vilebrequin has a self interest in clean beaches and the vital aquatic life it holds. After all, swimming, snorkeling, deep sea diving, boating, and other ocean-oriented recreational and educational activities are good for the swimwear business.

Martha’s Vineyard & Obama:Possible Dreams

It’s that time of year again when I vacation with the President and his family on Martha’s Vineyard. Well, we are not exactly together. But the 3 miles that separate us make it almost seem as if we were. The Big O, his lovely Michelle and the girls are just down the road apiece in Chilmark. “Up-island” we call it here on the Vineyard.

If You Need Strong New Nonprofit Board Members, Address Internal Housekeeping First

"We need you to find us a new board chair. We want the CEO of a major corporation who will contribute at least $100,000 annually including the company’s contribution, bring fellow CEOs onto the board, and fundraise vigorously."

Does Social Media Have the Power to Change the Way We Manage?

I share a love for social media with many in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. It is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that the most evocative conversations happen, contentious debates take place, and strategic relationships form. Consumers have taken to these channels to pursue their pet causes and peeves, and advocates have jumped in, to massive appreciation and feedback.

Shared Sacrifice: Call for New Leadership

It all started the day the world ended. The world as we knew it that is. September 15, 2008, the day Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in the modern world, came crashing down. On that day, we began a fast and furious downward debt spiral. Panic set it, fear took over and the rest, as they say, is history.

What Makes a Sustainability Leader?

Many of us in the corporate responsibility and sustainability community were saddened this week by the death of Ray Anderson, founder and chairman of Interface.  If you don’t already know his story, Ray is perhaps best known for his compelling description of the ‘spear in the chest’ epiphany that shifted his environmental paradigm from old-school compliance

Social Emerges as Online Giving Driver for 2011

 As social networking is exploding, peer-to-peer giving is emerging as a compelling driver of social impact online.  In fact, Network for Good finds that Social Giving was the only giving channel to see strong growth in both Q1 and Q2 of 2011, compared to the same periods in 2010.  Cause marketing programs that leverage social networks for social good or include a social web component are growing in popularity and demonstrate the potential of fun, interactive and storytelling elements as enhancements to consumer engagement. 

S&P: The Genius of a Flexible Conscience

 In case you had not heard, America’s very own Benedict Arnold, rating agency Standard & Poor’s, downgraded the United States credit from Triple A to Double A in an act of sheer fiscal and political recklessness. The price of credit has just become substantially more expensive at a time when low cost credit is surely the best cure.

 

That they could do worse than they have already done this past decade is astonishing. But kudos to S&P for showing that they have a spine…even if it is attached to a tail.

How Management Consultants Can Build A Better World

 More and more, nonprofit philanthropists, such as Pierre M. Omidyar and Peter B. Lewis are providing management consulting services to their grantees in order to increase their organizational effectiveness. Good move.

The Dangerous Debt Ceiling Dance

 

Hallelujah! Salvation is here. Or so we are supposed to believe. The 3 Ring Circus that is two branches of Congress and the Administration is finally close to an accord on debt mania madness. What a surprise. Not

Praise is not a free lunch

I was one of those who expressed qualified praise for McDonald’s Happy Meal changes: Apple slices, smaller French fries, slightly better beverage options.

Ten Things You Need To Know To Raise Capital For Your Nonprofit

For most nonprofit organizations, financial success depends on building a board of directors that is generous in helping to contribute and raise the "venture capital" to launch the enterprise, and strategic in working with the CEO to help establish and achieve a financially sustainable revenue model. It's nearly impossible for a CEO to maximize an organization's financial potential without a highly effective board. And where there's no money, there's no mission.

Worst story ever: no venture capital from the board

Iowa Eclipses Canada in Grain Production, Challenges China in Soybean Production

The U.S. state of Iowa is an agricultural superpower, simultaneously eclipsing Canada in grain production and challenging China in soybean production. No, these are not mathematical errors. 

Last year Iowa’s farmers harvested 55 million tons of grain while Canada’s farmers harvested only 45 million tons. Over the last five years, Iowa has averaged 57 million tons a year to Canada’s 49 million tons.

A Yogi’s Lessons on Greed

Greed. Envy. Arrogance. These are the three enemies of humanity according to world-renowned spiritual leader Radhanath Swami at Jivamukti Yoga studio on a recent summer evening.

What kind of disease does greed inflict on the soul and what exactly is greed anyway?

Growing Water Deficit Threatening Grain Harvests

 By Lester R. Brown

Many countries are facing dangerous water shortages. As world demand for food has soared, millions of farmers have drilled too many irrigation wells in efforts to expand their harvests. As a result, water tables are falling and wells are going dry in some 20 countries containing half the world’s people. The overpumping of aquifers for irrigation temporarily inflates food production, creating a food production bubble that bursts when the aquifer is depleted.

Leading by Listening

I read CausePlanet.org’s book reviews and articles on a regular basis for their wisdom and to follow the conversation. In preparing to write this post, I perused many recent pieces for inspiration.  Brilliant stuff…. if perhaps a bit head-spinning for most nonprofit CEOs when taken in large doses.  Fundraise this way, establish your culture that way, create a sustainable business model this way, connect with social media that way. And change sure is hard, but here’s how to do it (from my personal favorites – the Heath brothers).  Woah!

Remove fat kids from home

I was asked twice yesterday for my penny's worth of reaction to this story, about whether extremely obese children should be put in foster care:

It has happened a few times in the U.S., and the opinion piece in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association says putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.

World on the Edge by the Numbers – Shining a Light on Energy Efficiency

Our inefficient, carbon-based energy economy threatens to irreversibly disrupt the Earth’s climate. Averting dangerous climate change and the resultant crop-shrinking heat waves, more-destructive storms, accelerated sea level rise, and waves of climate refugees means cutting carbon emissions 80 percent by 2020.

It's all about the people, right?

The latest report from ecoAmerica is titled "up start with people." The report states that the environmental community has not been successful at wining the hearts and minds because they have focusedmostly on government regulation and intervention. The non-profit sees more success being had by those in the movement who are focused on social solutions that are built around people.

The Good News About Coal

by Lester R. Brown

During the years when governments and the media were focused on preparations for the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations, a powerful climate movement was emerging in the United States: the movement opposing the construction of new coal-fired power plants. 

People, Planet, Profit — Putting People First

So, what does putting people first really mean? 

Many companies have mission statements hanging on the wall espousing values that put people first, but if you ask the staff, those values often are not manifesting in the company culture.

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