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CSR & Sustainability News


Graeme Byrd to Lead Net Impact Portland Professional Chapter

Please join all of us at FMYI in congratulating Sales and Marketing Manager Graeme Byrd for his recent election as Chapter Leader of the Portland (NW Oregon) Net Impact Professional Chapter.

Net Impact is a global organization of students and professionals...

When Companies Steal The Social Capital Of Their Employees

Recently, I spoke with the manager of a large telecommunications company in the US. The company publicly boasts a healthy and active employee volunteering program, claiming a 200% growth in participation over the past 4 years. Needless to say, I wanted to learn more about it.

During the call, I discovered several things:

1. The company offers NO paid time for volunteering.

2. Employees who volunteer have to rack up over 50 hours of service to qualify for the...

Bernanke: Fed Bailout Creates Two Societies

A State of the Economy Report in Four Parts

PART THREE: Federal Reserve’s Two Societies

The irony of the official monetary policy and its tragic turn is found in the words of the Fed Chairman. When asked about the absence of small business credit, Bernanke explained to Scott Pelley that small business is cut out of credit due to bailed-out banks unwillingness to lend. Why?...

The Lemelson Foundation: Tinkerers Saving the World

Remember the kids who took apart broken machines--tape recorders, telephones, cuisinarts--in order to experiment with building machines? I knew one who invented a tooth fairy detector. Well, if those child inventors want to tinker when they get to college and graduate school, The Lemelson Foundation wants to make sure that they have the help they need to create new technologies that will save lives and preserve the environment. Through...

Bernanke: Fed Bailout Creates Two Societies

A State of the Economy Report in Four Parts

PART ONE: The Greatest Bank Robbery Ever Told

In a rare interview with 6o Minutes’ Scott Pelley on Sunday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke explained the widening income gap in the U.S. between rich and poor has created two societies. The irony is that the Fed’s own actions are primarily responsible for this shift in wealth over the last few years. Never mind that Grandpa Ben looks a kindly old Santa Claus. He is Kris Kringle only for Wall Street—not


WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Ethical Capitalist, New-Age Gandhian or Anarchist?

Who is Julian Assange: An ethical capitalist, a protagonist for corporate social responsibility, a new-age Gandhian, or an anarchist and a menace to society?

Take a look, for example, at this from his interview with Forbes: "You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it's also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that's not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they're fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it."

I turned to...

What CSR and Nonprofit Leaders are Reading - Part III

While you choose your holiday gifts, and also plan for some personal reading time, you might be interested in recommendations from CSR and nonprofit leaders. You can also check back to What CSR and Nonprofit Leaders are Reading Part I and Part II from summer’s end. William A. Hawkins, Chairman and CEO,...

GlobalGiving: $25 for Your Thoughts

Imagine sitting around your holiday table discussing which project each member of the family chose for theirGlobalGiving contribution. Because you gave each of them a gift card for $25, and they went online to choose from a plethora of options. Or, imagine giving gift cards to your employees, and they're sitting around a pizza at lunch discussing the projects they chose.


A Financial Services Revolution: Elizabeth Warren Leads the Charge

Washington DC – Elizabeth Warren spoke candidly today about the “epic David & Goliath fight” she led with the help of two hundred plus consumer agencies, bloggers like me, and outraged citizens at town hall meetings around the nation. Ms. Warren has singlehandedly championed the idea of a consumer protection agency that will actually serve consumers— not pretense. She is the Ralph Nader of our time.

Warren speaks of herself and the hundreds of millions of American families as “David” versus the enormously powerful bank lobbying force that has become our...

Heading to Your First Nonprofit Board Meeting? Here's What You Need to Know

"Alice, I'm at the airport heading to Chicago to my first board meeting. What do I need to know?" asked my friend Paul last week. Paul's a successful Wall Street executive, 42, who recently joined the national board of a major nonprofit. I knew that Paul had already participated in a board orientation. And we had discussed his board service a couple of times. This call was for last minute pointers.

"Oh, and one more thing," asked Paul. "They want me to serve on three committees. What should I do?" I knew that three committees were more than Paul had...

The future of sustainability reporting is not the mainstream media

It's no secret that there has been a decline in the number of reporters in the mainstream media who cover energy and the environment. Thanks to a newsroom leak, we get a rare glimpse at just how bad it is.

The independent Gannett Blog obtained a list of the newsroom journalists from the USA TODAY and posted it. They made the point that there were 5 reporters covering Congress and 27 on entertainment. The number of reporters devoted to the Science/Energy/


Hybrid Corporations: What Business Are You In?

The new "it" thing in social enterprise is hybrid corporations. There are B corporations--benefit corporations--whose mandates are to serve the public good and also increase shareholder value. There are also L3Cs, low-profit limited liability...

Seventh Generation & Jeffrey Hollender: A Case Study in Online Crisis Communications

Seventh Generation has announced on its blogTwitter stream andFaceBook page that “co-founder Jeffrey Hollender’s employment relationship with the company has ended.”

The announcement, on November 10th,  came eight days after the news broke on ...

Give Back: The People’s Foundation

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself with $1 million and a directive to give half away and keep the other half?

When Stephen Paletta won Oprah’s Big Give in 2008, this instantly became his...

CSI fractures perceptions of natural gas

From the Pickens Plan to the American Gas Association, the natural gas industry has invested a lot of money to promote "clean natural gas." But if you're going to advertise something as clean and green (without qualification), you need to make sure it's clean and green all the way through.

One method of extracting natural gas that has led some to dispute natural gas' clean image is hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' which has been said to have significant environmental and...

G20 Bankers of the Year: Faking It

Vikram Pandit, CEO of the once dead-in-the-water global banking firm Citigroup has staged a comeback that is sure to be the envy of his financial industry colleagues. So greatly is he admired that only a few months ago he was named Euromoney’s Banker of the Year.” That’s not a joke. Why? Because, “He did a pretty good job,” states Euromoney. I guess reviving a brain dead bank with a trillion dollar government resuscitator merits some kudos, if not sheer admiration...

PepsiCo's CSR Tie With Veterans: It's Dreamy

"After living a life of purpose, responsibility, and meaning, I suddenly was a nobody." When Brian Iglesias completed 13 years of active duty, he was a combat decorated, service disabled, U.S. Marine officer. In a private interview with Iglesias, he described to me how devastating it was to return to civilian life with bleak prospects of finding a new life of purpose.

Just a few years later, Iglesias is President and CEO of his own enterprise--...

Running with the Big Dogs: CSR in Small Business

Often when we talk about corporate social responsibility, we assume people are talking about “the big dogs” – companies like Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and of course Walmart.

And certainly these powerhouses dictate a lot of what gets discussed, watched, and measured, if only because of their sheer scale and impact on the global business community.

But what about companies that don’t fit into the same tiers as these big players? What does sustainability or CSR look like for small and medium-sized businesses?

Recently I attended a talk...

Trudging the Road to Zero Impact

(Thoughts about Net Impact 2010)

How do I begin to convey thoughts about an awe-inspiring whirlwind, intensive 60-hours of crazy travel, networking and education?

Well, I’ll just start at the beginning. I have never spoken at a large, national conference so I knew it was time for me to get the experience. Plus, it’s the kind of challenge that would push my professional growth to a new height. With that in mind, Justin and I worked with our PR guy to develop a workshop titled “Got 2020 Vision? Two Companies’ March Towards Zero Impact.“


Social Purpose: The Fifth "P" of Marketing

“Purpose is now the fifth P of marketing. It’s a vital addition to the age-old marketing mix of product, price, place, and promotion,” said Mitch Markson, chief creative officer, Edelman, and the founder of Edelman goodpurpose.

Last week, Edelman released the 2010 Goodpurpose Study. The study conducted in 13...

Social Media & Conferences: 11 Great Ideas That Work

At the conferences I attend or present at each year (incidentally, you can see my upcoming gigs here:speaking schedule), its fascinating to see the efforts to integrate social media into nearly every aspect of the event. Some do it very well - and others.....well, others don't even offer complimentary wifi.

Every once in awhile, the social media savvy of an event is impressive. In...

Will ISO 26000 Change The World?

After six years of consultation and development, Geneva saw the launch of ISO 26000 yesterday.

ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on social responsibility to be exact. Please note the word ‘Guidance‘, that is, this is not a certifiable standard.

In an industry already accelerating toward burgeoning crowds of standards, rankings and frameworks, all of undulating degrees of credibility and usefulness, it feels to me like this new kid on the block will receive a subdued welcome.

According to ISO the aim is to “provide harmonized, globally relevant guidance...

Want To Open a Nonprofit Store? 10 Guidelines You–and Nordstrom’s–Should Follow

Scandal in-the-making, customer-pleaser, tax write-off, nonprofit cash cow or game-changer?  Which hyphenated phrase will best describe Nordstrom’s new concept store, which will donate all net profits to charity?

I was interviewed recently by American Public Media’s Marketplace on the Nordstrom concept...

Five Ways for Nonprofits to Scare Away Donors

Hopefully, many of you do or will contribute generously to causes that you care about, and even step up to join nonprofit boards and help to fundraise. Fundraising is an exciting and very concrete way to build support for a mission that you are really passionate about.

For those of you who get involved in fundraising on a nonprofit board, be alert to how the organization treats its donors. It can make all the difference in whether or not your donors are...

Mobile Giving Meets Mobile Marketing, But Are Americans Ready?

Sure, Americans love their mobile phones and use them handily, but there’s still stunted confidence for mobile financial transactions, whether it’s a payment or a donation. Part of the reticence comes from the clumsiness of many mobile commerce and mobile giving sites and part of it’s a lack of incentives.

Benevity Social Ventures and Obopay recently launched a text-to-donate ...


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