Supporting a Higher Cause: Religion & CSR

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Supporting a Higher Cause: Religion & CSR

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Monday, March 25, 2013 - 10:15am


We rarely talk religion on the Prove Your Purpose blog, but the election of Pope Francis, and his focus on poverty and the environment, got us thinking: in a world where 84 percent of the world's population is affiliated with a religion, how does faith impact attitudes and actions in the realm of CSR? Our very own Jillian Wilson Martin shares her findings on the separation (or lack thereof) of church and cause:

Faith is a powerful motivator. It can swing elections, spark protests and start wars. But it can also fuel a tremendous amount of good. People who are affiliated with a religion are more aware of global issues, more generous with their time and money, and more likely to take action on issues they care about.

For many, this starts with what they hear at their place of worship. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that the majority of regular churchgoers (88%) learn about hunger and poverty needs from their clergy, and nearly half (47%) say their leaders speak out on the environment – almost always to encourage environmental protection. Pope Francis began last weekend's inauguration mass by urging followers to,"…be protectors of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment." Following the tenets of his patron saint, Francis of Assisi, the Jesuit appears committed to pushing an agenda of service and sustainability in the Catholic Church.

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