Latest CECP Data Show Evolution of CSR and Stronger Linkages Between Business Performance and Corporate Societal Investment Levels

Latest CECP Data Show Evolution of CSR and Stronger Linkages Between Business Performance and Corporate Societal Investment Levels

Research Highlights Range of Trends from a Move to Regulate CSR Around the World to the Increasing Role of Employees in Community Engagement
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Latest CECP data show stronger links between business performance and corporate societal investment levels:
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 4:05pm

CONTENT: Press Release

NEW YORK, January 13, 2015 /3BL Media/ - CECP, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering business as a force for good in society representing companies with more than $7 trillion in annual revenue, is pleased to release corporate societal giving trends and insights for 2014. Data from more than 300 surveys and over 1,000 individual consultations with many of the world’s leading companies enables CECP to have proprietary data and research on corporate societal investment. Today, CECP, in association with The Conference Board, announces the opening of the Giving in Numbers Survey on corporate societal investment programs.  

“CECP’s mission is to create a better world through business by enabling companies with best practices and insights on corporate societal investment and community engagement driven from a valuable body of research and data we collect and analyze each year,” said Daryl Brewster, CEO of CECP. “During the course of our fifteen years in existence, CECP has seen profound changes in corporate giving and this latest research round has some of the most far reaching implications for companies as they seek to develop and deliver positive impact to society through their investments in an increasingly transparent and global economy.”

Trends & Insights:

Purpose Leads to Performance: Companies are evolving their culture and community investment strategy to reflect the notion that leading with values and a purpose that aligns with those of their employees and customers accelerates business performance and societal impact. CECP research indicates that the shift flows from an increase in facets of the business engaging in and putting resources behind societal investment (cash contributions grew 28% from corporate budgets, while foundation cash gifts only increased by 2%). Further, companies with overall increased giving by more than 10% since 2010 also increased median revenues by 11% from 2010 to 2013, compared to a 3% decline in revenues for all other companies. 

Focusing for Impact: Companies are adapting the same management best practices to corporate societal engagement as they do in other areas of their businesses to drive more effective and efficient social impact. The result is more strategically driven programs tied to their core business and employees’ values. CECP also sees fewer and deeper corporate-nonprofit partnerships, with more rigorous measurement and evaluation goals for the social and business impact of a company’s community investments. This trend is reflected in the significant percentage of companies (76%) that reported measuring societal outcomes and/or impacts of their community investments in 2013.

The Move to Mandate: One of the most compelling trends CECP sees globally is the move by countries and regions to mandate certain aspects of corporate societal engagement. Companies with a current or growing multinational footprint need to understand this evolving landscape to inform their societal investment strategy and support compliance teams trying to stay abreast of new developments. Some emerging markets, including Brazil and Indonesia, have regulations that determine a specific level or type of corporate societal investment, similar to India’s new “2 percent” CSR requirement. In Europe the mandate trend is seen in a requirement on non-financial disclosure and reporting. 

Evolution of Employee Engagement: CEOs at CECP’s 2014 Board of Boards voted employees as the most influential stakeholder group when deciding to expand their companies’ investments in the community. As the demographics, priorities, and expectations of employees evolve, the ways in which companies support and invest in communities are becoming essential in developing a meaningful culture that attracts and retains top talent. Millennials, in particular, place a high value on an employer’s corporate philanthropy and employee engagement opportunities. Companies recognize this fact and increasingly aim to meet those expectations. We’ve seen employee engagement evolve to meet diverse workforces in many ways: 1) providing deeper engagement opportunities through pro bono and skills-based volunteering; 2) offering employee choice of causes in matching gift programs; 3) leveraging technology to provide programs that better resonate with millennials; 4) contributing greater institutional support in partnership with HR; and 5) exploring the global expansion of their programs.

It's Not Just About Cash: Non-cash contributions, including product donations, pro bono services, and other non-cash assets have increased as a percentage of overall corporate giving. A deeper link between these programs and core business strategy and values drives this shift, and is further supported by the increased focus on employee engagement. From 2010 to 2013, CECP research, in association with The Conference Board, showed participation in paid volunteer programs grew substantially, with an increase of 37% of paid volunteer hours reported and 8% more companies now offering these initiatives. Within pro bono, we see companies from all industries leveraging the skills of their staff, with half of all companies offering pro bono opportunities as part of their employee engagement programs (up from 34% in 2010). For those companies reporting a dollar value for pro bono support, 67% increased cash contributions over that same time frame.

Where the Investment is Going: Research highlighted in Giving In Numbers: 2014 Edition indicates the following allocations by area for corporate societal investment from 2013: Education at 28%, Health & Social at 27%,Community & Economic Development at 14% (the highest growth area by 34% from 2010 - 2013), Culture & Arts and Civic Affairs each at 5%, Environment and Disaster relief both at 3% with the remaining allocated for other programs and initiatives.   

CECP identifies the trends, best practices, and insights to support the continued evolution and success of corporate societal investment from survey research and more than 1,000 individual consultations with the world’s largest companies. Today the Giving in Numbers Survey conducted annually by CECP in association with The Conference Board opens and is available for participation by all companies with a revenue of $US 2 billion or more Contact Jinny Jeong at to learn how to get involved. This survey gathers data from approximately 250 of the world’s largest companies on a range of CSR areas including funding amounts, areas of allocation, employee and stakeholder engagement and is used to develop the seminal yearly report Giving in Numbers. CECP leverages the Giving in Numbers Survey, as well as additional research on corporate societal investment, from around the world to develop the complementary Giving Around the Globe report. All CECP reports, trends and insight analysis are provided at no cost to the public at


CECP is a coalition of CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance. Founded in 1999 by Paul Newman and other business leaders, CECP has grown to a movement of 150 CEOs of the world’s largest companies across all industries. Revenues of engaged companies sum to $7 trillion annually. A nonprofit organization, CECP offers participating companies oneon-one consultation, networking events, exclusive data, media support and case studies on corporate engagement. For more information, visit


Beth Davies
+1 (917) 257-6019