Valuing a Community Investment Portfolio

Apr 29, 2010 9:00 AM ET

LBG Canada Newsletter - March 2010

Despite it being almost 16 years since three questions launched the LBG framework, community investment professionals are still being asked:

  • Are we effective as we invest in community?

  • Are we choosing the right partners?

  • What value are we creating - in the community and for our business?

In an ideal world, the answers to these questions would be at our finger tips, but for many companies this is not yet the case.

Most companies struggle to answer these three key questions because they narrow their measurement focus too quickly on individual projects. The reality of diverse community, business and stakeholder needs means that no one investment or initiative can satisfy every need. An approach to assess effectiveness and overall value must begin with an examination of the whole portfolio.

With a portfolio-focused view, companies ask themselves the following questions:

  • Is our portfolio living up to expectations?

  • Does the break-down between commercial, social and philanthropically-motivated investments reflect our corporate culture, stated commitments and employee expectations?

  • Is our budget the right amount to meet expectations to create community & business value?

  • Do we have the right balance of investment across each focus area?

  • Are we clear on which areas are of the most interest to our stakeholders?

These questions are the foundation of effective performance measurement. The answers to these questions flow from the LBG Canada Annual Benchmarking Process.

After an analysis of the portfolio, individual projects and cross-cutting strategies (i.e. employee volunteering) can be examined in detail, from the perspective of a project's opportunity to contribute to the strength of the whole.

Click here to read the full newsletter, including:

  • Setting your 2010 LBG Canada Goals

  • LBG Canada on 3BL Media Sustainability, CSR & CI Hotlist

To subscribe to the LBG Canada Quarterly Newsletter and learn more about maximizing your corporate community involvement, click here.