The 2016 Civic 50 report presents the highlights, benchmarking data and best practices from 2016's Civic 50 honorees. By identifying and celebrating the practices of the most community-minded companies in the nation, we are lighting a path for business managers and corporate responsibility practitioners who want to help their organizations translate good intentions into sound business practices. In 2016, we saw that Civic 50 companies are increasingly shaping their strategies and crafting their policies to prioritize meaningful engagement with communities. Not satisfied with simply writing a check, they are focusing on creating value for communities over the long term by creating a culture of community engagement, by building the capacity of communities by giving their time and their talent, by elevating critical stakeholder voices from employees, customers and communities, and by measuring their impact. In short, Civic 50 companies are putting their communities at the center of change to create more enduring and sustainable business models.
Key findings from the 2016 Civic 50:
Civic 50 companies are increasingly shaping their strategies and crafting their policies to prioritize meaningful engagement with communities. They are turning themselves inside out to translate good intentions into sound business practices. In fact, the most growth in this year’s Civic 50 cohort was not in community investment, but rather in the dimensions that emphasize connecting community engagement with core business functions, creating policies and systems within companies to support community engagement, and measuring impact.
Building strong communities means creating a culture of community engagement. Civic 50 companies create a culture at their organizations that supports community engagement through policies, systems and incentives. For example, 56% of Civic 50 companies in 2015 included community engagement as a formal written component of employees’ performance reviews. This is an increase from 50% in 2014.
Companies are using time and talent to accelerate social impact through skills-based volunteering. Recognizing the value of contributing time and talent to community organizations, Civic 50 companies are increasingly maximizing the impact of their community engagement through skills-based volunteering. In fact, nearly ¼ of employee volunteer hours at Civic 50 companies is skill-based. This represents an increase from 20% in 2014.
Companies are measuring what matters—and what matters is impact. Companies continue to measure what matters as a result of their community engagement programs, increasingly measuring outcome goals. For example, 40% of Civic 50 companies measured the outcome of their volunteer programs in 2015, an increase from 36% in 2014. 64% of companies tracked the impact of their grants. Moreover, 78% of Civic 50 companies formally measure the social impact of at least one aspect of their community engagement.