Tag Archives: CSR

YourCause Big 5

On Monday, February 25th we celebrated our fifth birthday providing CSRconnect to our clients and users. It was a great day that consisted of surprises for us (the employees) and Matt Combs (the man who created it all). Matt surprised us with five events that occurred throughout the day; first being breakfast tacos! Next, we ate a delicious YourCause cake and surprised Matt with a video we made for him. Sadly, event three didn’t take place due to Texas weather (but we guessed it was putt putt). Event four we drove a few minutes back to the past and ate dinner at the infamous Carmines that we all have grown to love. Lastly, headed back to our old office where YourCause began and reminisced on memories. Don’t worry, we managed to get our work done but definitely took in all the moments of these past successful five years.

With that said, we’d like to toast to the past five and cheers to the next!



YourCause Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

YourCause celebrates fifth anniversary of developing and providing CSRconnect employee SaaS engagement platform to multinational corporations.

YourCause, the creator of CSRconnect employee engagement platform, celebrates its fifth anniversary this week. For the past five years, YourCause has provided a private label application that builds internal online communities to support employee engagement and enhance overall global good through giving, volunteering, disaster response, and other related features. Inspired in 2008 by a personal cause, YourCause now supports more than 2.5 million corporate employees, transacts more than $75 million in donations, and tracks greater than 4 million hours of volunteer service.

YourCause continues to execute upon their four core values, which helps create close client partnerships, ensure ongoing flexibility within the operation and application, deploy first class customer service, and employ fun along the way. The company remains ahead of the industry curve by maintaining such values and continues to expand their network through diverse partnerships, ongoing functionality development, and quality employees.

In the past five years, YourCause accomplished the following:

• Supports 2.5 million employees and accessible in 84 countries
• 50% of clients recognized as “Best Corporate Citizens”
• $76.6 million dollars donated
• 4 million hours volunteered
• More than 100% increase in employee headcount year-over year
• More than 100% increase in revenues year-over year

“If anyone were to ask me in 2008 where I saw YourCause in five years, I would have never dreamed of this,” said Matthew Combs, CEO and Founder of YourCause. “I can’t predict what the next five years will look like, but if they are half as successful as these last five years, we are set to see a lot of creativity, an abundance of innovation, and a lot of new developments for our space.”

YourCause Announces Third Annual CSRworks Summit in the Bay Area

YourCause invites clients, partners, and CSR leaders to drive “Innovation through Collaboration” at CSRworks Summit 2013 in Redwood City, California.

YourCause, creator of CSRconnect employee engagement platform, announces the date of its third annual CSRworks Summit hosted at Electronic Arts Headquarters in Redwood City, California. On April 11, 2013, YourCause plans to cover multiple topics on emerging trends in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), connect attendees with thought leaders and peers, and showcase the growing development of CSRconnect from the past five years.

CSRworks first began in 2011 in Austin, Texas; followed with a second summit in 2012 at YourCause’s local headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Throughout the years, the theme “Innovation through Collaboration” brings collaborative sessions where attendees gather and learn unique and effective employee engagement programs and strategies. This year, YourCause brings their spark of creativity to the Bay Area.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting our largest attendance of CSRworks yet in the Bay Area, with an expected 50% increase from last year,” said Matthew Combs, YourCause Founder & CEO. “Located in the hub of technology, we’ll collaborate and gain insightful discussions that create tangible conclusions for our CSRconnect platform and that impact corporate employee engagement programs this year.”

Subjects applicable to companies across multiple sectors will be discussed:

– Measuring Impact
– Advancing Global Giving
– Building Employee Champions
– Creating Incentives that Drive Engagement
– Successful Skills-Based Volunteering
– Communicating Programs Successfully
– Growing Global Volunteerism
– Optimizing International Vetting
– Simplifying Matching Programs
– Enhancing Pledge Campaigns
– Promoting Company-Wide Service Campaigns

Attendees include existing and prospective clients and industry leaders, which encompasses some of top Fortune 500, Boston College, and prominent companies from the technical, financial, retail, and telecommunications sectors. To learn more about YourCause CSRworks 2013, please email Ann Magee at amagee@yourcause.com.

#CMweekly: Jeep Operation SAFE Return

CMweeklys_JeepCompany: Jeep
Cause: U.S. Troops
Partner: USO
Website: www.jeep.com/operationsafereturn

Program of Action
With the Super Bowl XLVII commercials still fresh in our mind, we thought we would recap and highlight a company who not only sold its product but mentioned its supported cause along in the commercial. Jeep aired its “Whole Again” ad during the big game that recognizes the company’s program, Operation SAFE Return (OSR), which is a four point effort to aid our U.S. troops. OSR is a fund created by Jeep and its nonprofit partner, USO, that provides hands-on, financial, and in-kind aid to returning troops.

Jeep invites the public to share a story, a photo, or a message on Twitter of how you’ve supported the troops in your school, neighborhood or place of worship. For every shared message with the unique hashtag #joinOSR, Jeep will donate $1 to the Operation SAFE Return fund.

Best Practices
We give Jeep a two thumbs up on Operation SAFE Return and its authentic awareness through this year’s Super Bowl game with these vital practices.

Public Awareness. Typically, companies use a different approach to their Super Bowl commercials but Jeep made a smart decision to bring out consumer’s emotions with premiering a cause that is close to Americas heart. Companies need to keep in mind, media can play a huge effect in cause marketing – you have a brand, blast it. Jeep used a perfect time and event to promote both its brand, partnership, and campaign.

Align with a CSR program. Jeep coordinated a day of service dedicated to supporting the USO mission. Jeep brand employees will participate and join the organization in a tribute for the troops on February 6th. Consumers will appreciate the hands-on approach Jeep is instilling in its employees and business culture.

Beneficial Partnership. We can’t iterate how important a loyal nonprofit partnership is when creating a cause campaign. Jeep established a relationship with an nonprofit that will be continuously ongoing, which will result in a huge impact for both the company and organization.

Integrated Platform. The company builds its own platform, along with USO, to provide consumers a designated site to obtain information, learn about the cause, and donate to the organization and campaign. The glory of a cause marketing website puts all of the elements stated above in one place and (in this case) integrates the main pillar to donate, Twitter.

Program Outcome
It is unknown how much Jeep has donated to USO through its Operation SAFE Return fund but we are sure the company received more stories, messages, and photos after the commercial was aired. Jeep employees will be participating in its Jeep Day of Service on February 6th lending a hand to local USO Centers. There is no ending date to the campaign, therefore, we encourage everyone to visit www.jeep.com/operationsafereturn to learn more about the cause effort.

Your CM Aficionado,

Dell’s Volunteerism Recognized by PRNews

DellDell’s volunteer community and employee engagement was recognized last week by PRNews, a resource that provides news for pr, marketing, csr and communication executives, weekly newsletter. The article “With CSR in the Mainstream, Companies Look to Leverage Employee Volunteers” mention Dell’s successful volunteering program (formerly Make a Difference).

Below is a sneak peek of Deb Bauer’s quotes and insights on Dell’s volunteerism highlighted in the article.

“Just what drives that participation at Dell? It starts with a social-based online community that lets employees create profiles, find and track volunteer opportunities and make contributions. The data gleaned from this site allows for robust measurement as well, Bauer says. Volunteerism is promoted throughout Dell via the corporate intranet and at team building events that are aligned with CSR activities. In addition, managers build teams of “champions,” which get employees involved. Then there’s appreciation of volunteer work. If an employee volunteers for 10 or more hours in a quarter, they receive a $150 cause card to redeem in the Dell Make a Difference online community. With such success, it’s hard to believe there are challenges. Bauer cites two:

• Getting stories told in a way people hear it. There is a lot of news going around Dell, and it’s tough to break through the clutter, Bauer says. So in 2012 the company varied its CSR communications outreach platforms.

• Hitting employees too hard with volunteer messages. Managers can sometimes push too hard, which employees term “voluntold,” Bauer says. “We try to find the right balance.”

It is always great to see and hear the achievement Dell has made throughout the years. Keep up the great work team!

Happy Wednesday,

#TAKE3 with Network for Good [Holiday Campaigns]

Kate Olsen, Director of Partnerships at Network for Good, shares best practices for engaging employees, giving thanks and sharing corporate impact during the holiday season. Insights are inspired by their recent Holiday ‘Good’ Guide and can be downloaded here.

1) What are elements to consider for strategizing a holiday cause program that “fits” a company’s audience?

Start with your employees.  Your company’s employees are not only your biggest asset, but they are also your best brand ambassadors. A holiday cause program should always start with them.  What do they care about? How do they like to give back? Hopefully, you have been getting to know your employees’ preferences for giving, volunteerism and favorite causes through programs all year and can now design a holiday campaign that speaks to their passions.

Don’t overthink it (people are primed to give).  In the United States, we are conditioned to support our favorite causes at the end of December when the tax year ends. Year after year, the pattern is the same: a flurry of online giving activity spikes in the last few days of the year. Use that momentum to build excitement for your company’s campaign and then make it really easy for people to participate.

Make it heartfelt & meaningful.  A thoughtful communication from your company’s CEO can really inspire the rank and file employees. Such a communication shows employees that the leadership team cares about social impact and values all the contributions each employee has made all year.  There is something special about feeling that your individual generosity is adding up to tangible good in the community.

2) Since December is one the busiest months for giving, how can companies take advantage of this time to most effectively impact their business and the community?

December is a time to reinforce the commitment to cause your company has been making all year. Think about the partnerships your company has built with nonprofits.  Are there ways to showcase those partnerships? December is also a great time to be reflective and tell the story of impact you have made collectively with you employees and customers in the communities where they live and work. What are the stories you can share from volunteer projects or giving drives? Put a human face on the investment your company and stakeholders have made in the community.

3) What are easy ways for companies to creatively promote and communicate gratitude campaigns to stakeholders during the holidays?

Just say ‘thanks’. It’s that easy. Expressing gratitude can be one of the most powerful ways to acknowledge employees, customers and community partners. The end of the year can be hectic and many companies are already starting to plan for 2013. Take a moment to celebrate all the good and remind each other of the spirit of the season. You can send note of thanks via email to employees, post a thank you message on your Intranet, or ask employees to share their stories of gratitude on your blog.  In addition a heartfelt ‘thank you’, you can inspire further generosity through charity rewards or by inviting employees to give again as part of a holiday campaign. You can even lobby to swap out holiday tchotchkes for cause cards or extra grants to reward volunteerism and service.

#TAKE3 is a blog series dedicated to quick, yet insightful, takeaways for the corporate responsibility realm. Each feature includes an interview with an industry leader that addresses three questions on best practices and trends influencing the triple bottom line.

Missed the last #TAKE3? Click here to read past entries.

#TAKE3 with Joe Waters [Corporate Fundraising]

Joe Waters, author of SelfishGiving.com and Cause Marketing for Dummies, shares best practices for corporate fundraising and establishing effective nonprofit partnerships.

1) What key trends have you observed over the last year in causes, tools and strategies for corporate fundraising? What can we expect in the future?

Mobile, mobile, mobile. Mobile is the future of nonprofit marketing and fundraising. Our smartphones and tablets are becoming the remote control of our lives and causes will be closely linked with what people call The Third Screen (the television and PC were the first and second screens, respectively). For cause marketers like me, mobile means fewer in-store promotions and more promotions where people are and where they care. Both nonprofit and business brands will be focused on connecting deeply with consumers and mobile will be the conduit.

Further Reading: 4 Ways Nonprofits Can Get Started with Mobile (and 4 Ways They Shouldn’t)

2) What cause marketing campaigns do you find most effective, year-round or campaign-based?

Both can be effective. What’s important is that nonprofits work closely with their partner to choose a promotion and time frame that works for BOTH partners. Rome wasn’t built in a day. These year-long campaigns we admire and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars locally and millions of dollars nationally took years to develop. The important thing is to get started, but most nonprofits and businesses never do.

Further Reading: Getting Started with Cause Marketing

3) What best practices can you share for selecting a nonprofit for corporate fundraising programs?

A lot of companies gravitate to what I call “Garanimal” cause marketing. They look for a nonprofit that’s a “good match” for their business (e.g. A restaurant works with a food pantry, a real estate firm works with a housing charity, etc.). It’s not a bad first thought, but there are more important things to consider. One of them is the value the nonprofit brings to the businesses. Does the nonprofit communicate effectively with its supporters? Do they have a donor base that will support and reward a corporate partner? The essence of cause marketing is win-win. Believe it or not, it’s the company that usually short-changes itself.

Further Reading: How to Choose a Cause for Cause Marketing

#TAKE3 is a blog series dedicated to quick, yet insightful, takeaways for the corporate responsibility realm. Each feature includes an interview with an industry leader that addresses three questions on best practices and trends influencing the triple bottom line.

Missed the last #TAKE3? Click here to read past entries.