2014 Wrap-Up: Thoughts on Saving the World

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2014 Wrap Up: Thoughts on Saving the World image new year philanthropy ideas 300x2052014 is now a memory, so it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned and solidify our new year’s resolutions for 2015.

At the top of my list (right behind “getting more exercise” and “taking more family trips”) is “get clients to increase their focus on skills-based volunteering.”

Why?  Well, for one thing, I’m convinced that skills giving will save the world.

That’s all.

Here’s why:

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In the past, creating economic value was purely the domain of corporations, while social value creation was left to nonprofits.  And never the two shall meet.

But what we’ve all learned is that when corporations and nonprofits work together – combining the unique ability that companies have to leverage capital with the ability of nonprofits to address social problems – we create something new. It’s called shared value.

A slightly confusing name for a very powerful idea.

The magic of shared value is scale.  We can finally get solutions at the scale that is required to actually solve those problems.

In an age of almost complete transparency, doing good is critical if you want to keep your license to do business. Consumers hesitate to buy from you, but worse, employees won’t even apply to your company.  How could they? Everyone has 600 friends to report to now.  “Why are you working for that jerk company”, they’ll say.  Studies show this is true;  Millennials would rather stay home than work for a selfish corporation that doesn’t care about doing good.  It’s just too humiliating.

And here’s the opportunity: according to the Taproot Foundation, nonprofits only have about 3% of the services that they really need.  Not cash; services.  That is, things like strategic planning, accounting, design, advertising, marketing –  things that help them scale.  Nonprofits simply don’t have those.

But corporations do.

Now if corporations can provide those services in the form of skills-based volunteering, we can start to fill that gap.  We can start to apply some of the talent that corporations have locked up in their four walls to the service of social value creation.

Studies show that standard volunteering is worth $ 22.14 per hour to nonprofits.  If you contribute skills to a nonprofit, however, the value literally skyrockets. In these instances, the value of one person’s skilled service can range from something relatively modest to hundreds of dollars an hour.

What’s interesting and why this is so exciting is that this form of corporate volunteerism benefits the corporation too. And not just a little – a lot.

Turns out skills-based volunteering is the cheapest form of workforce skills development, at about one-third of the cost of traditional development programs.  According to a study by human resources think tank Bersin and Associates, the average training cost per employee is $ 1200, with most of that money going towards developing soft skills such as management and leadership abilities.  But Points of Light Institute found that a company will spend about $ 416 on each person that participates in a corporate volunteer program, which can help train employees in these same sorts of management and leadership skills. That’s quite a savings.

This ties economic incentive to social value creation.

I’m seeing this on display with so many companies.  According to CECP’s 2014 Giving in Numbers report, the number of businesses that have some kind of pro bono program has increased from 30% to just over 50% in six years.  Making it the fastest growing trend in corporate employee engagement.

Canadian energy company Emera gets this.  Through their Good Neighbour program, they offer grants to the local organizations where their employees are providing skills to support nonprofit programs. Employees serve on boards, help fundraise and serve as mentors and youth leaders. Emera then makes a financial contribution to the organization as an acknowledgement of the effort their employees have made towards that charity.

Skills-stretching happens whenever there is skills-based volunteering.  An Emera assistant has been able to gain gain communications and PR skills as a member of the fundraising committee for Resource Center for the Arts.  An employee from Emera’s customer services department gained HR skills by overseeing the HR process of an annual arts festival.

Or take Kenneth Cole.  The company has long recognized the value of donating their skills to organizations.  They not only provide the talent of their staff but also provide grants and mentoring, and ultimately access to their distribution to social entrepreneurs in fashion, especially where it benefits small artisans.  This helps launch companies they can potentially acquire in the future, as well as products to sell, and talented and trained employees to hire.  Kenneth Cole is so actively applying SBV that they don’t just help organizations, they make brand new ones.

Finally, Neiman Marcus is bringing this exciting trend full circle by tying SBV to performance reviews.  It’s early for them, but employees are asked to talk about how volunteerism benefitted them during the course of the year.  Tying volunteerism to performance will increase the frequency and quality of this form of corporate philanthropy.

What I observed in 2014 was a burgeoning enthusiasm for skills-based volunteering in companies from all sectors, all sizes, everywhere.  I can tell you there is not a single corporation i’ve spoken to in the last six months that is not planning on instituting a program  like this.

I think that only when you demonstrate economic incentive to creating social value will we be able to reach the scale we need to solve our problems.  I’m honored to be a part of helping enable companies to craft and execute these programs.

I believe that by leveraging the power of capitalism in the service of causes and stretching the skills of your employees, we will see a historic shift to a world where ultimately, businesses will compete with each other not only to make the most profit, but do the most good.

That’s the world we’re working toward in 2015.
Happy new year, everyone.

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Marketo’s Marketing Nation Roadshow Wrap-Up: European Edition

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Principles of Engagement Marketing- Sanjay

Author: Raymond Coppinger

Over the last few weeks, London and Paris were the wonderful host cities for the European leg of our “Innovation in the Nation” roadshow. Attracting almost 600 marketers, our whirlwind events had packed agendas and incredible engagement from the attendees. With a keynote from our own CMO, Sanjay Dholakia and an eye-opening session from Julian Archer of SiriusDecisions, the roadshows also showcased customer case studies, product roadmap overviews and a standout session on the importance of creativity.

In short, the events had a bit of everything so we wanted to recap the bigger themes from our European “Innovation in the Nation” events:

1. The Principles of Engagement Marketing:  Resonating with the Nation

Both days kicked-off with a keynote about the new rules of marketing from Sanjay. During the keynote, Sanjay took attendees on a journey, describing the five new rules marketers need to leverage in order to succeed in the new world of customer empowerment. Marketing by these rules, explained Sanjay, is what we define as engagement marketing.

The concept of engagement marketing resonated with the audience based on the reaction we saw on Twitter and the lively Q&A following the keynote. The simple, yet powerful explanation of engagement marketing struck a chord – the idea is that marketers need to engage customers:

  • As individuals
  • Based on what they do
  • Continuously over time
  • Wherever they are
  • Always directed towards a goal
  • With measurable impact
  • At the speed of digital

2. Data and Insight: Marketers Hungry for the Lessons from Marketing Research

Lessons from Marketing ResearchOne of the most anticipated sessions was delivered by Julian Archer, Research Director from Sirius Decisions. Julian delivered a data-driven, insight-rich presentation on The State of Demand Creation Across Western Europe, which had the audience scribbling frantically (don’t worry, you can request a copy of the deck here)!

Julian shared compelling data and practical examples about sales/marketing alignment, multi-touch analysis, and lead qualification criteria. While there were innumerable insights and takeaways during the session, the unanimous #1 takeaway was that marketers are hungry to take advantage of the quality insights data and analysis provide.

3. Creativity: Still at the Heart of Marketing

Creativity: The heart of marketingClosing the London Roadshow was a hugely popular talk given by Darren Bolton, Executive Creative Director, OgilvyOne dnx. He took the chance to talk passionately about creativity. During Darrens TED-like talk, he invited the audience to explore the very meaning of creativity. He challenged popular beliefs and discussed the importance of fear, curiosity, passion and inspiration. Other important ideas he discussed include:

  • Creativity involves two processes: thinking and producing. Thinking without doing is just being imaginative.
  • Everyone can be creative but only a few choose to be.
  • Curiousity is a vital part of creativity – we should embrace it at all points.
  • Inspiration is everywhere and comes in many, many forms.

Darren’s talk demonstrated that even though marketers are investing in improving their ability to measure and judge their marketing based on data, the art of creativity is still inspiring and sits at the very heart of the marketers psyche. 

4. Innovation: The Marketing Nation Survey

Our overarching theme for the Marketing Nation roadshow series was “Innovation in the Nation”. With that in mind, we surveyed attendees about how they perceive innovation, in the general marketing field and within their own marketing activities. Here are some of the key findings (the full report will be published shortly):

  • Innovation is undeniably important (80% of marketers saying it was important with 44% of them saying it was very important).
  • A deep understanding of your customers and prospects is the #1 driver of marketing innovation, with 46% of respondents saying it precedes and drives things like risk-taking and executive backing.
  • Consumer brands are still generally perceived as being more innovative than B2B brands.
  • If marketers could innovate freely in any area, they would prioritize three things: market research and insight, marketing automation and technology, and multi-channel integrated campaigns.
  • The urge to innovate is being constrained.  Only 1 in 10 (10%) say that a great deal of their organizations marketing is innovative.  The ‘average’ marketer finds her own innovation blocked by a risk averse culture (77% describe their company culture in this way).

That’s a wrap! If you were at the roadshows, we would love to hear from you – please leave your comments below. But the last word comes from our attendees in this video – check it out!


Marketo’s Marketing Nation Roadshow Wrap-Up: European Edition was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com


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