drive change

Evaluating Your Social Impact Program Against Best Practices

Last week, WeSpire was invited to join dozens of corporate philanthropy leaders at the annual Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals (ACCP) conference. Weren't able to make it? See what we covered in our popular session.

In our Learning Lab at the ACCP conference, we presented our relatively new Four C’s framework. We developed this framework to help people evaluate how their corporate social impact program compares to best practices that we’ve seen across the nearly fifty companies we’ve worked with.

As part of the workshop, we developed a practical assessment (yes, quizzes and assessments are still part of WeSpire’s DNA!) for each of the Four C’s. ACCP participants could see if they were “just getting started” or following “best practices” along four dimensions: Commit, Communicate, Connect, and Change.

We then shared best practices for each of the four areas. We showcased MGM Resorts' stellar level of executive and organizational commitment to sustainability. We highlighted Timberland’s amazing Global Ambassadors program as a best practice for connecting with employees and what they care about at a local level. We discussed Caesars Entertainment as a great example of driving change by influencing significant increases in volunteering and wellbeing activities. Finally, we shared best practices in employee communication from Cox Enterprises and how they've effectively branded their sustainability program.

We also asked those attendees who scored high on the assessment to share what they were doing and any challenges they faced. Nearly every attendee identified the challenge of “breaking through” all the other information and communications that overwhelm employees and their inboxes. The antidote our team suggested was to improve the personalization of the communications to better resonate with employee needs and interests. One company shared that they regularly survey employees to determine ideal communication methods and while email topped the list, hearing directly from their manager ranked highly as well.

This framework proved helpful not only to facilitate best practice sharing from our experience, but also from attendee to attendee. We would love to hear from you as well.

What are some of your best practices for connecting, demonstrating commitment, communicating effectively and driving change in your social impact program?