September 2020: State of CSR Today & Transitions

During our kick off September event, we were delighted to meet virtually to discuss trends in CSR and our ever-changing roles in the ever-changing world. Led by the CVNY Executive Committee, joined by experts in the industry and was met with collaborative idea sharing from CVNY members.

Topics for discussion included:

· Reenergizing employees and colleagues

· Determining what exactly our nonprofit partners are looking for in these times

· Major trends in community engagement

· Battling our own ‘compassion fatigue’, and

· How to manage expectations of roles outgrowing our resources, as CSR expands to cover social justice, D&I, and more responsibilities

Our Panelists:
Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact
Anita Whitehead, Principal, KPMG

Takeaways learned included:

· CSR topics are more visible than ever, and at many companies they are more important than ever. Guide your executive teams to utilize CSR programming as ways to respond to social issues like COVID response and economic inequality

· Be flexible with nonprofit partners in the ways that you can—loosen grant restrictions, process payments faster, consider providing in-kind support or leverage skills-based services

· At our organizations the INTENT to get involved with community issues has never been higher, it’s now our jobs as CSR practitioners to find practical outlets to channel that intent into action while being mindful of additional stressors to all employees

· Before COVID, nonprofit partners were beginning to look at bad actions of companies to determine eligibility of partners; while this has slowed, it’s possible that this trend picks back up under better economic conditions