At the recent SILC 2019 conference, Pete Karns, VP of Operations at CyberGrants, met and talked with CyberGrants clients about the state of their Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

One of the great parts of my role at CyberGrants is the strategic interaction with our clients. I love our clients. The energy and passion for what they do – across grant making and employee programs – is contagious. Our clients quite literally change the world for the better, sometimes on a large scale, and always on an individual scale. At the recent SILC 2019 conference, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of our clients about the state of their Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

First, globalization of CSR, or perhaps better said, the centralized planning and reporting of CSR, is hot. Now, I know it is a global economy, but in many ways CSR activity is not planned, executed, and reported on a consistent basis – within a consistent governance framework. The push to standardize and centralize is HERE.

Next, engaging employees remains a central tenet of CSR. But the ‘how’ is evolving. The principles of ‘viral engagement’, as enabled by social and competitive capabilities, is increasingly being used for deeper visibility of opportunities to engage. Those opportunities have clearly evolved beyond the ‘top down’ driving payroll and sponsored event tactics, into year round and one time giving with innovative match programs, to team and skill based events which can include friends, family and community members.

Measuring impact remains a hot topic – but again, the ‘how’ is crucial. Our clients span all industries, across a variety of internal and regulated reporting requirements. What’s clear is that determining impact, and accurately reporting impact, is highly dependent upon the data captured as part of CSR programs. Ok, that’s obvious, right? Or is it? We see more and more programs that span grantmaking and foundation/company/employee giving (money and time) – so planning, executing, and measuring for impact requires a line of site across all programs.

Finally, I’m struck by the collaboration and cooperation among CSR professionals. There is a real sense of ‘we’ are working towards social impact. And that ‘we’ is collectively smarter, faster, and more effective. At SILC, the 'we' extends to nonprofits and technology providers. While it might not be a new trend, it is one that we must continue as an industry and ecosystem across technology providers, corporations and foundations and nonprofits. There is much to be done!

Watch the highlight video from the event HERE.