CSR Naysayers Need to Read the Tea Leaves

By Steve Delfin on November 17, 2017



A recent study, Higher Highs and Lower Lows: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in CEO Dismissal, draws the conclusion that when CEOs choose to invest in CSR, “it changes the likelihood they will be fired based on the firm’s financial returns.”

Poking holes in the research and conclusions might be a good exercise, but the real problem is the mindset of many corporate boards – the folks that hire and fire those CEOs – who have yet to fully grasp that stakeholder expectations are rapidly changing in ways that are influencing the priorities of the CEO, and, as well, investor expectations around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics are redefining how return on investment has historically been considered.

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Working In Purpose and On Purpose: Unison CEO Offers A Prescription For More Impactful CSR

By Ben Chutz on October 27, 2017

Earlier this month, the Unison team had the pleasure of both sponsoring and attending CR Magazine’s COMMIT!Forum, where hundreds of purpose-driven leaders spanning a variety of functional areas within their organizations convened in National Harbor, Maryland. What followed was 48 hours of rich, insightful discussion on what the future of Corporate Responsibility needs to look like.

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Corporate Impact Investing: New Opportunities To Create Sustainable Social and Economic Impact

By Maria DeLorenzo on October 19, 2017

The United Nations estimates that achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require trillions of dollars per year. The Global Goals—as they are colloquially known—make it clear that traditional sources of capital like government aid and philanthropy simply won’t be enough, given the scale of the problems the world is facing.

Addressing the complexity and magnitude of societal issues demands significant assistance from the private sector, and over the last 30 years, the notion of using profit-seeking investment to generate social and environmental impact has moved from a periphery of activist investors to the core of mainstream financial institutions. A new type of investor—the impact investor—has stepped onto the scene.

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5 Standout Themes From The 2017 COMMIT!Forum

By Ben Chutz on October 17, 2017


With COMMIT!Forum behind us and the weekend to have marinated on everything it provided, let’s take a moment to reflect on the substance of the talks and the knowledge imparted throughout the two days of high intensity discussions around the current and future state of corporate responsibility.

With nearly 40 presentations in under 48 hours at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland, there was a lot to take in. And judging by the lack of activity in the hallways during each session, it seems that the conference organizers—and those presenting—knew their audience well.

When all was said and done, there were a handful of critical themes that seemed to bubble up to the top of the urgency scale. Let’s explore what they were.

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Marketing Mavericks - How CMOs Have Infused Social Responsibility Into Their Brand To Grow

By Benjamin Lachman on September 6, 2017


If you’re a Chief Marketing Officer in the Fortune 500 world or somebody who aspires to be one, you’re probably spending your time trying to figure out how you’re going to make yourself indispensable in a position that has the highest turnover rate in the C-suite. You’re constantly on the look-out for how to accurately assess successful levers that drive consumer behavior and carry out the vision of your brand in a multi-channel world.  

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Three Companies Doing CSR Right in 2017 and What You Can Learn From Them

By Benjamin Lachman on September 1, 2017


If there is one universal truth about Corporate Social Responsibility as it stands today, it’s that there is simultaneously no good uniform definition and an extremely strong need for a well defined CSR strategy.  

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What CSR Can Learn from Other Business Functions: An Outside-In Perspective

By Mohammad Hamid on May 30, 2017



In April of 2016, I decided to interview as many corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals as I could get in front of. Over 12 months later, I have amassed over 150 interviews chronicling a variety of enterprises that have really shaped my perspective about the space.

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To Move Itself Forward, CSR Must Go Back To The Basics

By Mohammad Hamid on March 30, 2017

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CSR Professionals: Start With "Why", Today More Than Ever

By Steve Delfin on March 6, 2017

A couple of years back I helped organize a conference for Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Philanthropy executives where we recruited author and leadership expert, Simon Sinek, to speak.

Simon’s best-selling book, Start with Why (see his Ted Talk on the subject with nearly 31 million views and counting), as well as subsequent speeches and articles, are all centered on something called the Golden Circle approach to leadership.

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The Dangers of Reactive CSR in the Face of Activist Pressure

By Eliza Feltus on October 28, 2016

Publicly espousing commitments to social responsibility without genuine organizational buy-in to back it up is a dangerous gamble for corporations to take. 


Too frequently, genuine corporate social responsibility strategies risk being drawn astray by a desire to appease the most vocal activist and advocacy groups.

Darden Restaurants—probably known best for its Olive Garden franchise—is a prime example of a company facing such a dilemma.

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