Corporate Social Responsibility

All things related to philanthropy by for-profit businesses, including company-sponsored or enabled volunteering.

Answering the CRS Sceptics, Mallen Baker's Respectful Business Blog, 2016
Corporate Citizenship: A Tax in Disguise?, Richard Teather, 2003
Challenging the philosophy behind the practice.
Corporate Philanthropy 2.0, David L. Caprara and Robert L. Mallet, 2008
Corporate Social Responsibility, 2011
defined in a detailed article
Corporate Social Responsibility Special Report, 2008
compiled by Forbes in 2008, with links to various essays including "Can Companies Savbe the World? Should They Even Try?"
Corporate Volunteering, Kate Reynolds, \, pp. 25-26, Volunteering SA, 2001
The Drive towards "Highly-skilled" and "Pro Bono" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Good Intentions Going Nowhere -- Again, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Help Business People to Be Good Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize, Inc. Volunteer Management Update, July 1, 2015
You can get a free tip from Susan every month by signing up for Update!
The History of Doing Good, Mark Lewis, 2008
Is Volunteering the Emperor's New Clothes?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2012
My Personal "State of the World's Volunteering" Report, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
Recognising Employee Volunteers, Lisa Ramrayka, National Centre for Volunteering., 2001
Recognising Employee Volunteers, Lisa Ramrayka, National Centre for Volunteering, 2001
Redirecting Corporate Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Selections from Volunteer Engagement 2.0, Wiley and VolunteerMatch, 2015
Tapping the Small Business Community for Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Appeared as an "On Volunteers" column in The NonProfit Times
Volunteerism as a Core Competency, Diane Brady, Bloomberg Businessweek, 2012
Volunteers from the Workplace, Betty B. Stallings, 1998
Workplace Volunteerism: Have We Thought this Through?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004

From the Entrepreneurs' Foundation of SVCF, this brief document explains the concept of Dollars for Doers and includes a sample policy template.

, 2014, pp. 3
A white paper that shows how a company can use its meetings and events to become a more responsible corporate citizen, Special D Events , 2010, pp. 18

Guide to effective employer-supported volunteer programs (large businesses) by Points of Light's Corporate Institute. 

, 2014, pp. 23

A report from Common Impact surveying 185 nonprofits about tapping the business community.

, 2011, pp. 12
IAVE is committed to being a global knowledge and thought leader for volunteering, through original research and analysis and by providing access..., pp. 19
By Petra Cook and Nicky Jackson. Explores how volunteering can help to develop the critical professional management skills of working with people who have different timeframes, values and interests. It assesses the personal experiences of senior managers and also their views on volunteering in their capacity as employers. The study also examines the views and actual experiences of returned VSO (UK) volunteers. , 2006, pp. 24
By Corporate Citizenship, The City of London, UK. The benefits of corporate volunteering programs in education. , 2010, pp. 114
By Greg Hills and Adeeb Mahmud, FSG Social Impact Advisors. Site also offers a video on this subject. , 2007, pp. 44
Alltop: Corporate Responsibility News

Site that gathers news and information about corporate responsibility and presents it in one place, with links.

American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono Public Services

To meet the ever-growing needs of the U.S.' most vulnerable citizens by encouraging and supporting local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services, and "by showcasing the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve."  Includes a volunteer opportunities function for lawyers seeking to do pro bono work. Links to State Pro Bono Programs.

Brookings Institute

Articles and reports about new directions in international corporate philanthropy, including employee volunteer programs. Search on keywords "corporate philanthropy" and "volunteering" to see complete list of resources.

Business in the Community (UK)

Information on the "ProHelp" program linking a network of over 1,000 professional firms to community service needs.

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR)

Resources for Canadian companies interested in social corporate responsibility.

Career Volunteer

Career Volunteer is "here to make it easier for you to search and recruit trustees, skilled volunteers, potential mentors, and Board Members for your charity, NGO or social enterprise...By skilled volunteers we mean people who can provide pro bono assistance in specialist areas - marketing, finance, fundraising, strategy or people with technical abilities in other professions." Career Volunteer gives you access to fully funded expertise and Board-level skills from outside the sector, provided on a pro bono basis -- candidates are drawn from large corporates participating and funding the programme.  Also have an interesting blog, "Volunteers do it for free" at


Causecast Blog

Blog produced by Causecast, provider of online platforms for corporations and nonprofits to manage giving and volunteering.  The blog focus on corporate social responsibility topics.

Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College

Site to advance "strategic corporate citizenship," including reports on such things as "Corporate Social Responsibility Monitor" and other reports.

Charity Village: Corporate Volunteerism

Series of articles from Charity Village on many aspects of engaging businesses in volunteering.

The Civic 50

Started in 2012, this project "ranks" America's most "community-minded corporations. Run by National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light Institute, and Bloomberg LP.

Common Impact

"A nonprofit organization that connects skilled professionals from global companies to high-potential local nonprofits." See theirpublicationsthat make the case for skills-based volunteering by business.

Corporate Institute Blog

Posts about corporate social responsibility and tools for engaging companies in volunteering, from Points of Light..

Corporate Social Responsibility News and Resources

Resources for people determined to act as change agents within their business for corporate social responsibility/corporate citizenship, including employee volunteering.

CRS Wire

Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire Service posts all sorts of press releases and reports on business programs. Search under "volunteer" to find many items.

Development Crossing

Free site that promotes the growth of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development through a global network of professionals that have access to exclusive interviews, engaging discussions, breaking news, and relevant events around the world. Members can connect with thousands of senior executives, socially responsible enterprises and nonprofits to exchange ideas and capitalize on collective wisdom to solve common challenges.

Employer-Supported Volunteering Initiative - Volunteering England

Various philosophic and practical resources for employee volunteering, for both large and small companies.

Entrepreneurs Foundation

California agency with the mission "to engage companies in corporate citizenship and philanthropic efforts so that new and leveraged resources are generated for community benefit." Site offersmany tools, particularly onemployee volunteering.

Fueling Good

Site of the CITGO company's social responsibility efforts.

Global Corporate Volunteer Council

A network for leaders of international employee volunteer programs.

Hospitality + Service

Hospitality + Service equips staff and volunteers to improve the culture of hospitality in their organizations and enhance client service. The program provides the tools, skills and knowledge to build enduring cultures of hospitality and guest service. Hospitality + Service's leadership toolkit, Hospitality by Design, focuses on 7 curriculum modules including: Building Hospitality from the Ground Up, Knowing Your Client, Building a Strong Team, Facilities Design and Measuring Client Satisfaction. Created by Hilton Worldwide, Points of Light and the Taproot Foundation.

Imagine - Corporate Citizenship

Canada's national program to promote public and corporate giving, volunteering and support for the community. Site has many resources and downloadable materials.

International Volunteer Network of Chicago

Stimulates networking and volunteer opportunities in and between Chicago's business community and its large international diplomatic community.

Mallen Baker's Respectful Business Blog

" Analysis of what’s happening in the world of responsible business, and what it means." 

Pro Bono Australia News (blog)

News items focused on volunteering by business people and professionals in Australia as pro bono service.

Pro Bono Australia News_
Pro Bono Junkie's Blog

A blog for those interested in integrating the pro bono ethic into their careers — giving their time and talent to strengthen nonprofit organizations. Part of the Taproot Foundation site.

Pro Bono Junkie's Blog

A blog for those interested in integrating the pro bono ethic into their careers -- giving their time and talent to strengthen nonprofit organizations.

Realized Worth

Focused on employee volunteering and workplace giving, with many solid ideas and discussions through the blog, "Realizing Your Worth," on "utilizing Employee Volunteer Programs to give you the edge in business."

Realizing Your Worth

Thoughts on Corporate Social Responsibility and corporate volunteering by Chris Jarvis in Canada.

Realizing Your Worth (blog)

Thoughts on corporate social responsibility and corporate volunteering by Chris Jarvis in Canada, through his consulting firm, Realized Worth. Has some cogent and valuable resources in the blog's archives.

Taproot Foundation

Taproot is focused on encouragingpro bonodonations of professional services.

Taproot Foundation

Taproot is focused on encouraging pro bono donations of professional services. Here are articles and research reports about business and professional community engagement.

US Chamber of Commerce Business Civic LeadershipCenter

The Business Civic LeadershipCenter exists to support the civic and humanitarian initiatives of businesses.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Established in 1969, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York City is the pioneer in arts-related legal aid and educational programs about the legal and business issues that affect artist and arts organizations.  They provide a national VLA Directory by state to assist the arts community in areas outside of the New York region and recommend contacting your local and state arts council and bar association if seeking information and access to services.

Volunteering England Employer Supported Volunteering Resource Hub

Wide range of articles, guides, reports, and more for those running workplace volunteer efforts -- both for the companies and for the volunteer-involving organizations.

Volunteering Is CSR: The VolunteerMatch Blog for Business Leaders

All about corporate social responsibility.

Model Corporate Programs

Cisco Systems
Example of a multi-faceted corporate employee volunteer program.

The Wal-Mart Foundation
National Web site explaining all the many community service projects that Wal-Mart sponsors through its employees and customers.  Many project ideas.

Quick Tips from Susan J. Ellis

Making First Contact with Corporations
From Susan J. Ellis, President, Energize, Inc.

In every community, a few large businesses are known for their philanthropic activity and everyone seeking money and volunteers requests their help. This means competition and more rejections than acceptance. Yet in every community there are also scores of companies who are never approached to contribute to anything. We all know that most people volunteer because they were asked, so why not apply this recruitment principle to engaging corporations?

In recruiting individual volunteers, the challenge is to figure out where to look for the most appropriate prospects. The same is true in determining the businesses most likely to be attracted to supporting your organization. Don't stop yourself from contacting a company "cold" if you can start the conversation with something you have in common -- the reason why you think you should collaborate. For example:

  • You both are focused on the same audience. You help children; the company sells children's clothing.
  • You provide compatible services. You offer recreational programs; the company does weight loss counseling.
  • You are located in the same neighborhood. The closer your locations are to each other, the more obvious the reasons to get acquainted. And employees can even volunteer before or after work, or even on lunch breaks.
  • Someone who works in the company is already volunteering with you. It's always best if you have an "inside" champion to carry your message to people she or he knows.

A frequent question is: Who is the right person to contact in a company to reach employee volunteers? Unfortunately, there is no consistent answer. It depends on each business. Do a little research online and see if a company you want to approach has staff in any of the following categories:

  • Philanthropy/social responsibility/community engagement. Such offices are generally found only in the largest of companies, but are logical contact points if they exist.
  • Public relations/marketing. These staff may or may not be officially charged with fielding requests from nonprofit and public agencies, but they do understand their connection to "community relations." Present your volunteer recruitment as an opportunity for positive image building and customer development.
  • Human resources/personnel/employee assistance. Again, while employee volunteering may not officially be a human resources function, your approach here would be that volunteering: 1) builds staff teamwork and morale, 2) can be a way to train employees in new skills, or 3) can be a part of pre-retirement counseling.

In a small company, don't be afraid to start at the top. Call the President or CEO's office, explain your goal of connecting with the business, and ask who would be the best person to meet with about this. In the last analysis, although we talk about "companies," every business is a collection of individuals. So once you've made contact with someone willing to listen, your success will depend on winning that person's support first, and then attracting others together.