As a chef and former restaurant owner, I like you all, know that human capital is often the most expensive investment a business makes. Training, mentoring and developing staff can have a big price tag, especially on a small business. Yet our nation’s human capital is threatened by one very common problem – childhood hunger.
In our nation today, one out of five children struggles with hunger. Making sure these kids get the food they need every day isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing.
In the short term, when kids don’t get enough of the healthy food they need, they feel the instant effects. They’re tired and sluggish. They can’t concentrate in class. They have behavioral problems. They don’t feel well and suffer from headaches and stomach aches. Thiscan have serious, long-term effects on their future success, as childhood hunger negatively affects health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity. We can’t have a strong America with weak kids.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs, like school breakfast, and educating low-income families to stretch their food...
The world market relies heavily on male-owned businesses. WEConnect International, a corporate-led non-profit that certifies women-owned businesses around the world, estimates that on average less than 1% of global corporate or government spend is on women-owned businesses in any country.
This staggering gap between male and female businesses reminds us that women’s economic energy is still an enormous untapped resource for global growth. This gap is partially due to persistent challenges including discriminatory regulation, less access to education, and societal norms.
In fact, women’s difficulty in achieving economic success is a big reason why women make up 70% of the global poor. They have the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment, less access to credit, and are often not equally represented in public education and training programs. In addition, women are often underrepresented in stakeholder discussions and the political arena.
Last month in New York, I attended the CEO Water Mandate conference on corporate water stewardship, which was part of the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit that brought together leaders from business, government, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how to harness the power of the private sector to advance solutions to address global priorities such as water, jobs, education, food, and women’s empowerment on a massive scale.
Water is used to make all products on Earth, so all businesses rely on water in some way to produce the goods we depend on, such as food, beverages, electronics, clothing, and medicine, to name a few. Water is also used to provide essential services, such as electricity, waste disposal, and more. Water is becoming increasingly stressed due to rapid population growth, urbanization, changes in climate, pollution, and increasing demand such as for agriculture production. As a result, the spotlight is more and more focused on business, one of the world’s most significant users of water, to help solve water challenges. The good news is a growing number of businesses are making the link between water security and their long-term viability and profitability, and are stepping up to be a part of the solution.
At the event I listened in on engaging conversations where several leading companies –...
[Editor's Note: Join Cheryl Heller during BCLC's October Conference Innovation Blitz. During this session, top social entrepreneurs and business innovators will share their work to inspire fresh ideas and foster collaboration. Register today.]
From a business standpoint, poverty has been a lousy investment. But one of the most resourceful businessmen of our time has set out to prove that when you know what you’re doing, there’s a multi-trillion dollar marketplace waiting to be had.
Paul Polak is the root cause of 20 million people’s transition from poverty to the middle class. He is the founder of iDE, author of “The Business Solution to Poverty” and “Out of Poverty,” and creator of “Design for the other 90%.” At heart, Paul is just a savvy businessman who sees opportunities to bring business where nobody else dares to...
For many years, companies have made community investments through monetary contributions, donations of in-kind goods and services, ticket purchases to special events, and sponsorships. While these may be eligible for tax credits, there are many more reasons why business should become involved with the nonprofit community.
For example, are you trying to improve employee engagement? Establish an emotional connection with customers? Build community goodwill? Attract future employees? Maybe, you hope to create synergies with a nonprofit that lead to solving an environmental issue or diminishing a social ill. That’s why it’s important to identify the goals you hope to achieve prior to aligning your company with a charity.
Because there are numerous social and environmental needs and many nonprofits addressing these challenges, you must do your homework by developing a network of nonprofits that emulate your organizational values, work in a field that strongly connects with your social and environmental platforms, and possesses a positive reputation. While this narrows the field, you may not have sufficient personnel or time to complete the proper due diligence to finalize your selection. That’s where organizations, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundations’s Business...
I want to say one word about Sustainable Brand’s The New Metrics of Sustainable Business 2013 — awesome. SB’s New Metrics felt like a practitioners convening. The focus on real world cases prompted truly useful dialog. The fact that the audience was largely filled with corporate responsibility (CR) professionals made for a collegial atmosphere that energized participants. It also seems that CR professionals interested in metrics are the same ones that are really driving performance.
There are many takeaways from the conference (I highly recommend attending if you can), but here are the main ones I got:
1) Don’t fear measurement. This meeting was chock full of companies that were surprised at how easy and powerful it was to measure sustainability impact. Multiple presentations stressed how powerful it is if you can talk numbers with the CFO of your organization. They also stressed how surprisingly easy it was to start measuring. Even if you need to use “back of the napkin” estimates in some parts, the message was clear: start converting your efforts to data.
2) Get specific. Find a specific project or value proposition that you want to make, and then figure out the components that comprise it. Then make the measurements happen. Don't worry about getting the right consultant in the room, and don't worry if you...
This summer the UPS Foundation announced $7.6 million in donations to 41 diversity, education, and veteran and military support nonprofit organizations. The UPS Foundation will positively impact thousands of lives through this support.
The UPS Foundation has a long-standing committee to diversity and empowerment according to the UPS Foundation president Ed Martinez:
"From higher education and economic empowerment to leadership and inclusion, The UPS Foundation continuously seeks opportunities to champion diversity by aligning our corporate giving with organizations that make a difference in global communities.”
The donation includes $1 million in cash and in-kind support to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), an organization with which UPS has a 25 year history "from providing 300 employee volunteers for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games to making significant contributions to the American Gala annual tribute," according to Martinez.
The donations also included $1 million in support of Hispanic-American college and career readiness program Escalera and $1.1 million to the National Urban Leage, among others. The total contributions represent an increase in the foundation's diversity grants by more than $1.5 million since 2012.
Want to learn...
|(From L-to-R) Mike Duke, President & CEO, Walmart; Dan Bartlett, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Walmart; Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID|
So what do Walmart and USAID have in common? That was a question we at Walmart asked ourselves several years ago.
Well, for starters we both can be found all over the globe, but what else? We both work with farmers and business owners—USAID through sustainable development efforts and Walmart through our supply chain. We both have demonstrated a commitment to community-oriented solutions that solve big problems. And perhaps most importantly, like USAID, Walmart believes that businesses have an important role to play in advancing the economic development of the communities we serve around the world.
That’s why today Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and USAID signed a new global Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work even closer together on...
Last night, I was honored to join the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 4th Annual National Childhood Cancer Program. The event, hosted here in Washington, D.C., looked to commemorate September as Childhood Cancer Awareness month and bring awareness for those families affected by childhood cancer. It brought together cancer survivors and their families, members of Congress including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Mike Kelly, Hyundai leadership, and health stakeholders.
Hyundai’s dedication to finding a cure for childhood cancer runs throughout the entire company. All of the 800 Hyundai Motor America locations support the program and the company’s leadership including Hyundai Motor America’s president and CEO John Krafcik, and its Chief Executive Coordinator BH Lee are dedicated to finding a cure.
To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. Before the event, I thought I understood the full impact of the Hyundai Hope on Wheels program. Their work has been covered on the BCLC blog and in our publications on the Role of Business. However I learned long ago...
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Announce Major Nationwide Effort in Support of Under-Banked Households
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund today announced the creation of Bank On 2.0, a new effort to create a unified, national approach to delivering safe, affordable banking products and services to low-income and under-banked people through municipal programs across the country. The CFE Fund’s mission is to help cities design financial empowerment strategies and embed them into local government programs to improve the financial capability of low- and moderate-income households. The JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s $1.15 million seed funding commitment is a two-year grant that will complement the CFE Fund's raising of matching funds from other partner organizations, including other financial institutions.
Bank On 2.0 will build on the grassroots success of a wide array of Bank On and related banking access programs in cities across the country, like San Francisco and Seattle. Bank On programs have already connected tens of thousands of under-banked people to safe and affordable financial products at institutions, ranging from local community banks to global financial institutions. Bank On 2.0 will identify best practices and build a national, evidence-based strategy that will help people, who might otherwise be subject to costly alternative financial services, access basic, safe and affordable bank services.
The ultimate goal is to create a national approach and infrastructure that includes...