No doubt about it, Minnesota is a leader in corporate philanthropy.
Across our business community — from our 19 Fortune 500 companies (more per capita than in all but one other state) to countless others of every size — is a wide-held belief that community engagement is essential to the vitality of our region.
But effective corporate citizenship — like any aspect of a business enterprise — requires discipline. According to Tom Knowlton and Nadia Gomes of TCC Group, successful citizenship requires: organization-wide strategy, integration throughout the organizational structure, engaged leadership, and a culture that values community engagement.
Knowlton and Gomes shared their latest thinking on this topic at a recent gathering of MCF’s corporate members. (Our members are constantly engaged in learning — that’s one of MCF’s Principles for Grantmakers.)
TCC Group’s model links integration and strategy together as fundamentals. Without this base, smart execution and meaningful impact are difficult. Engaged leadership and culture are the accelerators. Senior-level support and engagement of all stakeholders gives the credibility and oomph that leads to success.
Balancing fundamentals and accelerators is key. At the MCF session, Medtronic Foundation’s Ginny Cassidy shared her company’s evolving “Corporate Citizenship 2.0″ initiative. See the 2012 Corporate Citizenship Report (PDF) for a description of the company’s strategic pillars: global leadership in addressing chronic disease, collaborative culture of innovation, responsibility in the marketplace, total employee engagement and progressive environmental stewardship.
You can also read more about Knowlton’s and Gomes’ work in their recent posts on the CSRwire blog.
And in a few weeks we’ll release the summer issue of Giving Forum, which will include lots more examples of effective corporate citizenship in Minnesota. Visit our website to sign up for this useful publication.
- Wendy Wehr, MCF vice president of communications and information services