Demonstrating the business value of CR and Community Investment

The last couple of years have seen a shift in what corporates are looking to achieve with their CR initiatives. Their programmes are no longer purely philanthropic ventures and are increasingly more strategically linked to the business and must demonstrate business benefits as well as societal benefits. Consequently there is increasing pressure on corporates to set up robust monitoring and evaluation systems to measure their programmes’ benefits in order to produce meaningful conclusions of the outcomes.

Good Values brought together twenty CR directors to discuss the challenges and share their experiences in developing and embedding such measurement systems.

David Schofield, Group Head of Corporate Responsibility at Aviva, kicked off the evening, presenting Aviva’s experiences in setting up measurement frameworks and embedding them within the ‘Street to School’ programme to effectively measure both the social and business benefits from their global community flagship initiative. He discussed some of the challenges that were encountered, such as establishing a framework for a global initiative that was also relevant and applicable to all local contexts. He also shared some of the positive results that Aviva has gained from measuring both the social and business benefits such as the community impacts, employee engagement scores and reputational benefits amongst key stakeholders.

Good Values outlined from their experience common challenges that corporates face when measuring such benefits and embedding a consistent measurement system globally or across divisions. A facilitated discussion amongst the CR professionals followed and the Big Thinkers discussed ways in which they had tried to tackle some of the common obstacles, which proved very helpful to the others present.

One of the key areas of debate was the balance some companies were taking between measuring ‘values and value’. For the majority, both were required, but the balance was often determined by the different stakeholders.

There was discussion around the importance of prioritising your measurement and the need for a focus, otherwise there is a risk of paralysis by trying to measure everything. This links back to understanding what is important to your key stakeholders.

This is a short summary of the full discussion. If you would like to know more, please contact us.