Giving Compass' Take:

• FSG published a report called Being the Change and interviewed 114 staff members to understand the caliber of CSR initiatives in foundations. 

• How will CSR recommendations help foundations? 

• Read about the new era of corporate social responsibility. 

Earlier this year, FSG published Being the Change – a report on how foundations are changing internally to create greater impact externally. The report featured stories shared by 114 leaders and staff from over 50 organizations that are taking on different approaches to creating social change.

While the study primarily analyzed private, family, and community foundations, corporate foundations and CSR leaders are also employing many of these practices to build more effective partnerships and communities.

Here are 4 ways corporate foundations and CSR leaders can make changes within their organizations to create greater social change:

  1. Consider how staff roles and sizes may need to expand based on new approaches to change.
    Foundations—corporate or otherwise—increasingly recognize the benefit that unrestricted funds provide to grantees, allowing organizations to expand staff or reimagine staff roles in ways that better support the impact of their efforts, recognizing that can often be more impactful to have a highly functional team than extra program funds.
  2. Work more collaboratively and creatively with business and functional units to achieve impact goals. New structures—legal and programmatic—enable foundations to find additional opportunities for impact by supporting for-profit investments, policy advocacy, and greater scale.
  3. Value diverse perspectives and help your staff build diverse skillsets. Working within new structures and designs means that staff will also require new skills and expertise.
  4. Model internally the values and practices you seek to achieve externally. As corporations increasingly move to engage more deeply and authentically with grantees and the communities in which they work, modeling these changes—like willingness to experiment, iterate, and fail or putting greater emphasis on equity and shifting power dynamics—within a corporate foundation or among CSR staff can signal to grantees the importance your organization places on these issues and new ways of operating.

Read the full article about CSR initiatives in foundations by Andria Seneviratne and Nikhil Bumb at FSG