Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Measuring and evaluating corporate civic engagement

May 23, 2012, 1:35 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

conference

Photo Credit: Flickr user Sebastiaan ter Burg 

A new national initiative to survey, rank and recognize corporations that demonstrate leadership and investment in civic engagement issues launched this week. 



The Civic 100’s inaugural survey of S&P 500 companies is designed to better understand how they engage the communities they serve and how they institutionalize practices as part of their corporate cultures. The initiative is taking a scientific approach to measuring and evaluating corporate civic engagement.



Led by some of the country’s leading experts on civic engagement, The National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light, the initiative hopes to recognize companies that are making a difference in communities across the country. Bloomberg News is serving as the media partner for the initiative. 



Knight Foundation’s Vice President/Strategic Initiatives Paula Ellis says she's glad to see the survey is built on the recognition that the business sector plays a "key role in promoting community engagement." 



Data collected from the survey will include information about company’s leadership commitments, their ability to leverage partnerships within the community and employee engagement efforts.



National Conference on Citizenship’s Chief Program Officer Kristen Campbell says the companies’ participation in the survey is voluntary, but “that it is personally reaching out to all S&P 500 CEOs and its Corporate Social Responsibility officials inviting them to participate.” The organization plans on working with a number of nonprofits and associations who have corporate members to help spread the word and is also talking with PR agencies who they hope will encourage their client’s participation.  
            


Through July 31, The Civic 100 survey is available to companies to complete online at www.Civic100.org. Two webinars scheduled for June 26 and July 18 will provide technical assistance for survey participants. Responses collected will be used to generate an overall score - resulting in a rank ordered list - which will published in Bloomberg Businessweek in mid-November. 



At the launch, Senator Bob Graham, a board member at National Conference on Citizenship said:


“Corporate responsibility has become a key driver for companies in employee recruitment and retention and brand loyalty. The Civic 100 is a first-of-its kind initiative to recognize companies that lead, empower and inspire the communities they serve as well as create a roadmap for businesses seeking to become better community leaders.”

The press release announcing the launch of The Civic 100 is available online. To stay updated, follow The Civic 100 on Twitter at @civic100.