Friday, June 15, 2007

Community Involvement

When I saw that Deloitte & Touche had created a 24-page report titled "Beyond Numbers" which was described as its "Community Involvement Annual Report" I wondered if it was a "get real" moment. 24 pages to tout what they should be doing anyway? Sounded like puffery to me.

I explain: I am a huge advocate of community involvement - I've volunteered with local non-profit organizations for the past two decades of my working career and firmly believe that absolutely every business should be fostering involvement in the local community among its employees.

As I read the report, I realized this was REAL marketing...and the fact that Deloitte & Touche is putting themselves out there, committing the company as a 'best example', is very impressive.

A recent survey from job board TheLadders showed that 89.2% of execs believe that if a company has the ability to make a positive impact then it is that company’s duty to strive for it. The majority of respondents – 87.3% – also said that they would not work for a company that had a reputation of negative social responsibility.

Almost half of those surveyed – 45.1% – said that, not only do their companies participate in numerous events and organizations, but they promote employee participation as well. However, 29.6% of execs say they are unaware of any social programs initiated by their companies. Another 25.3% said that while their companies do promote social responsibility, employees are not encouraged to participate.

Given the fact that less than half of companies are doing what they believe is the right thing, the Deloitte & Touche commitment is even more impressive.

Barry Salzberg, D&T's CEO, said, “Successful businesses thrive in healthy communities. That’s why we’re committed to helping build strong and vibrant nonprofits. We bring our passion for business excellence into our community involvement efforts, helping nonprofits achieve their critical social missions. "

Evan Hochberg, national director of community involvement, Deloitte Services LP, noted that “this report is a story of our efforts to make a greater impact in our communities by strengthening the effectiveness of nonprofits. It is a strategy to which we are truly committed.”

Thumbs up! Great job! My hope is that "Beyond Numbers" gives the good folks at Deloitte & Touche a platform to speak at every business conference and to every business magazine.

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