The Hub Newsletter

 


Most kids fall into whatever fashion trend comes along.  As a child in the 80’s, I fell hard for my Madonna “Lucky Star” look: ripped sweatshirt, lacy fingerless gloves, an armful of jelly bracelets and a head full of hairspray. In middle school, I jumped permed-head first into pegged pants, rugby shirts and high-top Reeboks. And in high school, comfort was key: nothing but baggy flannel shirts, overalls, and a pair of Adidas slides.

Today, I really couldn’t tell you if I’m fashion-forward or fashion-backward. Being “on-trend” isn’t high on my radar anymore.  At least fashion-wise.  Today, I follow philanthropic trends and can’t get enough of what businesses are doing.  For good.

On the national scene, corporations are increasingly looking for innovative ways to create social and environmental impact through their giving programs.  Here’s how they’re doing it.

Corporations are giving more dollars than ever. The Giving USA Foundation reported that corporate giving reached $20.77 billion in 2017—an 8% increase from 2016.

Year-round giving is surpassing year-end giving.  Since 2013, the number of companies that are giving throughout the year instead of waiting for fourth quarter has tripled.  Makes sense. If the need is year-round, the support needs to be year-round.

Philanthropy is becoming an integral part of the business model.  When Salesforce, a cloud-based software company headquartered in California, started in 1999, it launched its 1-1-1 model—meaning they committed to give 1% of employee time, 1% of company profits and 1% of company product to make a difference locally and internationally. While that small percentage for philanthropy doesn’t sound overwhelmingly generous for a start-up, last year, the company reported $10.48B in revenue.

Corporate philanthropy is becoming more strategic.  Corporations have always had product and economic missions. Now, they’re incorporating social missions into their business models and focusing on areas where they want to make the most impact.

Impact data is impacting giving decisions. And, when corporations are laser-focused on impactful giving, it’s understandable why they rely on impact data to guide future giving. In fact, in a recent study, a high percentage of corporations reported they changed their giving due to increased knowledge about a nonprofit organization’s effectiveness.

Brand activism is growing. Most companies used to market brands on their performance characteristics.  For example, a toothpaste manufacturer would position the product as the better “whitener,” “breath freshener” or “cavity-fighter” to push sales in a competitive market. However, today, a big chunk of corporate America wants you to know what it cares about as well as what it sells.  And, it seems we’re totally ok with that. In a recent survey, more than 90% of millennials and 85% of the average U.S. public reported they would switch brands to one associated with a cause they believed in.

Employees are participating more fully in corporate giving. As corporations continue to embrace philanthropy as part of their corporate cultures, employees are assuming even greater giving roles within the workplace and in the community.

I’m pleased to say the business community on the Cape is right on trend. Our local businesses are giving more. They’re giving more often. They’re changing their business models to begin or advance philanthropic missions. They’re being more strategic about what they support. They’re also being more public about what they support. They’re partnering with their employees to increase their community impact. And, they’re partnering with us. Here’s why.

While philanthropy is an integral and important part of their businesses, it isn’t their core business. Our Business Partners are architects, builders, lawyers, realtors, developers, and insurance agents.  They’re running all kinds of for-profit businesses, including restaurants, golf clubs, retail stores, and luxury resorts. Even though they are very philanthropically-minded, they don’t always have the time and infrastructure for the “business-end” of philanthropy.  We do. 

The Foundation offers professional investment management, tax advantages and administrative support so businesses immediately benefit from economies of scale. In addition, with over $40 million in our investment pool, they can potentially experience a higher return on investment and have access to different investment strategies than they might have on their own.

That’s a powerful suite of services. But there’s more.  Because we’ve been in the grantmaking business for 30 years and have distributed nearly $70 million in grants and scholarships, we are at the hub of the nonprofit community.

  • We know what the trends are nationally and what’s working locally.
  • We have a unique, objective purview of the nonprofit organizations in our region and can give businesses valuable insight and advice.
  • We’re up to date on nonprofit projects, programs, and challenges throughout the community.
  • We routinely conduct additional research for businesses. This saves time and allows them to remain anonymous while considering giving options.
  • We’re able to make important connections and introductions. Some businesses would like to meet nonprofit leaders or talk with other business executives with similar strategies. Others may like to know about volunteer opportunities for their employees.


Above all, we help businesses create a Giving Strategy that aligns with their missions and provide essential services they need to execute that strategy.

There’s no question that having a Giving Strategy is good for business.  Statistically, corporate social philanthropy and responsibility initiatives have the potential to increase sales by up to 20%, affect customer satisfaction by 10% more, and reduce the average turnover rate of employees over time by 25%-50%. 

Doing good has very tangible benefits. But, as Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.” That’s the trend I see from our Business Partners at the Foundation every day. And, I’ll bet my fanny pack, that trend’s here to stay.

 

Previous Columns

FRIDGE WORTHY
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
When I was in third grade, I had absolutely no idea how to spell scholarship, but I somehow managed to win one.  Everyone in my class had to write an essay, “Why I Love My Mother.”  I can’t remember what I wrote, but it was definitely fridge-worthy.  Back then, I’d do anything to earn a spot on the harvest gold door of our trusted, old Whirlpool.  It was the magnetized, centralized, optimized place for all kids’ achievements (and the weekly grocery list). READ 

OUR ROARING TWENTIES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
When they were in their twenties, Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, Thomas Edison made the first phone call, and a young Dane named Bohr published a theory of the atom which rocked the physics world.  When I was in my twenties, I started drinking coffee. I also learned that if you push hard enough, you really can get a sleeper sofa up the 5 narrow flights of stairs of a Beacon Hill apartment building.  The coffee probably helped.  READ

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
I’ve always loved the expression, “Where the rubber meets the road.” Until recently, I had no idea how or when that phrase originated. So, I did what all curious minds do. I googled it. Surprise. The idiom trail leads back to the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and a TV commercial jingle from the mid-1960s.  READ

SUPERHEROES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Things my six-year-old has taught me: 1) Every song has a danceable beat; 2) the “H” on the Montreal Canadians uniforms stands for Hockey not Habitants–that stumped us; 3) Not all super heroes have superpowers.  I supposed I knew that one. Superman has super-human everything, and Batman without the suit is just Bruce Wayne.  READ

SMART HOMES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Over the past 30 years, Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod has built 127 homes throughout the Cape. By the end of this year, 430 people will live in a Habitat Home. Thirty-four more homes are under construction or on the drawing board. Find out why we’re calling these “smart homes.”
  READ

THE HEART OF THE MATTER
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
In my last column, Beam me up, Scotty, I talked about the Foundation’s commitment to capacity-building. This isn’t just a passive buzz word. It’s an action verb. It’s a way to make our community stronger.  Find out how we’ve supported Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod​ and hear how this organization is making a big impact in our community.
  READ

BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Full disclosure.  I’m not really a Trekkie or Trekker (whatever most Star Trek fans prefer to be called). But, I do admire Scotty (Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott), the chief engineer and “miracle worker” of the USS Enterprise.  It’s purely professional.  Let me explain. READ

THE HOUSE THAT BILL BUILT
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
The house that Bill built took seven years to complete and cost $63 million. It has six kitchens, 24 bathrooms, and garage space for 23 cars. The pool house is bigger than my entire house. So is the gym (probably because of the trampoline). And, the reception hall is the perfect place for a plated dinner if you keep the guest list to 150. READ

NOTHING BUT BLUE SKIES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
New Year. New Resolution. I’m swearing off buzz words. Sunsetting them. Sending them straight over the bleeding edge. No more drilling down, reaching out or circling back.  No more pivoting, piggybacking or peeling back the layers of the onion. Our board is not the S.W.A.T. team, you are not stakeholders, and today’s agenda is not Mission Critical.  
 READ

END-OF-THE-YEAR APPEAL (AND  CONFESSION)
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO

I’ve had a serious crush since the 1980s. His name is Pac-Man. That neon-yellow, dot-gobbling character stole my heart the minute I powered up my first Commodore 64 computer. Pac and I spent hours together in his video maze, devouring dots and evading four murderous monsters: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. Together, we relentlessly pursued those flashing Power Pellets. These power-ups made us temporarily invulnerable so we could swallow up the enemy, earn bonus points, and advance to the next level of play. What a guy! WHAT. A. CONCEPT!
  READ

WHAT’S YOUR GIVING STORY?
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
My children are five and seven.  They already know I’m not a chef, an artist or an editor. Right now, I’m known for burnt pots, stick figure drawings and long, rambling life lessons. Some legacy, huh?  In time, though, what I hope they’ll remember me for is teaching them the value of giving.  READ

MY HOME TOWN
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Some people think you can’t go home again. I don’t.  I grew up in Dennis. (Ok, I know.  It’s a very short trip, but that’s not the point of the story.) See, whenever I hang out in my home town, I get those warm and fuzzy feelings of childhood.  Although many things have definitely changed there over the years, my feelings haven’t.  Going home still gives me goosebumps.  READ

GIFT GIVERS ANONYMOUS
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
We’ve all had shocking self-revelations.  Mine came in my early thirties when I finally had to concede: I am a lousy gift-giver.  That long-delayed admission came one chilly Christmas Day when the presents I put under the tree received (yet again) an even chillier reception from my family members. When my mother said, “Really, honey, you shouldn’t have,” I finally heard it.  Really.  You.  Shouldn’t. Have. Ever. Again.  READ

THE BLUE JEANS BLUES
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT & CEO
I have a serious love/hate relationship with blue jeans. LOVE wearing them. HATE shopping for them. But, when I had worn my Lucky Brand dark-washed, gently-whiskered, 5-pocket, zipper-fly, boot-cut besties way beyond respectability, I had no choice but to hit the mall. No biggie. Dash in. Dash out. A new pair of these made-for-me blues was a quick credit-card swipe away. Right? Wrong. READ

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Recently, I had a surreal experience. It made me feel like I had walked out of my ordinary life and onto a television set. Not Game of Thrones or House of Cards. That might have been cool. No, I had landed on Sesame Street, PBS’s perky place for preschoolers. There was Bob (the affable music teacher who lives in an apartment above Hooper’s Store) and a handful of Muppets (no pun intended).  READ

WHAT I LEARNED FROM PRINCESS POPPY
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
I’m reluctant to admit it–and half-hoping you won’t believe it. One of my mentors is a troll–not one of those provocative-posting cyber trolls who purposefully disrupts online discussion groups. My superhero is a spunky little pink-haired, pink-skinned do-gooder named Princess Poppy. What’s more this pink paragon (who’s cooler than a pack of peppermints) sings! READ

YOU CAN’T PLAY HOCKEY IN HIGH HEELS
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Last winter, I became a new mom: a hockey mom. Every week I raced out of the office to pick up my 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter for practice.  To be honest, I looked totally out of place in full business attire and seriously hoped there would never be a parental duty requiring me to skitter across the ice in 3-inch high heels.  READ

POWERING UP
KRISTIN O’MALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO
I’m a runner. Not a fast runner. I like taking my time, going the distance. I run a few miles most mornings, step it up on the weekends and work in a half marathon every chance I get. Like most runners, I have a ritual. Breathe. Stretch. Repeat. I close my eyes, run the course in my mind, then release slowly, purposefully. READ