NYU Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising and the JK Group Release Joint Research Entitled "Wired Workforce, Networked CSR"

Research Paper Analyzes the Use of Social Media in Corporate Social Responsibility

NEW YORK, April 29, 2011 — The Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (scps.nyu.edu/phil), the nation's preeminent educator of fundraisers and grantmakers, is pleased to announce the release of “Wired Workforce, Networked CSR,” a research paper on the use of Social Media in Corporate Social Responsibility. Written by Heyman Center Adjunct Lecturer Howard Greenstein of the Harbrooke Group and Tom Watson of CauseWired, the research was sponsored by the JK Group, the leading provider of corporate philanthropic solutions, whose client base includes nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies.

The white paper, released at the JK Group's Forum on Philanthropy today, covers the social and digital media tools used by companies including Microsoft, Pfizer, Western Union Foundation, Pepsico, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, UnitedHealth Group, and Yahoo! for connecting with employees, gathering input, sharing valuable news and information with communities, and connecting with stakeholders using many of the popular tools for social media, including Facebook and blogging. Some conclusions and recommendations from the paper:

  • Sharing is at the heart of social media, as online users in 2011 are rarely one click away from being able to communicate their interests and passions with their networks of friends and contacts. However, companies are still in an 'early adopter' stage for the use of Social Media in Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Philanthropy programs. CSR professionals are more comfortable in internal use of social media tools, typically waiting on their marketing colleagues to test the social media waters for them.
  • There is a wide range of social media strategies used to develop employee involvement at some of the largest companies in America, ranging from intranet tools that get employees to vote for or support causes to direct encouragement of employee involvement with Facebook campaigns for corporate foundations.
  • Employees appreciate choice and democratic participation. They get more involved when they have the ability to influence outcomes by their participation.
  • Formal feedback loops for the use of social media in CSR are the exception rather than the rule.
  • There are certainly different levels of commitment available for companies looking to test the effectiveness of social media programs from intranet based tools to vast external efforts and everything in-between.
  • Partnerships can help leverage the social media outreach effectiveness and limit company's expense and exposure. “This is the kind of research we are eager to support at the Heyman Center,” said Doug White, Heyman Center academic director. “Many of our students are working professionals in philanthropy, CSR, foundations and small nonprofits, and we want to supply them with the tools and best practices that they can use to advance their careers and their professionalism in the always-changing and expanding world of philanthropy.”

“There isn't a lot of research around the impact of social media on corporate philanthropy but yet there are lots of questions. As a leader in the industry, JK Group wants to proactively identify new and innovative approaches to spur giving,” said Brad Galle, CEO, JK Group. “JK Group is fortunate to partner with many of America's leading companies to help them look at new and innovative ways to engage employees to meet their social responsibility. This paper is the beginning of our research into key topics, and we hope it provides a roadmap of where companies are going in adopting social media tools and serves to open the discussion to other ideas.

“Wired Workforce, Networked CSR” can be downloaded at http://scr.bi/wired-workforce1.

About the Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at NYU-SCPS The George H. Heyman, Jr., Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising (scps.nyu.edu/phil) at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS), the nation's preeminent educator of fundraisers and grantmakers, offers professional programs to help students gain a solid foundation in the field while building their own fundraising philosophy and framework through advanced study of the history and theory of philanthropy. Since its inception in 1999, the Heyman Center has educated more than 4,000 practitioners, executives, and volunteers from hundreds of nonprofits, corporations, and foundations.

About JK Group
Since our founding in 1989, JK Group's mission has been to provide its clients with an active partnership that incorporates the most comprehensive, technologically advanced and cost-effective solutions for corporate philanthropy programs. JK Group offers a complete suite of solutions including employee giving campaigns, matching gifts, volunteer grant programs, volunteer event management, administration of corporate/foundation grants, sponsorships and in-kind donations, international programs and disaster relief efforts. As a result, we've grown to become the leading provider of corporate philanthropic solutions, whose client base includes nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies.

The depth and breadth of our client base and resulting data and expertise enables JK Group to offer the latest research in trends and best practices and information on the ever-changing business of corporate philanthropy. JK Group offers a variety of learning events where corporate practitioners can come together to discuss issues critical to the success of their philanthropic programs. We regularly publish white papers on topics ranging from program tips to technologies.

About Harbrooke Group, Inc.
The Harbrooke Group specializes in helping companies communicate with their customers using the latest web technologies. Harbrooke has worked with clients from the Fortune 500, Cable Networks, and Wall Street law firms, as well start ups, non-profits and advocacy groups, helping them create their online communications, social media presences and marketing strategies. Harbrooke President Howard Greenstein's career, prior to starting his own firm, has spanned corporate and not-for-profit organizations such as the Twin Towers Fund, Microsoft, JP Morgan, and New York University, as well as several start-ups. He is currently a blogger for Inc. Magazine, writing the weekly Startup Toolkit column, sits on the Board of Directors of Social Media Club (http://socialmediaclub.org) and is president of the NYC Chapter. Howard earned a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Masters of Professional Studies from NYU's world-renowned Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Greenstein is an Adjunct Lecturer at NYU SCPS.

About CauseWired
CauseWired is a boutique consulting firm advising clients on the social commons: nonprofits, foundations and companies. President and Founder Tom Watson is a journalist, author, media critic, entrepreneur and consultant who has worked at the confluence of media technology and social change for more than a 15 years. He is the author of CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World (Wiley, 2008) a bestselling book that chronicles the rise of online social activism. During his long career as journalist, Tom has written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, techPresident.com, Social Edge, Industry Standard, Inside, Worth and Contribute magazines, among many other publications. Before launching CauseWired, Tom served for nine years as chief strategy officer of Changing Our World, Inc., the international philanthropic services company he helped to found. Tom is the publisher of onPhilanthropy.com, CauseWired's extensive online resource for philanthropy professionals. Before joining the philanthropy sector, Tom was co-founder of @NY, the pioneering Internet news and information service that chronicled the rise of New York's Silicon Alley new media scene in the 1990s. Early in his career, Tom was the executive editor of The Riverdale Press, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx, where he covered politics and won more than a dozen state and national awards for excellence in journalism. Tom Watson is a frequent speaker and commentator on trends and issues related to media, technology and society. Find out more at CauseWired.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies

Established in 1934, the NYU School of Professional Studies (sps.nyu.edu) is one of NYU's several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of the School of Professional Studies arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School's diverse graduate, undergraduate, and Professional Pathways programs in fields such as Accounting, Finance, and Law; Applied Health; Arts, Design, and Film; Creative Cities and Economic Development; English-Language Learning; Entrepreneurship; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Global Affairs; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Human Resource Management and Development; Languages and Humanities; Management and Systems; Marketing; Project Management; Public Relations and Corporate Communication; Publishing; Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Sports Management, Media, and Business; Translation; and Writing.

More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty members and lecturers to create a vibrant professional and academic environment that educates over 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe each year. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent professional education needs of local, national, and international economies, as evidenced by nearly 28,000 Professional Pathways enrollments in Career Advancement Courses and Diploma Programs. The School's community is enriched by more than 31,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu.