Flagship programmes: Focusing corporate social investment for impact

Flagship programmes: Focusing corporate social investment for impact

Seventy per cent of companies surveyed by Corporate Citizenship expect to move towards a flagship programme approach to corporate social investment in the next 2 years, up from just 12 per cent doing so today.

Corporate Citizenship, a global sustainability consultancy, undertook international research and interviewed some of the world’s leading community managers, from companies including Unilever, Kellogg Company, M&S, Microsoft and Rolls-Royce to understand the changing landscape of corporate community and social investment.

The research revealed a clear shift towards flagship programmes, whereby cash, volunteers and in-kind donations are focused on a single, significant issue for a company. There is growing recognition that these investments need to align with the core purpose of the business. A detailed survey with over 100 respondents from companies in more than 10 countries found:

· 70 per cent of companies expect to move towards a flagship approach in the next two years – up from just 12% doing so today

· 85 per cent believe flagship programmes are a way for the business to own a space and differentiate its brand in the community; and

· Over 90 per cent of respondents said that flagship programmes are an effective way to maximise the social and business return on investment

The paper includes research findings and case studies from nine companies and puts forward a model of the five key components which lead to success in the design and implementation of leading flagship/signature programs. The five components are: purpose, space, resource, impact, and story.

The paper will help practitioners to evaluate their current programmes, keep up to date with best practice and understand how to move effectively towards a flagship programme.

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