Colorado ranks fourth on America’s Top States for Business, coming in at #12 in the category of Life, Health, and Inclusion. This is in large part due to the social impact commitments of the business community, which is poised to continue to engage and support in 2023 and beyond. As we look back on the year, here are five CSR trends that stood out in Colorado that will continue to shape 2023.
1) Commitments to collective action: At the start of the year, the Metro Denver business community demonstrated its aptitude to work together to amplify impact. Following the Boulder County wildfires, B:CIVIC investors donated over $2 million to support those affected.
2) Remodeling of corporate nonprofit partnerships: The B:CIVIC Summit in 2021 introduced the practice of trust-based philanthropy, which fosters more sustainable mutually beneficial partnerships. Trust-based philanthropy now guides many Metro Denver companies to approach grantmaking with collaboration and trust. Through value alignment, this approach helps makes clear decisions during times of uncertainty. Lori Harder, Senior Global Social Impact Manager at Alteryx, described the long-term value of trust-based philanthropy during B:CIVIC’s Ask Me Anything series.
Lori and Katie Bedard Dell, Community Outreach Program Manager at RK, also discussed the importance of finding multiple touchpoints within a nonprofit that can facilitate different types of engagement. In addition to the opportunity to provide monetary support, skills-based volunteering will be an increasingly valuable resource in the next year.
3) Focus on the employee experience: DEI work continued to be critical this year as organizations worked to incorporate equitable practices into all operations. During the transition to a hybrid workplace, other aspects of the employee experience also came into focus such as building mental health and well-being in the workplace and reengaging employees in their communities. These developments have external implications; consumers are now more attuned to a company’s relationship with its employees and are motivated to use their purchasing power to reflect their values.
Want to learn about how businesses are engaging their employees and communities? Check out these articles from the Denver Business Journal.
- This data company’s CEO on decades of experience with Colorado community engagement
- Q&A with Otten Johnson: Promoting corporate citizenship through civic engagement
- 3 tips to guide community engagement with CoBank
- At Premier Members Credit Union, people help people
4) Reimagination of work: 2022 proved to be a year for career-changers to thrive as workplaces and workers’ priorities shifted. B:CIVIC discussed this trend at What Great Resignation?
Given the macroeconomic pressures facing companies, CSR and ESG teams may be reorganized and put in the position to do more with less. This can be an opportunity to examine the processes and boundaries that could no longer serve a meaningful purpose in your workplace. 2022 B:CIVIC Summit keynote Aaron Dignan referred to these barriers as “organization debt”, which wastes the economy over $3 trillion each year.
5) Building an ESG narrative: As our community faces unprecedented challenges, local corporations are taking ownership of their impact through ESG. Effective ESG practices allow companies to assess risks and measure their approaches to environmental sustainability, internal and external social components, and corporate governance. ESG reporting is also a way of communicating with stakeholders. The combination of credible data and compelling stories showcase the unique way in which a company’s expertise meets community need and drives innovation.
To learn more, watch this clip of Laurie Barnett, Vice President of Communications and Outreach at Southwest Airlines, speaking at the 2022 B:CIVIC Summit about effective and authentic ESG storytelling.