June 2017 Newsletter

$2.97 Billion (Yes, that is a B…)

LBG Canada2017 benchmarking results will be presented June 27 (community investment) & 29 (volunteering & giving). In preparation, multi-year trends are examined in addition to insights specific to 2016.

FACT: LBG Canada companies have invested $2.97 Billion CDN in community, since 2006.

Think impact. On community. On the Canadian economy. On local economies in smaller communities.

We have started a campaign using #CIMatters. We know you agree and hope you will join us in raising awareness of the importance of our work.

Blended Capital – Save the Date

LBG Canada has an opportunity to partner with Realized Worth to jointly host a two-day conference focused on deepening employee engagement in the workplace through a company’s community investment programs (more information below).

While the conference will respond to issues of interest to the LBG Canada community, our Realized Worth partnership offers the opportunity to integrate international examples and experience. We are energized by the prospect of your participation alongside other Canadian thought leaders and thought leaders from around the world.

At present, we are planning for the conference to be held in Toronto mid November 2017. Dates will be confirmed this week or early next.

A preliminary agenda is being developed for circulation early next week. Please click here to respond to a short survey on the proposed topic or email comments to Stephanie directly. Is this something that would fit your objectives and schedule this year?

More information about the proposed topic:

Around the world, companies are increasingly supporting employee activities that encourage sharing, donating, and volunteering because of the positive impact experienced by the business itself. Increasingly referred to as ‘Blended Capital’, this approach seeks to increase the impact of financial capital investments by including voluntary human capital investments (employee volunteering) toward shared organizational and community objectives.

This conference will engage emerging thought leadership in a Blended Capital approach. This includes how employer support of volunteering and employer innovation in community investment can contribute to a workforce that is more engaged, more committed to organizational results, and more invested in shared objectives.

Other topics to be addressed include how companies can impact the Sustainable Development Goals through community investment and employee volunteer programming, and impact measurement (of course!).

Join us!

Fall 2017 Report – State of Community Investment in Canada (SoCIC17)!

This Fall, Imagine Canada and SiMPACT are partnering in a high profile campaign to bring attention to the importance of corporate investment in community. This includes profiling Caring Companies and the many others investing in community through industry and other challenges. We are really pleased that the LBG Canada network will be a part of that high profile campaign – more to follow on how that will unfold!

Caring Companies & LBG Canada

As you may know, corporate contributions are an integral part of Imagine Canada’s vision for a vibrant and strong non-profit sector. This year, Imagine Canada has relaunched the Caring Companies Program with several new characteristics that more completely illustrate the importance of achieving the 1% pre-tax profit benchmark. One important characteristic is that the 1% pre-tax profit calculation is based upon the LBG Model, as represented by LBG Canada and the results of 10+ years of valuation voting. The end result is that “what counts” as community investment stems from a consistent 1% formula, regardless of industry, area of focus or company size.

As you are all very much aware, the purpose of LBG Canada is to inform and enhance corporate strategy, measurement and reporting of investment in community, including volunteering and giving programs. More and more companies are seeking to measure impact in order to more effectively demonstrate the business and community value achieved through investment in community. We are very pleased to be working closely with a growing number of LBG Canada companies seeking to integrate impact measurement into their strategy, implementation and reporting efforts. May that continue!

For further information, please contact Stephanie at stephanie@simpactsg.com.

Canada 150 celebrations!

Companies across LBG Canada are engaging in Canada 150 celebrations. In light of the exciting ideas that are rapidly coming to life, a wide variety of celebratory programming will be profiled in the coming days and weeks.

For example, in honour of Canada 150, Imperial Oil will donate an estimated $6 Million in artwork to Canadian museums and galleries. The Imperial collection includes pieces by Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris. Various pieces of his work will be gifted to the National Gallery in Ottawa and the Glenbow museum in Calgary.

Imperial has a strong history in Canada and so does its art collection. The company has been collecting art for more than 70 years with the goal to support Canadian artists, contribute to Canadian culture, enhance the work environment for employees, and provide public awareness of the visual arts.

In total, 43 pieces will be donated to 15 museums and galleries across Canada, in honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial.

For more information, visit: http://www.imperialoil.ca/en-ca/community/community-investment/operating-communities/art-community-investment?parentid=21057b8e-9df5-4819-82f1-bb2eaf2e0595.

Meet the Interns!

This summer there are three awesome interns supporting various aspects of SiMPACT’s LBG Canada and SROI work: Andrei Flueraru, Andy Muth and Irune Echevarria.

Andrei Flueraru is working out of the Toronto office. Andrei has his hands involved in a variety of projects that include an SROI on the value of food security programming in Northern Ontario, IMPACT 2030 measurement and finalizing the B Corp status of SiMPACT. He will be entering his fourth year in the Commerce Program at Queen’s University, is enrolled in the Queen’s Smith School of Business (Certificate for Social Impact) and is chairing the Queen’s Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference.

Andrew Muth is a third year student studying at the University of Victoria. Andy was recently accepted as an Honours student, in both Mathematics and Statistics. Over the summer, Andy will be dabbling in LBG Canada data and assisting Bryan Thiedemann,  Manager Data Analytics & Special Projects) in illuminating interesting management facts about community investment, volunteering and giving that stem from the LBG Canada data pool.

Irune Echevarria is pursuing a Masters in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto and has a BA in International Relations, with a Graduate Diploma in Social Development. At SiMPACT, Irune is advancing the incredibly complicated Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation of the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund for the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, formerly MEDEI).



LBG Canada Increases Total Community Footprint by $115M, with Stakeholders

In 2016, stakeholder contributions enabled by LBG Canada companies totalled $115 Million.

$54 Million of that total was employee giving!


90% of LBG Canada companies have a matched giving program, typically this involves the company matching dollar-for-dollar a charitable donation made by an employee. Some companies choose to match at a rate of 2:1 for donations made by executives. Matched giving essentially doubles the contribution and conceivably incentivizes charitable behaviour by sending a positive message to employees about the company’s commitment to community.

Matched giving can be completed through payroll deductions and several systems exist to facilitate the process such as United Way, Benevity, Sponsorium and others.

An excellent tool for group fundraising is United Way and we encourage you to read the article posted last month on the SiMPACT website about ENMAX’s positive experience with the United Way. Fundraising activities can be a catalyst for socialization among employees and foster a sense of community at work.

As our friends at Realized Worth would say, it’s important to let employees choose to direct their donation to a charity/charities that matter to them. While the company may have a priority focus area for charitable investments, a matched giving program is equally about honouring employees and the causes that matter to them.

It’s well known that the Millennial generation represents an increasingly larger proportion of the workforce. When you consider that 81% of Millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship (IABC), tools such as a matched giving strategy can be used as part of an integrated employee engagement and recruitment strategy.

In summary, employee giving can be an effective way to not only maintain/increase total community investment, but also contribute to an employee engagement strategy. When you consider the average contribution per employee is $206.26, what could that mean for your company?

Community Investment in Tough Economic Times

As companies navigate the economic climate, community investment budgets are often impacted. OIl & Gas, Mining, Manufacturing, Forestry, Retail… the list of companies working through change is endless and ever-changing itself!

Among those that have experienced declines in community investment budgets, companies within LBG Canada demonstrate that a community footprint can be maintained, in partnership with stakeholders.

Between fiscals 2015-2016, 65% of LBG Canada companies demonstrated a decline in community investment expenditure, by an average of 17%. And yet, 30% of those companies increased expenditure in community regardless of a decline in the amount of company investment. Of the companies that managed to increase their stakeholder involvement, this increase represented a change from a decline of 7% to an increase in community impact of 9% on average.

This result has been particularly noticeable in Alberta, where companies have seen tangible participation increases in employee giving programs, in a time of staff layoff, reduced salaries and lower levels of corporate expenditure.

How was this increase achieved? Companies leveraged their stakeholders in two different ways: through increases in employee giving, and through leveraging the contributions of external stakeholders.

Companies that increased employee giving, did so with an average increase of 25% in the contributions made to community by their employees. Those that created an increase through their external stakeholders, whether through direct funds or the contribution of in-kind goods, had an average of 60%!

Though economic uncertainty might have an impact on program budgets, employees and other stakeholders might welcome the opportunity to participate.

Through good times and in bad, how well are you engaging stakeholders?


Impact Thinking Enables Strategy

Early in 2016, the LoyaltyOne Corporate Responsibility team was tasked with relaunching the community investment strategy.  Two priorities were clear. Finding opportunities to impact a community issue and engaging LoyaltyOne associates in the process.

As part of their LBG Canada involvement, the team enrolled in a webinar on impact measurement. In that first session, exposure to the LBG Impact Measurement framework launched a strategy path that enabled leadership engagement, increased associate involvement and created opportunities to deepen relationships with new and existing community partners. Gaby Polanco-Sorto, Associate Director, Corporate Responsibility, shares the LoyaltyOne journey and how the LBG impact measurement framework contributed to the new strategy.

 When did you decide that you were going to relaunch your community investment strategy and embark on this process?

Gaby: It happened about a year and a half ago when our CEO shared with us his vision for our community investment strategy. He asked us to identify a theme for our community investment program, a theme where we could have a real, tangible impact. to the goal was to  identify a theme where we could leverage our associates’ interest and passions,  while making a real impact in the community. He wanted to ensure our program had a tangible strategic purpose.

How did you get to the place where you had an idea that you wanted to present to your senior leaders for them to consider?

Gaby: We did interviews and hosted working sessions with our associates to really narrow down what they were passionate about, where they were spending most of their time volunteering, what causes they were giving to; and from that research we were able to identify that programs to impact marginalized children and youth were of real interest to our associates. This is how we came up with the Youth Empowerment Program.  

How did the LBG impact measurement framework help to shape your thinking?   

Desired Impact

Gaby: We had an ‘ah ha’ moment when presented with the concept that all investment in community is about people, organizational or environmental impact.  Identifying where we wanted to have an impact would help us narrow our focus enough to help us make strategic decisions, while not becoming too narrow that it stifled innovation and creativity. We knew we wanted to engage our associates in programs that impacted people.  We knew we would meet CEO expectations if we focused on impact that improved and transformed lives.  

Did the experience lead you to engage with community partners differently? 

Desired ImpactGaby: Absolutely.  We knew that we wanted to have measureable impact, but we let our community partners come to us with ideas on how to impact marginalised children and youth within our primary areas of interest.  

We shared with them the LBG impact measurement framework concept, which stimulated conversation about how their programing could achieve our impact goals.  The framework allowed for flexibility and actually gave the charities more power to let us know what kind of impact they could help us achieve.  After all, they are the experts working in the frontlines. 

Gaby and her team used the LBG impact measurement framework to the fullest. It framed communications between the team and executives, with community partners, and in training of the CEO appointed Youth Empowerment Council as well as LoyaltyOne associates who volunteered to participate on the Associate Donations Committee.

Gaby: When we set up our Youth Empowerment Council to review proposals over $25,000, we included this framework  as part of their training and said this is how we want you to think about impact. This framework helped to shape the type and depth of impact we hope to achieve.

The feedback from that training was extremely positive.

Gaby: It became so clear to everyone, the impact that we wanted to have, without having to create numbers or dashboards. It gave the Council a better sense of how we hope to work with our community partners. It gave us the tools to think strategically, on an on-going basis about the decisions we were making.  It also helped to create a genuine partnership with charities, and redefined the relationship we had with charities we had already been supporting for years.   Most importantly, charities told us they appreciated not having to spend their valuable resources on trying to meet unrealistic reporting requirements that would not reflect the impact they were truly making in the communities.  

We presented the framework in the exact same way to our Executive Team as we did the Youth Empowerment Council and our community partners. Every group appreciated that transparency, and understood that we really want to work as a collective unit to achieve our goals.

Do you think you’ll use the Model on an on-going basis as you roll out your strategy?

Gaby: I absolutely think that it will be on-going. At the end of this year, we will be asking our community partners for a progress report of qualitative and quantitative data using this framework – but the actual metrics will be theirs. 

We will then be able to go back and say this is the framework we used to identify impact, and this is the actual impact we’ve had this first year. We’ve used the LBG Model as a key concept of our strategy.

Two-to-three years from now we want to be able to engage with our clients, charities, government and other corporate organizations that are focusing their efforts on children and youth with the intention of using this framework to help find opportunities for us to collaborate.  

Our senior leaders really value the strengthening of existing partnerships that the Youth Empowerment Program provides, but also recognize the exciting possibility of presenting this across the larger LoyaltyOne community of stakeholders.  

One last thought to share with other interested in impact measurement?

Gaby: Simple is better!!!! Too much effort is often put on measuring impact than actually creating impact – so focus less on numbers and more on a framework that will guide your decision making process. 

For more information on LoyaltyOne’s Youth Empowerment Program visit https://www.loyalty.com/about-us/corporate-responsibility.html

For more information on the LBG Model and the Impact Measurement Framework, please visit lbg-canada.ca 

LBG Canada