The idea of modern businesses supporting social causes and giving back to their communities goes as far back as the era of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, wealthy philanthropists who donated more than $500 million to charities in their time. However, it wasn’t until 1953 that Howard Bowen coined the phrase “corporate social responsibility,” encouraging businesses to serve the needs of society.
Companies, investment managers, and nonprofits are under increasing pressure to improve their social & environmental impact. Doing so also means getting better at measuring and reporting their performance in a defensible, rigorous way.
These impact-related ‘pain points’ are strikingly similar across the public and private sectors and civil society but are sometimes expressed in different ways: