February 1, 2010

The power of giving & corporations doing social good

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Pamela Hawley

Pamela Hawley

JD LasicaFor the inaugural podcast of the new Social Causes Show on BlogTalkRadio, I interviewed Pamela Hawley, founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, with a focus on two areas: Corporations doing social good (corporate social responsibility) and how individuals can make sure their donations are making an impact in Haiti.

For my first go as a podcast host, this came out extremely well, so much so that the UniversalGiving team transcribed our conversation. (Idea: BlogTalkRadio should offer transcriptions as a premium service.)

Click the above player to listen to parts of the 40-minute podcast on the power of giving, which BlogTalkRadio featured on its own blog.

A few highlights from our talk. Pamela on donations to Haiti:

You want to make sure that the organization you’re donating to has been vetted, and that’s one of the things we do at UniversalGiving. One way to really help ensure that is going with a small or medium organization. There’s less administration; there’s less layers of personnel because they have to be scrappy. They have to be nimble, and they have to be focused and quick with their resources. One that we promote that is very strong is Action Against Hunger, which helps with the long-term and short-term sustainable solutions to hunger. And they operate in 40 countries across the world, including Haiti. They may not have the Red Cross brand but they’re extremely accomplished because they’re so focused in one area, which is combating hunger and doing that in 40 countries across the world.

Pamela on corporate social responsibility:

You do need to have a plan of action (with CSR). And ideally with your plan of action, it’s tied into the business objectives of product adoption and your profit center. You want it to be tied in there. And so ideally it’s not just something that’s coming from the foundation or the community relations department, but is also something that’s tied into the marketing department and also to the CEO’s office and what their bottom line objectives are as far as product adoption and profit objectives. …

CSR absolutely can be used first of all as a retention tool that makes people really feel good about their company, and they want to stay. Second, it makes the employees more motivated, wanting to build whatever business or business unit they’re involved with, because they believe in the company and the company’s values. And third, it is a great recruitment tool. You will certainly find that with people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they’re really seeking that company that’s doing good in the world.

I hope to continue the conversations with Pamela and turn this into a series on CSR and social media. Maybe I’ll even get to meet her in person one day!

First timer on BlogTalkRadio

A note about BlogTalkRadio: This was easier to set up and do than I expected. (I wasn’t aware, until a few days before the podcast, that there’s a training session for new hosts held every Wednesday.) The host’s dashboard is nicely laid out, with a great countdown until your next episode.

For those who don’t know, the service is free — just hop on and start your own podcast!

Some of the interface could be a bit more intuitive. When I first registered, I wasn’t sure what was being displayed to the public and what was for account purposes only. Thus, “Chief Cat Herder” instead of my name is being displayed on my page.

Because I may do a BTR podcast only sporadically, I’m not sure I’ll need the Premium Host Services, which include switchboard moderation, switchboard outdial, increased show promotion, the ability to edit and replace episodes and more. But if you host a regular BTR show, those seem like essential tools.

Disclosure: I’ve met BlogTalkRadio CEO Alan Levy and had dinner with him a couple of years ago.


Universal Giving

Living and Giving: The Pamela Hawley Blog

Center for Corporate Citizenship


The Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthopy

JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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6 thoughts on “The power of giving & corporations doing social good

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