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The 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study reveals one major takeaway for companies: global consumers have officially embraced corporate social responsibility – not only as a universal expectation for companies but as a personal responsibility in their own lives. Despite distinctiveness on a country-by-country level, global consumers remain steadfast as open-minded partners for collaboration to drive forward social and environmental progress. Now, companies must advance CSR beyond a brand-attribute to create an entirely new CSR experience.
A “like” can go a long way, according to this study. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans say they are more inclined to support social and environmental issues in a variety of ways, including volunteering, donating and sharing information, after first “liking” or “following” an organization online. Moreover, Americans see their online activities as a positive way to make an impact on the issues they care about, as six-in-10 believe tweeting or posting information online is an effective form of advocacy or support.
American demand for cause is stronger than ever, according to 20 years of benchmarking data released by Cone Communications. Despite a marketplace saturated with cause-related programs and messages, the U.S. consumer appetite for corporate support of social and environmental issues appears insatiable, according to the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study.
Although the number of pressing social issues is vast, Americans are clear in the areas they most want companies to focus. Economic development is the number one priority for the majority of consumers (44%), and they want to feel the impact of corporate efforts close to home in their local communities (43%).
2013 Cone Communications/ Echo Global CSR Study
Over ten thousand adults in 10 countries around the world make one thing abundantly clear in this study: the question is not whether companies will engage in corporate social responsibility, but how they will create real and meaningful impact. Corporate social responsibility is no longer an option — it is emphatically and indisputably a must-do.
Today’s consumers are savvier, more sophisticated and more connected than ever before. Cognizant of their own capacity to influence social and environmental issues, they are looking more closely at the collective impact of corporations and individuals. In this new era of CSR, the need for companies to articulate progress beyond CSR purpose has never been greater. And although nuances certainly exist from market to market, the findings and insights from this report carry universal implications for companies.
2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker
As communities around the world continue to recover from natural disasters on epic scales, citizens look to companies – not just governments or aid organizations – to provide critical relief assistance. According to the 2013 Cone Communications Disaster Relief Trend Tracker, nearly nine-in-10 (87%) global consumers believe companies must play a role in natural disaster response – in part because the majority (69%) thinks corporations are better able to effectively respond.
2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study Ten thousand consumers in major countries around the globe are demanding a higher level of responsibility by companies in dealing with societal issues, and consumers report they are already using their own spending and loyalty to press these demands.