“When companies support the right causes in the right ways, both the companies and the causes they support reap important benefits. Most companies feel compelled to give to charity...few have figured out how to do it well.”
Michael Porter Harvard Business Review
Re-defining Community Investment
Long before Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability were part of the day to day business vernacular, charitable giving was a line item on most corporate income statements. Often referred to as corporate philanthropy, it was perceived as a ”nice-to-do”, and was not the result of much, if any strategic thinking. CEO’s would often give to their charity of choice, presenting a large cheque at a corporate event, able to pat themselves on the back as a good corporate citizen. And even while some critics argued that business only had a responsibility to shareholders to maximize ROI, many CEO’s continued to support their local communities. Charities have been grateful to their corporate donors for providing them with the unrestricted funds that help them accomplish the social missions that they have committed to.
More recently however, as corporate governance has gone under a microscope in the wake of some financial and environmental “unnatural” disasters, corporate philanthropy has evolved into more strategic community investment. While many consumer brands scramble to outshine each other, attract customers and build brand equity through their “charitable” cause marketing campaigns, thoughtful business leaders are looking at opportunities to leverage their core competencies and resources to authentically improve the quality of the life in their own communities and throughout the developing world. This is leading to a redefinition of corporate /community investment.
Through strategic community investment, business has an opportunity to not only make a measurable and meaningful social impact... it now has an opportunity to directly impact business.
The Business Proposition
The jury is in. People want to work for and purchase from companies that are socially responsible. A decade’s worth of research shows an ever growing trend in stakeholder expectations of corporate social and environmental commitments. Companies will be rewarded...or punished, accordingly.
Evidence shows that a commitment to strategic social responsibility gives a company the opportunity to:
Attract and retain great talent
Enhance corporate culture
Increase Customer satisfaction and loyalty, and
Build brand equity
Who is ORENDA?
Since 2005, ORENDA has been helping our corporate clients design, develop and implement inspiring Community Investment initiatives. We believe that in order for a Community Investment program to realize its potential for both the company and the community, it must be woven into the fabric of the corporate culture, not simply a short term stand alone initiative that is bolted on to corporate strategy.
To that end, we work with our clients to develop programs from the inside-out, authentically embedding the program into the DNA of the company through employee engagement.
Peggie Pelosi, Founder and CEO
Peggie Pelosi is a Social Architect. She has the unique professional combination of visionary, inspiring speaker and successful, innovative entrepreneur. Combining her skills in management, sales and marketing, and her commitment to involving people and companies in doing well and driving social change, Peggie established ORENDA Connections in 2005 as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Consultancy. Peggie is the author of Corporate Karma, a book that discusses how businesses can move forward by giving back and a sought-after speaker to business groups and not-for-profit organizations.
Prior to creating ORENDA Connections, Peggie was VP of Network Development and Sales for USANA Health Sciences, based in Utah (NSDQ: USNA). While at USANA, Peggie developed a partnership with The Children’s Hunger Fund that not only produced dramatic results for the cause, but had a transformative impact on employee pride, corporate culture and ultimately brand equity. Contributions to the cause grew tenfold, sales increased, and share value increased 3000%. From there Peggie created ORENDA, a company committed to developing meaningful connections between companies and causes - through compelling social strategy.
Peggie is a graduate of the CSR program at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto.
Peggie is an active humanitarian, having spent time working in Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa and in the underserved communities of her hometown of Toronto. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Hunger Fund.
On a personal note, Peggie is the mother of 5 sons, grandmother to 1 grandson, and lives between Toronto and a country retreat in Eastern Ontario. Beside her family and her work, Peggie’s greatest passion is music, and she sings in Newchoir, a 150 person rock choir in Toronto!
Some of our Clients:
The ORENDA Approach
Phase 1: Assessment
Executive Team Orientation
Customized Stakeholder CSR Research
Utilizing the ORENDA CSR stakeholder engagement tool, we will check the pulse of employee and customer awareness, attitudes and interest in your existing CSR commitments. This provides you with a benchmark to measure the success of your program going forward.
Quantitative Internal Stakeholder Research (survey)
Qualitative Internal and External Stakeholder Research (focus groups, interviews)
Phase II: Strategy Development
Cause Committee Selection
To ensure that a highly motivated and effective team is established, ORENDA will work within the unique structure of your organization to create the application process for selecting your cross-functional Cause Committee.
ORENDA FRAMEwork Process®
Working with the Cause Committee, we will identify a Cause Category that will allow you to ‘stand for’ a
social cause or issue that is Focused, Relevant to your business, Aligned with your values, Measurable and Engaging for your stakeholders.
Cause Brand Strategy Based on the insights and results from the ORENDA FRAMEwork Process®, we will work with the
committee and your internal marketing team to create a brand identity for your Signature Cause Program.
Community Partner(s) Selection
Based on the Cause Category identified during the ORENDA FRAMEwork Process®, we will screen and present a number of potential charity partners.
Engagement Strategy ORENDA will work with your Cause Committee and your chosen community partner(s) to bring your Cause commitment to life in your workplace. We will create an inspiring engagement plan that includes opportunities such as fundraising, volunteering and cross-promotional activities.
ORENDA will work with your Cause Committee to design and produce an inspiring communications program that will effectively promote the benefits of your Signature Cause Program to internal and external stakeholders. This includes strategy development, planning, launch activities and ongoing communications.
Measurement Tools/Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Measuring both the business and social impact of your Cause Program provides you with the guidance to ensure ongoing success. ORENDA will work with you to identify the KPIs and provide you with tracking tools.
“The results have been absolutely incredible. This work with ORENDA has dramatically increased the level of engagement in our organization towards our chosen philanthropic activities. As people have gotten involved from all parts of our organization towards a single cause, we have seen morale and employee satisfaction increase. With the help of ORENDA, we have seen the benefits of aligning and focusing our charitable efforts on one specific cause. It has been hugely beneficial to our company culture.”
Cameron Hay, CEO, Unitron
ORENDA was able to help us take our good intentions and energy and focus it in such a way as to have a dramatic effect on our philanthropic program. Peggie was able to see what literally was right in front of us and in so doing has catapulted our program into a core part of the way people in our company think of us in relation to the world. The result has been that we have been able to include our employees, customers and our vendor partners in our mission. Softchoice was recently recognized by Hewlett Packard for a Corporate Social Responsibility award at the America’s Partner Conference! Thanks ORENDA!
Nick Foster, SVP Business Development, Softchoice
“ORENDA is a valuable resource when it comes to social responsibility. Highly knowledgeable and passionate about companies doing good things for the community at large, Peggie Pelosi brings a great perspective to her work. At Roots Canada, Peggie proved an excellent collaborator and attentive listener who quickly understood the values, heritage and culture of our company. She is an astute, creative thinker who is extremely helpful with companies like Roots looking to forge ahead in their initiatives in the field of corporate social responsibility.”
Robert Sarner, Director of Communication and Public Affairs, ROOTS
“I would like to say what a pleasure it’s been working with Peggie...finding extra time to devote to creating a community investment initiative like this isn’t easy. It was really ORENDA that drove the ship... it’s you Peggie who made this happen”
Don Green, Co-founder, ROOTS at the launch of ROOTS Cares, April 2009
I was particularly impressed with the energy and passion Peggie put into our partnership with Chilren’s Hunger Fund. This endeavor captured the hearts and minds of the USANA family worldwide. It enriched our culture and working environment, attracted and retained customers, supported growth in sales and ultimately contributed to a significant rise in the economic value of the corporation.
Dr. Myron Wentz, Chairman, USANA Health Sciences
For more information please contact:
Peggie Pelosi 416 993-9383