Blog

Infographic: The Carbon Footprint of the Internet

CO2 Emissions from Emails, Searches, and Cloud Storage

With 2.5 billion people connected to the Internet worldwide, the Internet’s energy and carbon footprint are estimated to exceed air travel. From manufacturing and shipping of computers to data use—the Internet is less green than you’d think. Learn about how the Internet is impacting the environment and what you can do to lessen […]

Does Green Need A New Color?

The economic downturn of 2008 sharpened the call for green as people tightened their belts. Suddenly, what you bought and its impact on the environment got married. Why pay more when “reduce, reuse, recycle” cost less? Green was hot, and profitable.

Books like Green to Gold told stories of Dupont and 3M making environmental changes to capture tens of millions of […]

Factory vs. Fair Trade: New Businesses Battle to Revolutionize The Fashion Industry

With 98% of clothing purchased in the United States imported from overseas, some entrepreneurs are going straight to the source to reform the industry. They are offering improved conditions and pay for the people in developing countries who produce clothing and accessories for the West, but even laying the right groundwork for the new, ethical standard can take time.

From quality […]

Five Ways Social Media Is Driving Corporate Social Responsibility

With key sustainability credentials often hidden deep within long annual reports, businesses are increasingly embracing the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to communicate directly with their customer base.

Global brands have long purported to place sustainability at the heart of their business plans, but actually getting customers on your side over big sustainability issues has become crucial for business survival […]

Tax Exempt Organizations with For-Profit Subsidiaries

Federal tax law permits a tax-exempt organization to have one or more for-profit subsidiaries. The tax-exempt parent organization may own some or all of the equity of the for-profit subsidiary. As discussed below, the extent of stock ownership affects the taxability of income from a for-profit subsidiary received by a tax-exempt parent.

The tax-exempt organization must determine the organizational form of […]

The Supply and Demand of Diversity and Inclusion

The question I am asked most frequently—after “Vu, have you tried using Proactiv?”—is “Vu, would you consider joining so-and-so board/committee? If not, can you connect me to other leaders of color who might be interested?” Apparently, everyone is having a hard time finding people of color for their board of directors and 80’s-karaoke-night planning team.

There are tons of reports and […]

How To Achieve Staff Diversity

In order to make the widest impact possible, your organization needs to appeal to a wide audience. This audience should include people from all backgrounds, including race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, income level, and so on. Otherwise, it may appear that your organization is being exclusive with one particular group and perhaps even discriminatory toward others. In order to create […]

Investing in Young Adults Benefits All of Us

Without question, the War on Poverty significantly improved outcomes for older Americans. Their rates of poverty plummeted more than any other demographic. The social programs created during that period, including Medicare and Social Security, continue to help our elder population.

Today, we face another urgent challenge that will require the same level of commitment and investment. Nearly 6 million young adults in […]

Women Are Naturally Suited To Social Enterpreneurship

Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, founder of Uncommon Union wrote in Forbes, “The new field of social entrepreneurship is ideally suited to women, who have always had to meet complex demands that pit community against individualism. In short, we understand the necessity of seeing the economy and the world as an interconnected and interdependent system.”

Social enterprises are organizations that apply commercial strategies […]

When Is In-Kind Giving Tax-Deductible?

The IRS regulations when it comes to gifts in kind can be confusing.  But they’re well worth leveraging.  As noted by Brian Mittendorf, Professor of Accounting and MIS at The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, “The IRS rules are such that a company is likely to see greater tax benefits from donating inventory than from donating cash.”

With that […]

3 Ways Brands Can Use Corporate Social Responsibility Principles To Create Better Advertising

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. Chipotle taking a stand on factory farming, with an assist from Fiona Apple. Patagonia giving away boatloads of lightly worn clothing. These advertising campaigns all have one thing in common: They take corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles and deploy them in ways that are far more effective than traditional ads.

In a new report, the firm BSR examines […]

What the Advertisements Aren’t Telling you About Natural Gas

Natural gas has been touted as a clean, green alternative to coal and oil, especially in recent advertisements such as the America’s Natural Gas Alliance’s “Think About It” campaign with TV ads that feature the Denver International Airport, L.A. transit and TOTE container ships as being “green” and “environmentally sustainable” because they are powered by natural gas. However, there is […]

Conflict of Interest in Nonprofit Engagement

Given a nonprofit’s purpose to fulfill a community need, it is essential to remain in touch with evolving needs of the community.  The most direct touch point is engagement with clients and constituents. But experience has taught that this is easier said than done.

Is the nonprofit looking just for information? For engagement? For partnership? For ownership and control? It is […]

One Big Reason You Should Start Using Twitter Before You Start Crowdfunding

Twitter has given Google access to its data stream to index tweets, which will allow the search engine to display your tweets in its results in real time. That’s quite a boon for crowdfunders, in my opinion.

This is actually a rekindling of an old relationship between the two behemoths, which expired in 2011.

The effects of the implementation will likely not […]

Want To Succeed? Listen To Those You Serve

Social enterprises need to put customer satisfaction and beneficiary feedback at the center of everything they do. Making what beneficiaries think the most important metric of success is both good management and the right thing to do. My research for REDF this summer as a graduate student intern started with two basic truths. First, the business community recognizes that focusing […]

Are You Guilty of Trickle-Down Community Engagement?

In Seattle, if you’re a person of color and you walk down a dark alley late at night and you feel like you’re being followed, it’s probably someone trying to do some community engagement: “Psst…hey buddy—Go Hawks!—you want to attend a summit? It’s about economic inequity. We need your voice.” “Daddy, I’m scared!” “Stay calm, Timmy; don’t look him in […]

Corporate Social Responsibility’s Relationship to Social Enterprise

We did not delve into the efficacy of the initiatives. But from the description, most of the initiatives seem like one of projects which do not necessarily have an impact sustainable over the longer term.

I believe that with the push from the government, corporations big and small have an opportunity to make a phenomenal difference to our society and environment, […]

The Nonprofit Branding Bandwagon

I first wrote about the branding bandwagon back in 2007, when it seemed that every large nonprofit I knew was  spending serious money — and I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars —  for corporate style tag lines, logos, commercial partnerships and strategies that they thought would attract media coverage and recognition from potential donors. At the time I complained […]

Shell and High Water: Seattle Takes a Stand

The Port of Seattle has accused citizen groups of playing politics for opposing a plan to use Seattle’s waterfront as a homeport for Shell’s Arctic oil drilling fleet.

Do they mean that this is “political” in the same sense that science-denying reactionaries suggest that global warming is a liberal conspiracy – a stalking horse for big government, limiting freedoms, social engineering, […]