8 Takeaways from the CECP Corporate Philanthropy Summit

This week's Corporate Philanthropy Summit, hosted in New York City by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), was nothing short of spectacular. Leaders from major corporations and nonprofits spoke candidly on impact investing, skills-based volunteering, communicating with stakeholders, social media and partnerships. A contagious energy surged through the Time Warner Center as participants discussed how we can work together to do good more effectively. Below are eight of my top takeaways from the two-day event:

1. Women were in top form at the summit.
At a time when so many conferences agendas are heavily weighted by male speakers, it was refreshing to see 30-plus women take center stage. It's telling about the industry as well.

2. Collaboration leads to real impact.
Many speakers stressed the importance of partnerships in solving social problems. Arianna Huffington contended that our society is moving away from competition and survival toward collaboration and meaning. Cory Booker agreed, explaining that partnerships between the public, private and nonprofit sectors are crucial to transforming cities like Newark.

3. Companies should focus on social issues that align with their business and skills.
I had the pleasure of moderating a panel with senior leaders from Chevron Corporation, Hilton Worldwide and the Verizon Foundation. Each of these organizations explained how the social issues they focus on are linked with the identity of the company. For example, Verizon's HopeLine program involves using phones and technology to prevent domestic violence and help victims rebuild their lives. Other panels focused on skills-based volunteering, which Morgan Stanley's executive director of community affairs argued is a crucial investment that transforms how employees and stakeholders view the company. Read more. (6/11/12)

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