Timely New Research Provides Business Insights into Georgians’ Societal Mindset, Guides Decision-making About Corporate Citizenship

March 30, 2020

ATLANTA, Mar. 30, 2020 – Today goBeyondProfit released its second annual Corporate Generosity Research Report which unveils a consistent mindset as Georgia entered the COVID-19 upheaval and provides insights to guide business leaders’ decision-making.

Two simultaneous Georgia-specific surveys were conducted in February among 500 working adults and 244 senior business leaders.  The results compare insights and expectations of Georgia’s employees, consumers and business leaders about corporate citizenship. 

Results identified a call for companies to understand their employees’ and consumers’ interests, an opportunity for more effective communication, and a benefit for leaders to be more visibly involved. 

The full report is available at www.gobeyondprofit.org/corporate-generosity-report/ .

“Georgia businesses continue to demonstrate generous character, shifting to deploy compassion, innovative ideas, resources and expertise,” said goBeyondProfit Director Megan McCamey. “This research confirms Georgians will reward those companies and it contains insights into how to do this effectively. There will be no second chance to make today’s difficult decisions.  Long-term success may well depend on generous choices made today.”

Major Takeaways

Georgians Value Generosity. Senior leaders believe corporate citizenship is important to their business’s financial health; Georgians honor it with employer loyalty and purchase behaviors. 

Most executives (88%) confirm community outreach is “critical” or “important” to their businesses’ overall health.  Of those executives who say community outreach is critical to their company’s overall health, 75% also say community outreach adds great value to their company’s valuation and finances.

Employee and consumer behaviors validate executives’ emphasis on community efforts. Like last year, half (49%) of the state’s working adults consider corporate generosity when deciding whether to work for or stay with an employer.

Undoubtedly vital to eventual post-COVID recovery, strong majorities of Georgians prefer to buy from (73%) and associate with (74%) brands and companies who are generous to the community. And 53% say they’ll even pay more for products from these companies. 

Employees and Consumers Want Alignment. New this year, working adults shared their preferences for how companies choose the causes they support.  They want business to pick causes that matter to a company’s employees and customers, meet community needs, and align with the business’s skills and mission, in that order. 

Essentially half of adults (49%) believe a priority method for picking charitable partners includes employees choosing causes aligned with their own interests and passions. Close behind, 45% believe companies should prioritize customers’ opinions as they select causes.  And – not necessarily mutually exclusive — nearly as many (44%) think companies should work to address the needs in their local community. While selecting causes aligned with the business skills or mission is chosen less often, 37% of employees chose this as a priority method, indicating a solid set who value this strategic alignment.

Leaders and employees desire more executive visibility and insight. Executives and employees agree CEOs should be involved in outreach; but employees aren’t seeing it.

A resounding 95% of senior executives believe it’s important that their employees see them involved in and supportive of community outreach and 67% of employees agree it is important.  But 35% of employees assert that they do not see their executives involved and supportive.

Employee familiarity with their company’s causes drives passion for those causes, an engagement trigger for employee retention and loyalty.  Of employees who know a great deal about the causes their company supports, 98% are at least somewhat passionate about those causes, while 79% are very passionate about them. 

But while 76% of employers say they provide employees with information about the causes they support and why, they have an opportunity to communicate more effectively because 31% of employees know little or nothing at all about their employer’s causes. 

About goBeyondProfit: The research was conducted by goBeyondProfit in partnership with Georgia CEO and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. goBeyondProfit is a statewide alliance launched by business leaders for business leaders to spur corporate generosity and improve people’s lives. Through peer insights and stories, members learn from one another and strengthen their ability to ensure stronger businesses and healthier communities. goBeyondProfit is a fully funded philanthropic venture inviting every Georgia business to join at no cost.  For further information, and a downloadable PDF of the survey, visit www.goBeyondProfit.org.

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