MAXIMUS among Attendees at Third New Metrics Conference
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Is what we’re doing important? If so, how do we know if what we’re doing is good enough? These were the questions posed by Gil Friend of Natural Logic in his opening remarks at the 2013 New Metrics of Sustainable Business Conference held at The University of Pennsylvania. This year’s conference again sought to demonstrate the demand for business to exhibit its ability to create value of various forms for all stakeholders – and not just profit for shareholders – is increasing.
At MAXIMUS, we understand the nature and importance of creating value for our government clients and the beneficiaries we serve. Our business is directly tied to underserved populations and our success directly affected by our ability to help these citizens meet the resources available to them. This is why the MAXIMUS Foundation and employees of MAXIMUS believe in the importance of giving back to the communities in which we live and work, providing financial support for non-profit organizations and charities that share our commitment in helping disadvantaged populations and underserved communities.
Yes, what we’re doing is important. But, is what we’re doing good enough?
We know that we must manage our time, resources, and giving initiatives for the most optimal returns. However, as the old adage goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and measuring the social impact of charitable initiatives is a tricky topic to pin down. While we require our grantee organizations to submit impact reports, we are always looking for ways to measure our giving and community outreach programming. It is our professional and moral obligation to improve.
We were joined by representatives from the likes of well known firms like SAP, Campbell’s Soup, and Johnson & Johnson (just to name a few) who shared their experiences in evaluating the economic value of corporate responsibility program. Joseph Wolk, vice president of finance at Johnson & Johnson is working to model the ROI of projects before funding decisions are made. Campbell Soup’s Dave Stangis has made corporate responsibility a factor in recruiting and hiring decisions, as well as in performance evaluations and compensation incentives. Their efforts represent a work in progress for the business community at large, but they also represent a few of the important steps forward businesses are making in delivering real social impact that reduces risk and delivers financial success for a wide array of stakeholders.
While we know that each company should and do have varying goals associated with their giving programs, it was important for us to see and take part in producing innovative ideas for a growing topic of focus in the business community and our communities at large. Looking to the future, the Foundation will continue to measure the relevance of our programs to employee work life and culture, our relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and our results-focused program design.