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THE FOUNDATION FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IS A NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS ACTIVELY WORKING IN POLAND TO AFFECT POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY. WE FEED, EDUCATE AND EMPOWER POOR CHILDREN IN POLAND. COLLECTIVELY, WE HAVE FED OVER 5 MILLION HOT MEALS TO SOME OF POLAND’S MOST NEEDY CHILDREN. OUR MISSION IS TO LEAD THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN RAISING THE LEVEL AND QUALITY OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

September 17, 2012, Vol. 9, No. 27

"The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend."
-- Abraham Lincoln

A CELEBRATION OF 10 YEARS OF KEEPING OUR PROMISE – ANNUAL DINNER DANCE JANUARY 21, 2013

It’s hard to imagine that 2013 will be the 10th Anniversary of the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility. As the man said, “it seems just like yesterday.” So much has happened over the past 10 years. As with all entities emerging from the devastation of 50 years of communism, our Foundation had its trials and tribulations, ups and downs, disappointments and delights.

It was actually 13 years ago that I made a courageous promise to the good people of the Zachodniopomorskie Region of northwest Poland to help their children. I was consulting for the Polish Red Cross at the time and was visiting in the small Polish town of Swidwin. I was shocked and saddened to see hundreds of people lined up to receive free cucumbers from the back of an old dilapidated farm truck. In typical post-communist fashion, each cucumber recipient had to sign a receipt in duplicate for the much appreciated gift vegetables. My heart was broken, and it was more than I could stand. I made a promise that day that I would feed the children of this region and that these school kids would not go hungry again.

I quickly initiated a program with the Polish Red Cross called the “Care Partners Network,” and provided a Hot-Meal a day to all children in four public schools in Northwest Poland. I solicited financial support for the program from multi-national businesses operating in Poland. It became apparent after three years at the Red Cross that I needed to venture out on my own in order to fulfill the needs of the expanding number of public schools that needed help.

With a 500,000 zloty Vodaphone Foundation Grant in hand, I founded and registered the Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility on November 28, 2003, and the rest is pleasant history…

We are very proud to report that over the past 10 years, we have fed as many as 3,000 school children each school day in 15 public schools. With the generous support of KFC and our member companies, we have fed over 5 million meals to the poor children (PromiseKids) of the Zachodniopomorskie Region of Poland.

As our PromiseKids’ bodies became better nourished, their over-all needs grew exponentially. Their little minds needed nourishment as well. With the support of our member companies we began teaching music, art and dance in the 15 PromiseLand schools. We later added an on-line interactive English training program to our offerings. We developed travel adventures to get the PromiseKids out of their small villages and into the real world. We have provided learning excursions to Warsaw, London, the Baltic and in 3 cases to the United States. We have sponsored dance, art and vocal competitions, and of course the highlight of each year has been our Annual Dinner Dance. We have provided clothing, housing, medical care, dental care, scholarships, and family support programs. Basically, we have become a major force in the lives of our PromiseKids.

We intend to celebrate these accomplishments throughout our 10th Anniversary Year. We will kick off 2013 with a very special Annual Dinner Dance “Keeping our Promise – 10 Years.” We will present some of the highlights of our previous dinner dances for your entertainment and pleasure.

You all are invited to join us at the Warsaw Hilton Hotel and Convention Center at 18:30 on January 21, 2013. Remco Norden and the great folks at Hilton will once again host this extravaganza for us. We will reserve a table for each member company as before, so please mark your calendars accordingly.

Auditions for the Annual Dinner Dance began this past week as you can see from the following photos. Forty-five PromiseKids will be selected to make the trip to Warsaw for the time of their young lives.

EXECUTIVES RECOGNIZE VALUE OF CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP

Sep. 12 /CSRwire/ - We all know the imperatives that are used to compel corporations to make social and environmental investments. Whether talking about poverty, climate change, food security, or water scarcity – it is clear that we need solutions, and our need becomes more urgent each year.

Corporate decision makers may sometimes agree that those investments are needed but may also feel that they are not appropriate for the corporation to make because they do not see the connection to business success.

The State of Corporate Citizenship captures executive perspectives about where corporate citizenship can make contributions not only to solving social and environmental problems affecting the business context, but also where it can strengthen business performance if it is appropriately designed and resourced. Several findings in our study suggest that corporations can help solve social and environmental problems without diminishing financial performance – and that some investments may strengthen business performance.

Among the many insights derived from our soon-to-be-released report, findings suggest there are four areas that should be considered to optimize success:

  • What are the right citizenship activities for a company to engage in? Does it make most sense for a company to focus on employee engagement, philanthropy, or environmental sustainability?
    Looking at where executives in various industries report deriving greatest value from corporate citizenship, differences emerge across industries. For example, it makes sense that executives from firms in the health care and social services industries would place high priority on engagement with political causes given the landscape of health care reform. For most other industries, that activity is reported to be a lower priority.
  • Is the citizenship strategy aligned with business objectives? Has consideration been given to how citizenship might be integrated with overall business strategy?
    For those firms that did integrate corporate citizenship, there appears to be significant upside opportunity to achieve business objectives — with the greatest upsides in reinforcing firm traditions and values, enhancing reputation, and meeting consumer expectations. Connection to these objectives is not surprising, but across every outcome, likelihood of business success was increased with the integration of corporate citizenship.
  • Is the duration of a citizenship commitment adequate to achieve the desired outcomes? Is there a millennial goal attached to an annual plan? What can be expected reasonably with the resources committed?
    Our survey finds customers matter most to executives when they’re designing their citizenship programs: more than 90 percent of respondents identified their customers as the stakeholders considered most as citizenship initiatives are developed. A firm’s citizenship efforts may come to nothing if it invests heavily in arts and cultural organizations when its customers really care about green energy or education programs. This finding is consistent with independent research highlighted in two of the Center’s recent research briefs on cause-related marketing and socially conscious consumers.

These and other findings of the 2012 State of Corporate Citizenship survey make it clear that a well-established corporate citizenship program that connects with the core business, aligns with strategy, and meets stakeholder expectations, can boost business performance even while addressing social and environmental problems. Executives responding to the survey affirm the value of corporate citizenship. The majority report that in the face of a challenging economy, their firms remain committed to almost all dimensions of citizenship.

When asked about future levels of investment, respondents predict they will be sustained or increased for all areas of citizenship. This demonstration of sustained commitment from executives – accompanied by a long-view of its value – positions corporate citizenship to deliver solid returns for business, the community, and the planet.

UPCOMING FOUNDATION EVENTS

September 28, 2012 - Foundation CEO Breakfast and Annual Meeting will be hosted again by the InterContinental Hotel. Invitations were sent to our Foundation CEOs 3 weeks ago. If you received an invitation, we have a seat reserved for you for this very popular event.

September 29, 2012 – Netherlands - Polish Chamber of Commerce Rijsttafel Ball to benefit our PromiseKids. Hilton Hotel, 18:00 – 23:00. The Chamber raised 20,000 PLN for our Hot-Meal Program last year, and expects to surpass that number this year. Please make arrangements to attend and support the Netherlands – Polish Chamber of Commerce and our Foundation’s PromiseKids by contacting Elro at e.vandenburg@nlchamber.com.pl.

October 1 – December 31, 2012, Hilton Hotel Warsaw to begin “Small Change – Big Difference” Campaign to benefit our Hot-Meal Program for the 2nd year in a row.

October 2, 2012 – Foundation’s Advisory Council Meeting, InterContinental Hotel. The 15 members of our Foundation’s Advisory Council have been invited to attend this important meeting. Much to discuss, and a good time to share ideas.

January 21, 2013 – Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Dinner Dance. We are already making plans for the biggest night of the year for our Foundation. We know you won’t want to miss this special time. We thank Hilton GM Remco Norden and his key staff for once again hosting this very special event for us. 2013 is the 10th Anniversary of our Foundation and we will make this Dinner Dance bigger and better than ever. As in previous years, we have reserved tables for our Foundation members.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

"Where there is love there is life."

-- Gandhi

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