A Message from Laura and Ann-Marie

Thank you for your interest in the Social Impact Platform! The Social Impact Platform is a system of solutions to empower companies to leverage Social Impact Culture Type to achieve an immediate boost in employee engagement. We'd love to share just a little bit more about our story.

Elephants in the room

One the smartest business leaders we know talks about the "elephants in the room" and how they must be addressed, head on, to achieve success. In that spirit, what do you think amazed us the most when we dug into our corporate research? We encountered two Reality Checks and one Massive Obstacle inside more than 85% of the companies we studied.

It goes like this:

Reality Check: Talented professionals want “doing good” to be a big part of the workplace environment.

Reality Check: Market pressures on executives are mounting! Listening to the demands on corporate America to “do good” is like playing a game of lingo bingo: Regulatory influences, sustainability trends, consumer preferences, corporate governance standards, philanthropic solicitations, and expectations of employees and recruits. It adds up to one big “What do we do?”  

Massive Obstacle: Companies struggle when they try to make their social impact programs meet stakeholder expectations for community engagement and also support business goals!

We had to fix it!

We could not walk away from the research project and leave the elephants in the room. The Massive Obstacle was a loose end. A dangling participle. A missing punch line. It was making us crazy, just like the frustrated leaders inside the companies we studied.

So our team got busy. For months, we devoted every extra minute to develop a simple solution to help companies discover and leverage Social Impact Culture Type. We call it the Social Impact Culture Roadmap.

A key part of the Roadmap is a diagnostic called the Social Impact Inventory.

“Oh no! Not another survey!”

Wait! This one is different!

This is not the employee survey tool you thought you knew! That’s because we built the survey after years of testing and getting feedback from hundreds of people who are responsible for community engagement programs and employee culture at their companies.

Why is the Social Impact Inventory the key the Social Impact Culture Roadmap such a breakthrough tool for workplace engagement? Three reasons:

1. The survey makes employees feel good about where they work.  

Across the board—regardless of industry, geography, and size of company—participants loved the tech-savvy survey exercise. More than 97% of all respondents said the survey made them realize they were doing more good than they thought.

Here are examples of what people told us:

"The survey made me feel validated for all of the ways I am helping out in the community. I can't always afford to give money, and I liked the opportunity to affirm for myself that I am giving back in lots of other ways."

"I was really impressed that my company took the time to do this survey. It only took me 10 minutes to fill out online, but still, it sent a clear message to me that I am working for a company that cares about me as a human being."

2. The company gets a return on its investment

In addition to the soft dollars that come from a boost in employee morale, companies benefit from the power of the survey data. Through the anonymous responses, the company's executives gain helpful insights into how employees like to do good, both at home and in the workplace. This allows company leaders to tweak their community engagement programs to better match what employees actually enjoy.

Here are three examples of the types of comments we heard from executives, human resources leaders, and community engagement professionals:

"We found out that our employees really aren't using our matching gifts program, and would rather do something else. This allowed us to redirect the dollars from our budget something more productive."

"The survey data from the Social Impact Inventory showed us that 95% of our workforce was donating items of clothing and canned goods to people in need, at least once a year. We started using this statistic as a selling point in our recruiting materials. The ‘doing good’ part of our culture was the factor that tipped the scales with two key recruits who have now joined our team."

"We discovered that our Social Impact Culture Type thrived through social events. So, the committee in charge of our charitable giving started looking for opportunities to combine gifts to charities with opportunities for our team to get together in the community, outside of work, at galas or golf tournaments."

3. Social Impact Culture Type rocks!

We already knew Social Impact Personality Type was a home run. Our focus groups loved it! The real test was whether the aggregate data--Social Impact Culture Type--was be a useful indicator in the workplace to create efficiencies and increase employee engagement.

The result? Thumbs up for the Social Impact Inventory. Company leaders loved the ease and simplicity of Social Impact Culture Type as a litmus test for prioritizing corporate giving, volunteer opportunities, buying tables at events, launching canned food drives, responding to employee requests for support, and much more.

“Our Social Impact Culture Type gives us a strong yes and a strong no,” said one executive. “Armed with the data from the Social Impact Platform, it’s much easier to sort through the hundreds of ‘doing good’ opportunities that come our way every year. Not to mention celebrating the data itself in our marketing materials and on our website.”

So are you ready to take the test?

Pop Quiz

1. Is it difficult to find and recruit employees who are excited about your growth, goals, culture, and expectations for performance?
2. Is it a challenge to retain and develop your talented employees?
3. Are you looking for ways to empower your employees to be more productive, happy, and engaged?

If you answered yes to any one of these questions, don’t hesitate! Contact us right now to learn more about what the Social Impact Culture Roadmap can do for your organization or company.

We look forward to working with you!


Laura McKnight practiced as a tax and estate planning attorney before serving as CEO of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Laura then served as CEO of Crown Philanthropic Solutions until Crown was acquired by RenPSG, the nation’s largest independent philanthropic solutions provider. Laura is on the executive leadership team at RenPSG,

Ann-Marie Harrington serves on the executive leadership team at RenPSG. Ann-Marie began her career as a social worker, and in 1998 founded Embolden, a Rhode Island-based digital communications firm specializing in the philanthropic sector. Crown Philanthropic Solutions acquired Embolden in 2014.