Social Impact Initiative

2021 Trends

Corporate Social Responsibility

TREND 1: CSR is an Expectation Not a “Nice to Have”

Corporate social responsibility is becoming a greater expectation rather than an added benefit to a company’s value proposition.

TREND 2: Putting Investments to Work in a Way That Truly Matters

Impact investing is the one sector of venture capital that has been growing exponentially.

TREND 3: Purpose and Fulfillment Lead

Millennials and Gen Z would rather have purpose and fulfillment over financial security but lately have been pressing firms for both.

TREND 4: Climate Change is Front and Center

Environmental catastrophes have created immediate action with corporate social responsibility managers to address climate change.

TREND 5: The Impact of Covid

Taking care of the wellbeing of employees with a strong focus on mental health will be even more important this year than ever before.

TREND 6: Corporations Embrace Activism

In the context of Black Lives Matter, more businesses are taking action to address systemic racism inside their operations and in communications to consumers.

Social Impact

TREND 1: The Human Aggregation Business Will Bounce Back

If being isolated these past nine months has shown us anything, it has illuminated how much we value being with other people. This means eating in restaurants, attending concerts, watching live sports, and—most importantly—old-fashioned volunteer projects. Prior to 2020, traditional volunteering had been poo-pooed in favor of skills-based work that has more “impact.”

Toward the end of 2021, traditional volunteering—that is, getting into a community with a lot of people to help—will be very much in vogue as we remember that impact goes both directions. Helping nonprofits and other community organizations helps them for sure, but it helps the helpers even more. It turns out we need that connection—that physical connection—with each other.

TREND 2: Geography Continues to Gain Importance

We have all been forced to be where we are. We have Zoomed ourselves into oblivion, but in the end, we are where we live.

People are on the move since they can work from anywhere. People are also trying to help their local businesses, restaurants, and community organizations stay afloat during these uncertain times. From our point of view, caring about the state of your local community is a good thing.

Social impact has been trending local for many years, and this trend will continue. International causes will remain important, but people want to get face to face with the organizations they are helping. “Who can we help in the communities where we operate?” will be a key question in 2021.

TREND 3: The Purpose Economy Will Accelerate

Every time we have seen a change in the investment and activity around social impact, it is after a major crisis.
The pandemic is something that everyone has felt in one way or another. These macro events typically cause people to put their lives into some context. That includes assessing where individuals work and who they buy from. The private sector is on notice to be more responsive to the needs of stakeholders rather than just shareholders. So, we are bullish on making a difference in 2021! *Source:  Give to Get:  Purpose in Motion.