Social impact is the new standard for how companies address social and environmental issues to drive meaningful and positive change, says the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study. In its 20th year reporting on cause marketing and corporate social responsibility, the cause itself is no longer enough to differentiate companies and products. Now, the focus is on social impact.

Social impact is a core part of corporate social responsibility and manifests itself in holistic brand integration and investment. Leading companies are not just identifying issues they want to solve – they are articulating how those issues are relevant to their businesses and to individual stakeholders.”

What I find interesting is that the number one issue to Americans mirrors their present concerns overall – the economic recovery. They also want companies to center their efforts close to home.

Take a look at the graph below and notice the huge majority the #1 issue has over the others. This will undoubtedly affect corporate social responsibility foci in the coming year or two, as well as fundraising efforts for the causes that fall below that.

2013_cone_comm_social_impact_study-pg7Which is your #1 social/environmental issue? Does it differ from the study’s results? Will it affect your donations and cause purchasing this year?

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