PURPOSE MATTERS. PHILANTHROPY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY EXPERTS DESCRIBE THE NEW CIVIC AGE

February 22, 2019

Doing good has become a global movement. Philanthropy expert Pamela Norley and Corporate Social Responsibility consultant Toby Usnik describe the new civic age.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1536; Originally Broadcast on February 22, 2019

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LEARN MORE ABOUT TOPICS REFERENCED IN THE EPISODE

Charitable giving through Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s oldest and largest donor-advised fund reached record levels last year. Where and how they gave speaks volumes about the mindset of generous Americans. Download the report. [pdf]

$12 Trillion or 1 in 4 four of the total $46 Trillion of investments under professional management in the U.S. is now invested in a category known as socially responsible, sustainable or impact investing. Is impact investing at a tipping point? That is the focus of a recent survey of affluent investors by Fidelity Charitable, the nation’s oldest donor-advised fund. Download the survey. [pdf]


This week’s guests Pamela Norley and Toby Usnik both referenced the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development goals for 2030. Here is the link.


Purpose matters and is inextricably linked to profitability. That is the message Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock sent to CEOs of the thousands of companies BlackRock either does business with or invests in with its $6 trillion assets under management.

2018 Letter “A Sense of Purpose

2019 Letter “Purpose & Profit

PAMELA NORLEY

TOBY USNIK

  • Author,
  • The Caring Economy: How to Win with Corporate Social Responsibility
Consuelo Mack

Are we in a new age of civic engagement? No matter where you look there is change afoot and it is particularly evident in the private sector among individuals, investors and visionary business leaders.

In his 2018 annual letter to CEOs, titled “A Sense of Purpose,” Larry Fink the Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $6 trillion under management wrote: Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. 

In his 2019 letter to CEOs, titled “Purpose and Profit,” Fink doubled down on the message emphasizing that purpose and profit are inextricably linked and that: Profits are essential if a company is to serve all of its stakeholders over time – not only shareholders, but also employees, customers, and communities. Similarly, when a company truly understands and expresses its purpose, it functions with the focus and strategic discipline that drive long-term profitability. 

Purpose matters, particularly to younger generations. In a recent survey of millennials by Deloitte, almost 87% of them said: The success of business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, and when asked what the primary purpose of businesses should be – 63% more of them said improving society than said generating profit.

Younger generations are putting their money where their beliefs are. In its report  “Impact Investing: at a Tipping Point? ” independent public charity, Fidelity Charitable found in its survey of affluent philanthropic individuals that 77% of millennials and 72% of Gen-Xers have made some sort of impact investments, that means in companies deemed socially responsible.

As we covered on a recent WEALTHTRACK more than $12 trillion, a quarter of all the professionally managed assets in the U.S., are now in socially responsible or sustainable investments. And it is a global trend. In this era of high angst we have found reasons to be optimistic.

We have two guests representing the better side of human nature. Both are deeply involved in giving, transforming and making life better for the rest of us.

Pamela Norley is president of Fidelity Charitable, the oldest donor-advised fund in the country and now one of the largest grant makers as well. In 2018 Fidelity Charitable’s more than 200,000 donors recommended nearly 1.3 million grants totaling $5.2 billion dollars through their giving accounts. The $5.2 billion was donated to more than 144,000 charitable organizations, large and small in every state in the country and across the world.

Toby Usnik is the founder and head of Philanthropic Impact Partners, a global advisory firm he founded in 2016 to advise individuals and corporations on how to optimize their philanthropic missions. He is also the author of a recently published book, The Caring Economy: How to Win With Corporate Social ResponsibilityIt is a guide for senior executives and aspiring ones on how to successfully integrate socially responsible practices into a company’s operations at any stage of development. Prior to establishing his advisory firm Usnik was the Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Christie’s, where he created the CSR program at the world’s leading art auction house.

Both Norley and Usnik are incredibly optimistic about the future. They make the case for a new civic age.

In this week’s exclusive EXTRA feature, Norley discusses why donor-advised funds have taken off as vehicles for charitable giving and Usnik describes the genesis of The Caring Economy.

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Thank you for watching.  Have a lovely weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,

Consuelo Mathews Asia

NORLEY: PLANNED PHILANTHROPY

  • Make charitable giving part of your financial plan
  • Americans give away hundreds of billions a year
  • Need to plan for it financially

USNIK: VALUABLE ADVICE

  • CEOs and philanthropists should create a sounding board of millennials
  • Get their views on issues that matter to you
  • Millennials are the employees, customers and investors of the future

NORLEY: PLANNED PHILANTHROPY

Make charitable giving part of your financial plan Americans give away hundreds of billions a year Need to plan for it financially

USNIK: VALUABLE ADVICE

CEOs and philanthropists should create a sounding board of millennials Get their views on issues that matter to you Millennials are the employees, customers, and investors of the future

No stock mentions in this episode.
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Pamela Norley from the WEALTHTRACK Archives:

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DEMOCRATIZING PHILANTHROPY

Giving through donor-advised funds is the fastest growing trend in philanthropy. Pamela Norley explains the appeal.

CARING CORPORATIONS

Why write a how-to-book for executives on integrating social responsibility into a company’s culture? The Caring Economy author Toby Usnik is on a mission to spread the word.


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