The State of
Corporate Purpose

A Benevity Impact Labs Report | April 2021

The past year was packed with crises, putting companies and their corporate purpose programs at the center of driving change and catalyzing action on pressing social and systemic issues. As companies continue evolving the way they do good, while meeting the expectations of all of their stakeholders, we're seeing five key trends (some expected, and others surprising!) emerge that we believe are informing the future of corporate purpose.


1.

Corporate Purpose Shifts From Statements to Action

Companies are shifting toward an action-oriented approach and are finding creative ways to include all of their people, leading to big business and social benefits.

2.

Grassroots Passions Fuel Collective Movements

Individuals are compelled to take action based on societal events and their personal passions — and 2020 was the year of individuals leading movements backed by the companies they work for and buy from.

3.

Companies Expand Their Definition of Impact

What does it really mean to do good? Companies are rethinking impact by capturing (and rewarding) more ways for people to take action, from virtual volunteering and small acts of Goodness to learning and behavioral change.

4.

Trust-Based Philanthropy Takes Hold

More businesses are recognizing the need to give nonprofits more flexibility and autonomy, especially during times of crisis. We’re also seeing a more multifaceted approach that encompasses both smaller community grants and larger strategic grants to move the needle on major issues.

5.

Purpose-Driven Customer Engagement Is on the Rise

More companies than ever are bringing their consumers into the purpose fold, with new and innovative ways to create more social impact while invigorating the customer experience and building brand loyalty along the way.

2021 Outlook:

The Year of 'S'

According to McKinsey, CEOs are spending 50% of their time on ESG topics. In 2021, we'll be looking to the progressive and bold brands that are authentically committing to Social to lead us into the next evolution of corporate purpose.

The 2020 Benevity Impact Report

Purpose has been recognized as a key component of long-term business resilience and sustainability — and it's driven a significant increase in all aspects of corporate purpose. The Benevity client community created record-breaking impact in 2020 and we're sharing all the details as part of The State of Corporate Purpose report.