Real Estate Deals That Make A Difference: ChildServ Receives $4,000

December 10, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Learn about IIC NGO Partner, Childserv

Investing In Communities is a young organization. Heck, we celebrated our soft-launch less than a month ago! But IIC is already generating funding for nonprofits.

Wednesday, IIC distributed nearly $4,000 to Childserv, an organization dedicated to helping Chicagoland’s at-risk children and their families build and sustain better lives.

Since May, 2010 IIC has generate nearly $47,000 for nonprofits, with more distributions in the slated for before year’s end (stay tuned!). Those funds are unrestricted, and entirely free. Partners did not have to spend precious time and resource writing grants, petitioning donors, or otherwise fundraising. They simply spent the 10-15 minutes and applied to become IIC Nonprofit Partners.

Making the Case for Corporate Social Responsibility (Part III)

December 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

For the third and final segment of this post (see part 1 and 2), I’ll examine the charge that corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns are ineffective when profit creation and the public good are directly opposed.

In “The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility,” Dr. Aneel Karnani suggests that many of society’s “most pervasive and persistent problems” are cases in which social welfare and private interests conflict. Otherwise, he reasons, the quest for profits would have produced solutions long ago. In these cases, Karnani argues campaigns for greater CSR are ineffective because executives’ hands are tied. “Even if executives wanted to forgo some profit to benefit society,” he writes, “they could expect to loose their jobs if they tried – and be replaced by managers who would return profit as the top priority.” Once again Karnani situates his argument within an extreme and narrow framework that constrains executive choice in order to avoid a more nuanced and complex discussion. Yet this time, both Karnani’s  argument and its supporting framework struggle to hold before critical analysis, as they fail to account for the shifting landscape of present market realities.

Making the Case for Corporate Social Responsibilty (Part II)

December 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm

read the article here

Last August, the Wall St. Journal ran an article titled The Case Against Corporate Responsibility, which has since provoked much debate. In the article, University of Michigan professor Aneel Karnani warns that campaigns for corporate social responsibility (CSR) are irrelevant, ineffective, or outright harmful– a dangerous distraction from more substantive systemic regulation. Karnani’s primary message, that CSR must not be expected to supplant formal regulation, is commendable. However, his first two arguments are deeply flawed. Both depend upon frameworks in which the landscape of choice is more extreme and more simplistic than that which corporations, shareholders, and consumers frequently face.

These frameworks present a false dichotomy. They imply that firms operate in a world where social welfare and profit creation are either perfectly aligned or directly opposed. Karnani avoids a more complex and relevant debate: the influence of CSR in circumstances that fall between these rare extremes. This over simplification undermines the accuracy and relevance of both arguments, but the second one – that campaigns for CSR are ineffective when private and public interests are opposed – suffers from a more fundamental flaw. Karnani fails to consider how new tools of media and information exchange are redefining the traditional relationship between private firms and their markets. This oversight places his entire framework, and the argument it supports, on very shaky ground.