Sharp perspectives. Deep expertise. Cutting-edge innovations. Purposeful Connections is your bi-weekly source for the latest in purpose and ESG. Subscribe here.
Thanksgiving has always had a troubled history, and our nation's propensity to turn holidays into profit-making ventures only muddies the spirit of the day further. Early estimates peg 2022 Black Friday spending at $9.12 billion - that's just for last Friday - a new record. While certainly a positive sign for the economy, it only serves to underscore where American priorities lie, especially on the heels of a divisive COP27, which brought dire warnings about a climate crisis fueled, in part, by consumption.
We close out this week of spending with Giving Tuesday, which I hope sets records of its own - not just for dollars donated to organizations addressing vital social issues, but for volunteer hours, pro bono service, items donated, awareness spread, and more. Giving is far more than financial, though the dollar often speaks loudest. With that, I would encourage readers to commit to give back in some way today - whether that is with a donation or simply by sharing a nonprofit you love with your network. If you're looking for a place to start, I'd encourage you to review this list of Indigenous-led nonprofits.
It's Giving Tuesday - the biggest day of the year for nonprofit fundraising. Last year, an estimated 35 million adults participated in the U.S., and giving totaled $2.7 billion. Volunteering on this day increased 11% in 2021, and donations by 8%, compared to 2020. This year, the CCOP team would like to honor a few organizations near and dear to our hearts - they span clients and former clients, organizations our team members have provided pro bono or board services for, places we volunteer, or nonprofits supporting issues we're passionate about.
Achilles, Action Against Hunger, Animal Haven, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Empower the People, FIRST, Habitat for Humanity, Horton's Kids, Outdoor Afro, Panther Ridge, Planned Parenthood, Points of Light, Shatterproof, Youth Service Inc.
The holidays bring people together, often around shared meals. This season, the Kitchen Connection Alliance and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization have partnered to make those meals more climate-conscious. The Cookbook in Support of the United Nations: For People and Planet includes recipes which are categorized by their potential impact - from food systems, biodiversity, and sustainable consumption to climate change and food waste. Dig into this clever concept alongside well-known chefs Andrew Zimmern, Grace Ramirez, and others who contributed recipes to the tome.
Sustainable Brands: New Cookbook Showcases Meals that Benefit Both Human and Planetary Health
COP27 closed out last week, and few people are better positioned to sum up this year's climate gathering than Paul Polman - who did just that in a pointed letter published in Fortune. Polman writes: "The urgency of the crisis is clearly still lost on many of our political leaders. Collectively, they are failing to deliver the ambition and action on which our planet and future depend....Business literally can’t afford to sit back and wait for politics to get its act together. Climate isn’t just an environmental issue: it’s the economy, stupid.
"Extreme floods, heat waves, wildfires, and hurricanes cost billions. They send impoverished nations further into debt, while crippling supply chains, disrupting global trade, and destroying the labor force. Whether you are a C-Suite executive, an investor, or the WTO, you have a major interest in getting the world onto a more stable path. There are tremendous gains waiting for those who move quickly. The shift to a low-carbon economy can add trillions of dollars to global growth each year, and create millions of jobs."
Next time you pick up a TV remote, pause to consider the experience of a disabled individual: How easy is that remote to use for someone with a disability? Now, consider all the other everyday objects in your home, and how they are often obstacles - rather than conveniences - for the 61 million Americans living with a disability. Comcast is taking a (small, but important) step toward greater accessibility by designing a new remote control, created with and for disabled individuals. Beyond physical design elements that make the device easier to navigate, the remote features Comcast's voice control technology so users can find their favorite show or channel. Nonprofit organization New Horizons worked alongside Comcast to research and test the remote.