How EY Uses Data To Scale Its CSR Program For Maximum Impact

As more companies embrace and expand corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to engage their employees, address social issues, and increase brand awareness, the demand for measuring and evaluating their impact is heightened.  Reporting impact helps companies differentiate their CSR initiatives while strengthening the internal business case for the continued investment of business resources. Project ROI’s latest research on the value of CSR highlights that companies can see results in three main areas: 1) firm value, share price and risk; 2) sales and reputation; and 3) human resources. Companies have reported leveraging CSR initiatives to increase revenue by up to 20%, reduce their staff turnover rate by up to 50% and increase employee productivity by up to 13%.

EY has demonstrated their ability to address social issues while positively impacting business goals. They are building a better working world by focusing on three core areas:  entrepreneurship, education, and equity in the workplace. Both EY professionals and their clients care about these key issues and are volunteering their time to maximize impact. One of EY’s signature CSR programs is the College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence) mentoring initiative, a two-year team mentoring program focused on enabling and empowering students in underserved schools so that they can gain access to college and succeed in higher education.

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The business case for EY’s College MAP initiative aligns to the key research points raised by 18 additional corporations in Mentoring: At the Crossroads of Education, Business and Community which EY and MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership, published in 2015. Youth mentoring programs foster employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. They cultivate and develop the future workforce while supporting vibrant communities which include viable customers. As is the case with EY, mentoring is aligned with corporate strengths and core competencies of EY professionals.

Carolina Dominguez, National Program Leader for College MAP, explains, “EY’s College MAP initiative is at the intersection of our core business strategy and organizational competencies and aligned with societal needs.” The CSR program helps EY attract, engage, develop and retain employees and partners, creates brand and recognition value for the firm, and meets the needs of youth striving to access and persist through college.

Through the years, EY has continued to leverage program data to scale College MAP, reaching more students and engaging more EY professionals. EY launched College MAP in nine locations in 2009 in partnership with their national nonprofit partner, College for Every Student. Today, EY now operates the program in 32 US cities, engaging over 1000 EY professionals and mentoring more than 1200 scholars.

EY has tracked the success of their scholars -- 100% have graduated from high school (compared to 72% in their relevant peer group) and 90% have enrolled in college. The success of the program has also resulted in increases in employee donations for student scholarships which are partially matched by the EY Foundation. Since the inception of the EY College MAP Scholarship Drive in 2014, EY has distributed close to one million dollars in scholarships to College MAP graduates.

Dominguez shares, “We’ve done the research, and our College MAP mentors not only care about their scholars – they are more engaged at work and develop valuable skills through their mentoring efforts.” By integrating with their Global People Survey, EY has evaluation data that shows a correlation between mentoring and leadership skill development, employee engagement, retention, and performance. EY professionals who are College MAP mentors have longer average tenures with EY than colleagues at the same ranks, higher performance ratings, and best-in-class, higher employee engagement rates.

As evidenced by EY’s College MAP program, mentoring CSR initiatives can have a powerful impact on both societal needs and business goals. A focus on measuring and evaluating internal and external outcomes can help companies scale their CSR initiatives and increase employee engagement, increase brand awareness and deepen community impact.

EY’s CSR leadership will share more on College MAP and the essential elements to consider when developing a youth mentoring CSR initiative at the 2017 National Mentoring Summit, taking place in Washington DC on February 1-3, 2017.  The Summit’s Philanthropic Partnerships Track will also be hosting a special forum with program evaluators and mentoring field researchers for corporations, foundations and individual donors to learn more about effective practices in measuring and evaluating mentoring programs.




Dan Horgan is the CEO of D.G. Horgan Group and is the Corporate Partnerships Consultant for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

The GradsofLifeVoice Forbes team provides thought leadership, research and expert commentary on innovative talent pipelines and related issues such as the skills gap, income inequality, workforce diversity, and the business case for employment pathways. We seek to change employers’ perceptions of young adults with atypical resumes from social liabilities to economic assets. This post was originally featured here.


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