The study, involving 227 community relations professionals who attended CCCR professional development programs last year, indicated that global community involvement is becoming a significant corporate issue. Some 62 percent of the companies involved in the study, most of them Fortune 500 firms or major utility companies, have multi-national operations and 42 percent of those have established community relations programs in their international locations.
Data from the poll also showed a major increase in the level of senior management support for community relations efforts. More than 47 percent of corporate CEOs were active in community relations activities, up from 40 percent a year ago. In addition, the study found 96 percent of the firms polled made financial contributions to non-profit organizations and 70 percent of the companies had organized volunteer programs to address issues of local concern.
"This index gives us a good indication of how social issues are playing themselves out in corporations today," said CCCR Director Bradley Googins. "It's very significant to see how corporations are recognizing their investment in their communities."
The top social issues seen facing corporate firms today are children's education, health care, job training and economic development, according to the report, the third such annual poll conducted by the center.
"We're seeing a lot more activity in the community," said Googins, "both in terms of economic development and governmental relations."
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