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Auditing Community Investment in Canada: Three Major Trends

With over $335 million invested into Canadian communities and 24,000 people contributing 238,689 volunteer hours across the country, the 2011 LBG (London Benchmarking Group) Canada benchmarking cycle represents significant growth. Today, the 37 participating companies together set the highest standard in community investment management, performance measurement and reporting in Canada.
The 2011 Benchmarking Report is based on an annual audit that assists each company in identifying current portfolio strengths and opportunities for improvement, in comparison to emerging best practice. Three major trends highlighted in the report illustrate the role of community investment as a valuable, strategic corporate activity.
Increased Spending into the Community

  • Despite the changing economy, LBG Canada companies have seen a substantial increase in community investment budgets.  90% reported increasing or maintaining their overall investment budgets in 2011, up from 71% in 2009. In addition, 21% of companies are expecting an increase in staff allocation.

Integration of Employee Volunteering and Giving Programs

  • 96% of all LBG Canada companies support some form of employee giving and volunteering, demonstrating emerging awareness of involvement in community investment activities as an effective tool for employee engagement.

$90 Million Leveraged

  • Close to $90 million in additional resources was leveraged for the benefit of community partners, through activities such as cause-marketing, in-kind donations and matched funding, from key stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, government etc.  By strategically focusing their convening power, companies within LBG Canada leveraged an average of $0.36 per $1 invested.

Overall, the size of community investment budgets benchmarked ranged from $100,000 to over $35 million in 2011. Clearly, the value of a high-impact and meaningful community investment program is as important to smaller companies as it is to the mid-size and the largest companies operating in Canada. 
Since 2006, the total amount of community investment benchmarked by LBG Canada companies has grown from $28 million to over $335 million. The group itself has grown from 10 members to 37 at present. This is an encouraging trend indicating that a growing number of companies are actively seeking to maximize the performance of community investment, to demonstrate the strength of community partnerships, to create measureable impact and to report results with greater confidence, clarity and credibility.  Download the 2011 LBG Canada Benchmarking Report or visit

About SiMPACT:
SiMPACT was established in 2005 with a vision to support management systems and skill development in the areas of strategic community investment and social return on investment (SROI). 
SiMPACT is the facilitator of 
LBG Canada, a growing group of companies using the LBG Model as a management framework to maximize the value of community investment programs – for the community and for the business.  Companies involved in LBG Canada are achieving a higher quality standard in program design, resource allocation and evaluation of the community investments.  The increasing use of the LBG Canada logo in public reporting symbolizes a commitment to quality and good governance of the community investment portfolio.


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