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ESG in Not-for-Profit

ESG programs for Not-for-Profit

In today’s world, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a core pillar of value creation for organizations of all sizes. The need for NPOs to address ESG is no longer a discussion—it’s a necessity

With more than 170,000 NPOs in Canada1, the pursuit of funding is highly competitive, and as both donors’ and members’ expectations evolve, NPOs must invest in ESG.


ESG issues specific to NPOs

Every industry has different driving forces behind the development of ESG programs. The following issues are material to NPOs:

NPOs are purpose-driven by nature. By aligning their mission with the ESG imperative, NPOs can bolster their purpose both internally and externally.

Demonstrating ESG’s impact on issues that matter to current and potential donors can help grow the donor pipeline. This is important as ESG reporting fosters a culture of transparency, commitment, and growth that attracts donors.

Activating ESG initiatives on topics that current and potential employees care about can be leveraged to combat the effects of the Great Resignation. This is important as NPOs face particular talent attraction and retention challenges as salaries and benefits are traditionally less than private industries, and career progression opportunities tend to be less expansive.

Becoming more energy and waste efficient in day-to-day operations can demonstrate operational excellence, environmental stewardship, and a culture of innovation. The overall economic health of the organization is improved through cost savings. These funds can ultimately be reinvested in programs to support their core purpose.

Benefits of investing in ESG programs for NPOs:

Demonstrate social impact beyond the direct mission and vision
Brand reputation
Donor or member acquisition
Talent attraction and retention
Efficiency and innovation
Building trust and connection
Partnership opportunities

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