A Collective Force of Businesses and Foundations Partnering with Nonprofits for the Greater Good.

Our Mission

The Satell Institute is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan, fully-endowed Think and Do Tank for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We are focused on championing the interdependence of successful business organizations, the well-being of the communities they operate in, and the need they have for each other. An inescapable priority for business leaders is the demand to make the communities they operate in better. This involves the call by organizations who see it in their self-interest to choose to give back by volunteerism or philanthropy. These corporations do it in areas of their choice or their business alignment to strengthen the long-term well-being of the community and the people who live there. For CSR to thrive, companies’ actions and support should be voluntary, predicated on their own self-interests.

The Satell Institute has two primary missions:

As a Think Tank, we provide extensive contemporary research and resources, including case studies, articles, and publications on CSR from leading academic scholars, nonprofits, and the corporate world. This scholarship offers organizations the information, data, workable strategies and opportunities corporations need to more efficiently accomplish the greater good they seek. It will also foster corporate partnering with nonprofits whose mission they find compatible.

As a Do Tank, the Satell Institute will actively engage and encourage corporations in CSR initiatives. The Satell Institute will serve as a catalyst for developing fresh models for corporate giving, including partnering with accomplished specialized nonprofits of their choice, based on experience that advances the goals of both the corporation and the nonprofit. Through scholarly and popular publications, as well as multiple media resources, the Satell Institute will help foster a national conversation aimed at embedding the obligation to improve society into each corporation’s plan and mission.

Our Vision

Collaborative Communities. We believe that with success in business comes the responsibility and gratitude to give back, to make the world a better place than we inherited. In our vision of the future, businesses and nonprofits are interlinked in complementary ways, contributing to the diverse array of efforts communities need to thrive. Guiding this vision is our founder’s motto, “Think WE, not just me.”

Our Guiding Principles

1. For Democracy to happen, with economic growth, there must be an adherence to three underlying conceptual components:

Free Enterprise.
Free enterprise is a private effort. It is based on people saying “I can bring better products or better services to a segment of the marketplace than presently exist.” They need to marshal their own resources. Some succeed. Some fail. But it is the marketplace that decides, not government bureaucrats or other people of power. Free enterprise has a long-term track record of being the most productive, efficient, innovative, adaptable and job-creating economic system, bringing the most prosperity and quality-of-life to the most people.

The Rule of Law.
Honesty and integrity, together with the rule of law, is the second essential component for a thriving democracy. This brings both rules and certainty of the rules, which a fair marketplace depends on. In case of disagreements it provides through a judicial system the most honest resolution process.

That people accept responsibility for their own situation rather than looking constantly to government or others to solve their problems. America became the land of opportunity because we had a tradition of people coming to this country and accepting responsibility for their own situation. Often they did not know the language. They were poor. Frequently they had to sleep ten in the room. They were, in the main, less blamers and less complainers and instead, they sacrificed, worked hard, and had the discipline to develop the confidence to make many of their own dreams come true.

2. The understanding that there are three essential components necessary for a successful community:

Government, which makes the laws and maintains order. Government sets the rules and the tone.

Business, which creates the jobs and community wealth needed to bring economic opportunity and stability.

Nonprofit Institutions, which impact the quality of life including education, health care, arts and culture, youth activities, charitable concerns, and more.

3. When people consider moving to or staying in a community, they ask two key questions.

  1. What opportunities are there for my children?
  2. What can I do with my spouse/partner on a Saturday night?
If the answers are negative, there is less opportunity to attract new people and more danger of flight from current residents.

4. Human rights

 Equality of opportunity, based on competency, for all people in the community.
  1. That there be respect and support for a free and fair marketplace.
  2. That the greatest social program in the world is the creation of jobs and that over- burdensome regulations hurt job creation.
  3. That economic success created fairly should be supported and admired as it benefits the greater good.
  4. That no business can solve all society’s problems or bear the costs of doing so. 
  5. Instead each organization must select issues that align with its business or its leaders’ aspirations for the community.

5. Every community has needs that affect the well being of all.

The prioritization of needs depends on where the community is on the cycle.

6. Community

Constituencies that need to be considered include:

A. Children
B. Families and those adults not in families
C. Older people

7. Opportunities for businesses to serve the community that can be critical to the success of a business.

This helps drive business and social values across the organization and the community. This allows companies to align specific goals and social challenges, and empower a company to set priorities, measure results and create a competitive advantage. They could include:
  • Assisting in the making of a better community so as to attract more people to the community, or
  • Assisting the educational system to have a better pool of employees, or
  • Assisting communities to have better social and athletic program for children to make the community more attractive by improving the quality of life for both children and their families, or
  • Assisting museums, theaters and other cultural organizations attract people to the community who appreciate the arts, or
  • Assisting adult education opportunities to promote the interests and well-being of those living there, or
  • Assisting healthcare to have a healthier community population.
  • And many more. 

8. Benefits of CSR to a corporation may include:

First it creates a bigger marketplace for growth, increased profits, and more opportunity for business success for those involved. Ultimately a healthy society creates expanding demand for business as human needs are met and aspirations grow. Any business that pursues its ends at the expense of the society in which it operates will find its success to be illusionary and ultimately temporary.

It creates hundreds of ways for the opportunity to have a better quality of life, which is a fundamental goal for most of us, for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

It makes many employees proud and creates loyalties to the organization. This attracts quality people, reduces employee turnover, and motivates a greater purpose for the organization. It also is developmental for employees as they become exposed to greater areas of life.

Nine Core Strengths and Distinguishing Characteristics that Uniquely Resonate with Members

  1. We are nonprofit, non-partisan and fully endowed.
  3. We are cause agnostic. Business and Private Foundation Members contribute to the nonprofit of their choice, not ours.
  5. A minimum commitment/contribution, acknowledged by the Satell Institute, of $25,000 per year for four years to a nonprofit of a member’s choice is the sole membership requirement. This can be a new commitment, or the three-year extension of an existing pledge. 100% of the contribution goes directly to the nonprofit chosen by the for-profit.
  7. There are no dues or membership fees. All expenses of the Satell Institute are paid by the income from its growing endowment which is a gift from its Founder.
  9. We are primarily a CEO, or local equivalent, membership organization.
  11. Membership-supported nonprofits automatically become Affiliate Members at no charge. Affiliate membership allows the nonprofit leader to “have a seat at the Satell Institute table” and access to many of the Member benefits afforded to corporate and foundation Members.
  13. We are A Collective Force of Business Organizations and Private Foundations Partnering with Nonprofits to Serve the Greater Good.
  15. We offer private (exclusively for members and their qualified guests only) semi-annual CEO Conferences on CSR. In addition to a dynamic speaker, these feature quality, candid and valued round table idea exchange among the CEOs or the local equivalent.
  17. We have a Think Tank led by top scholars/researchers. Our Think Tank is led by Research Director Peter Frumkin, PhD who serves as Director of the Center of Social Impact at the University of Pennsylvania. Leading scholars from UPENN, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, UCONN and other leading Universities around the world who study the field of CSR and do original research, contribute to the Think Tank. It presents quality resources – research, case studies about leading companies’ CSR programs, and education concerning the benefits of CSR to members and the public.
“If I was talking to a CEO, I would tell him or her that there is a new generation that really look at a brand, and evaluates if they will be a customer, depending on what that company or brand stands for. Those companies that are more progressive, that embrace giving back, are going to do better than those who don’t. A lot of companies are scrambling to figure this out. But evidence from the Satell Institute’s Think Tank proves that millennials really do care about what a company stands for. They will be loyal to that company that embraces CSR over companies that do not.”
Marc Brownstein
CEO, Brownstein Group
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