Does an Aspirational City Matter for Business?



“‘Actions speak louder than words’ is a notable idiom famously used by Abraham Lincoln in 1856 that still rings true today. It’s one thing to want to do good, it’s another thing to act on those thoughts and actually do good deeds.”

Matt Cabrey recently interviewed Ed Satell, CEO of the Satell Institute, for Growing Greater Philadelphia on 1210 WPHT to discuss Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In this short, 16-minute interview, they discuss the importance of an aspirational city for business and the community and how the Satell Institute is providing a gateway for leaders to take action. They also dive into the role of for-profit and nonprofit partnerships in the success of a city and the essential characteristics that differentiate the Institute.

Nonprofits as Problem Solvers

In Ed’s unique, philosophical style, he shared his thoughts on the role of the Institute. “We bring [companies] together with the nonprofits so the two of them work hand-in-hand, because nonprofits represent the quality of life, where business represents the quantity of life. Businesses produce the jobs; they produce the wealth. But nonprofits are problem solvers [of important human needs]. There is a nonprofit mission for everything. And the most important nonprofit of them all is the one your family needs. The one your family gets the benefit of.”

Successful Cities Attract Talent

As Matt raised the challenge of measuring success, Ed offered a clear vision for what success looks like for businesses and the community. “The way we measure the success of a city is: Are more people of talent moving in? Or are more people of talent moving out? If more people of talent are moving in, we are going to have an aspirational city. We are going to have more things happening and all elements of the city will do better. Young people – millennials – are choosing this city over others. And we have become, probably, the number one city in the country at attracting millennials. And if you ask them, why are they here? What makes them come to Philadelphia? They say because there is so much to do. They are finding so much to do from the nonprofits. Companies are [among] the biggest beneficiary of corporate social responsibility. If you have more people of talent moving in, that’s good for companies too. If you make the city more attractive for people, that’s good for business too.”

Think We, Not Just Me

Ed also discussed how his “think we, not just me” philosophy is shared by the next generation. He believes it is shaping their employment decisions and the way companies invest in communities. “For young people, greed is out and living in responsible communities is in. And people want to work for companies that care about the community. After all, it’s their children. It’s their grandchildren. And they want to know that businesses make it a better city.”

Listen to the full interview for more thoughts on the role of the Satell Institute as a leader in CSR and the importance of for-profit/nonprofit partnerships for the health of our cities.

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Member Growth Continues

The Institute’s membership continues to expand with great companies and private foundations choosing to support Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). They recognize a collective force can do more for communities than any organization can do on its own.

Welcoming 5 New Members this Week

We welcome the following new members among the several dozen who have recently joined.

Firstrust Bank
Founded in 1934 in South Philadelphia, Firstrust Bank is a third-generation family-owned bank with a strong commitment to community. The same high standards and personal service that has carried the bank through the decades, now allows Firstrust to serve customers throughout the Delaware Valley, Lehigh Valley and Southern New Jersey.

Paris Corporation
Paris Corporation is a leading supplier of paper and business products for retail and commercial customers in North America. Leveraging experienced personnel and a high-level of customer service, Paris Corp. has grown to be one of the largest paper converter and distributors in the country.

Independence Asset Advisors
Independence Asset Advisors (IAA) is a privately-owned asset management firm. IAA has been providing specialized investment management expertise and exceptional client service to institutional and high net worth clients since 2010.

PRWT Services
Celebrating 30 years of success, PRWT is a world-class provider of business process solutions, document processing and facilities management services. The company is focused on building customer relationships by delivering on its promise of cost-effective, efficient services that exceed expectations.

Sabre Systems
With a clear focus on customer success, Sabre Systems provides software and systems engineering solutions for each client’s unique needs. The company is dedicated to creating integrated solutions with excellence and integrity. Their sense of social responsibility is integral to their business and largely focused on STEM education and veteran initiatives.

How Organizations Gain the Benefits of Membership

SI’s members are dedicated to building strong communities and contributing to the greater good through CSR. To receive the benefits of membership, organizations agree it’s of business value to support CSR by contributing a minimum of $25,000 a year for four years (minimum of $100,000 total) to a nonprofit of their choice. Some members proudly choose to contribute to multiple nonprofits (two, three, four or more). The unique four-year commitment requirement allows nonprofits the stable funding needed to support multi-year programs vital to their mission.

The Satell Institute is supported by its own endowment and charges no fees or dues to members or the nonprofits supported.

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