Social Issues

Wednesday Buzz: When Organizations Weigh In on Social Issues

An excellent look into why companies and trade groups are more comfortable talking about social issues. Plus: How to turn volunteering into something more.

Last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry was a landmark victory for activists and advocacy organizations, such as Freedom to Marry, that have worked tirelessly for decades.

But beyond the courts and the protests, there were other influencers at play. Newsweek Political Writer Emily Cadei takes a look at another side of the story: the role of businesses and associations. Starting with November 2011, when 70 organizations joined a legal brief to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, Cadei traces the growing support of big business and professional organizations for the gay-rights movement.

“‘Inclusiveness’ may not be good politics in this day of polarization and micro-targeting, but it seems to be good business,” Cadei writes. “And that is making the business community the sort of ‘big tent’ political force that neither major political party can claim to be.”

And this trend goes beyond the gay rights movement. Cadei cites other recent examples, from the widespread abandonment of the Confederate Flag following the Charleston church murders to the condemnation of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“This is a significant shift for major companies, who used to duck for cover whenever these kinds of controversies kicked up,” she writes.

Infographic of the Day


Think volunteering can’t lead to bigger and brighter things? MovingWorlds Cofounder Mark Horoszowski sought to “explore the theory that volunteering can help people get their dream job in any sector: public, private, or non-profit.” He presents that pathway in a contributor piece on Huffington Post.

Other Good Reads

Can’t tell your Square Cash from your Venmo? Re/code‘s Deputy Reviews Editor Katie Boehret explores the ins and outs of various online-payment apps.

What’s the ultimate financial burden of your subscriptions? Wall Street Journal reporter Jon Keegan takes an interactive look at the cumulative cost of services such as Spotify, Dropbox, MLB At Bat, and HBO Go. Now imagine putting your association dues on top of that sum!

Giving Tuesday is 153 days away. Does your organization have a plan to top last year’s totals or take part for the first time? Then check out Network for Good Vice President of Communications and Content Caryn Stein’s “Two Absolute Requirements for #GivingTuesday Success.”

(Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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