Wednesday, April 25, 2007

U.S. Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center

The US Chamber of Commerce established the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) in 2000. This is a program that economic developers should look at.

Maybe the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) should consider a similar venture for economic development. The goals of an economic development leadership center would be different. Question for all you readers: What should the goals be?

What Is the BCLC?

The Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) is a 501(c)3 affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation. BCLC is the U.S. Chamber's resource and voice for businesses and their social and philanthropic interests.

BCLC's vision is for the positive role of business in society to be understood and advanced. Its mission is to promote better business and society relations and improve long-term social and economic conditions by:

- Communicating the U.S. private sector's unique and valuable contributions

- Cultivating strategies and practices that achieve positive results

- Coordinating public-private partnerships and coalitions

BCLC works with leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to address and act on shared goals. Our overarching goal is to help build good will, good relations, and good markets by focusing on issues that affect businesses from a social and economic standpoint. This is what it calls "business and society relations."

BCLC offers three programs in which companies can participate:

- Business disaster assistance and recovery

- Corporate community investment

- Global corporate citizenship

What the Center Does?

The Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) addresses social issues that affect business, including corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, nonprofit and social service effectiveness, globalization, community investment, and disaster assistance.

Annual conferences, forums, and other events: BCLC hosts events with some of the top leaders in civic engagement and corporate social responsibility. Forums and roundtables are scheduled throughout the year, and BCLC has two signature annual events: Corporate Citizenship Awards Dinner and the National Partnership Conference. Network Development: Networks help corporate foundation heads and corporate citizenship professionals communicate on common issues, share information, and identify partnership opportunities.

BCLC currently has networks for business disaster assistance and recovery, corporate community investment, and global corporate citizenship.

Corporate Citizenship Awards: These awards showcase businesses, trade associations, and chambers of commerce that have demonstrated ethical leadership and corporate stewardship, made a difference in their communities, and contributed to the advancement of important economic and social goals.

The Corporate Citizen+ : This bimonthly e-newsletter is distributed to more than 3,500 leaders in corporate citizenship and corporate communications positions, corporate foundations, chambers of commerce, AmChams, NGOs, and governments. It provides an opportunity for members to contribute through company profiles, interviews, op-eds, and guest editorials. Subscribers obtain ideas for their own corporate citizenship programs.

Research, Reports, and Public Appearances: BCLC research helps media, advocacy, civil society, and public policy leaders achieve a better understanding of business contributions to society and helps business leaders identify strategies and issues to improve their external relations.

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