Social Impact through Strategic Alignment

September 12, 2019


The topic of strategic alignment recently gained great momentum amongst Corporate Social Investors (CSIs), like corporate foundations, corporate impact funds, accelerators, and social businesses. At EVPA, we define strategic alignment as a mutual arrangement between a Corporate Social Investor and its affiliated company with the goal of enhancing the CSI’s social impact.

After a yearlong research on strategic alignment, involving 45 practitioners from CSIs, companies, and experts on corporate social investing and inclusive business strategies, we developed the first typology that describes the various ways in which a CSI and its affiliated company can align: nonmaterial alignment, thematic alignment, industry alignment and business alignment.

The following resources are intended to guide CSIs towards finding the right type of alignment to maximise their social impact.

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The introduction clarifies why strategic alignment has gained an increasing momentum amongst CSIs and why we at EVPA felt it was timely and important to launch a study on the topic. The introduction provides furthermore a roadmap through the available EVPA resources.

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Strategic Alignment Infographic

The strategic alignment infographic provides a brief overview of the four strategic alignment strategies and visually illustrates how they relate to a CSI’s underlying impact ambition. This infographic is ideal for anyone looking to quickly get acquainted with the topic or to have a baseline for discussions with peers or board members.

Strategic Alignment Storybooks

In partnership with Pioneers Post, we explore the different ways in which corporate social investors align with their related company, so that it becomes a win-win relationship and maximises social impact.

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A ‘winning coalition’ for healthcare entrepreneurs

From supermarket check-ups in Nicaragua to mini-pharmacies in east Africa, pioneering social enterprises want to change the world by making healthcare accessible to all. We explore how support from the Philips Foundation – backed by 130-year-old healthcare technology company Philips – is key to their success.

Hear the world chad

Listen to me: pioneering hearing care in Chad

A close-up look at how Écoute-moi! brings audiological care to Chad, changing the lives of children with hearing loss, who otherwise would not have access to any support. Thanks to the support of Hear the World Foundation, founded by Sonova Group, the project is an example of how corporate philanthropy can enable companies to have a far-reaching positive impact in their field.

The Rise of the Corporate Social Investor

EVPA and the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) have teamed up to demonstrate how corporate social investors can align with their companies to maximise impact based on EVPA's research.

The Rise of the Corporate Social Investor cover - English version
The Rise of the Corporate Social Investor cover - Spanish translation
The Rise of the Corporate Social Investor cover - Portuguese translation
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Translated in Spanish and Portuguese by

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Strategic Alignment Table Small

Strategic Alignment Table

The strategic alignment table provides a detailed description of the strategic elements of each alignment type. It covers the key characteristics of the four alignment types, the role of the CSI and the affiliated company, and managerial reflections. This makes it the ideal resource for anyone looking to position their own organisation or their peers.

Case Studies

The case studies illustrate how various EVPA members pursue the four alignment types in reality. The case studies are a useful resource for anyone looking for an in-depth understanding of the practical implications of alignment.

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Nonmaterial Alignment
JTI Foundation
Trafigura Foundation Case Study cover
Thematic Alignment
Trafigura Foundation
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Industry Alignment
Syngenta Foundation
Mobilize Invest Case Study cover
Business Alignment
Mobilize Invest

This article was written by

Karoline Heitmann Karoline Heitmann

Lonneke Roza Lonneke Roza

Steven Serneels Steven Serneels

Priscilla Boiardi Priscilla Boiardi

Nicolas Malmendier Nicolas Malmendier

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