Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Civic 50 Orange County?

A: Since 2012, The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, has recognized the 50 most community-minded major corporations in the nation each year as determined by an annual survey developed by True Impact. 

In 2017, the OC Business Journal partnered with OneOC and Points of Light in an initiative to localize the yearly recognition of the 50 most community-minded companies known as the Civic 50. A nationwide legacy, this event began in 2012 and has since gained momentum in the philanthropic community. 

Civic 50 Orange County, now in its third year, is a ceremony to recognize honorees by benchmarking and celebrating best practices, it provides visibility and a framework for how local companies can use their employees’ time, skills and other resources to improve the quality of life in our community. Civic 50 OC honorees are selected based upon four dimensions of their community engagement programs: investment, integration, institutionalization and impact, as determined by an annual survey independently administered and scored by True Impact.


Q: What does it take to become a Civic 50 honoree?

A: Civic 50 Orange County honorees are selected based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program, as determined by an annual survey:

  • Investment: How extensively and strategically the company applies its resources to community engagement in Orange County, including employees’ time and skills, cash, in-kind giving and public leadership.
  • Integration: How a company’s Orange County community engagement program supports business interests and integrates into business functions, or how it “does well by doing good.”
  • Institutionalization: How the company supports community engagement in Orange County through its organizational policies, systems and incentives.
  • Impact: How the company measures the social and business outputs and outcomes of its Orange County community engagement program.


Q: What type and size of companies are eligible to participate in The Civic 50?

A: Public and privately-owned companies with Orange County operations, employees and community engagement programs are eligible to participate. Not all companies have the same level of resources or engagement in all the activities measured by the survey. Similarly sized companies will be measured within their peer group and compared only on their community engagement programs inside Orange County.  


Q: What is the date range for the survey data period?

A: Your company must submit the survey data period from the company’s last full fiscal year (each company submitting could therefore have a different date range depending on when their fiscal year ends).


Q: How will honorees be recognized?

A: All 50 honorees will be identified in alphabetical order. 


Q: Why should my company participate?

A: Companies that participate in Civic 50 have a unique opportunity to gain recognition for their community engagement programs, take a leadership position in corporate community involvement and to share their best practices with the broader business community. Many companies have also said that the process of taking the survey and receiving their individual scorecards with information on their rankings helped them understand how they could improve their processes and strategies in the future.


Q: Has this survey been administered before?

A: Yes, the national Civic 50 was founded in 2012. The Civic 50 Orange County began in 2017.  To see previous Civic 50 Orange County honorees, visit


Q: Who was involved in the development of the Civic 50 survey instrument?

A: The following academic leaders reviewed the survey during its development in 2014:
Professor Bea Boccalandro, Georgetown University Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership; Dr. Edward Freeman, University of Virginia Darden School of Business; Dr. Ira Harkavy, The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Pamela Harper, Marist College School of Business; Professor Peter Levine, Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University; Dr. Kelvyn Moore, Bentley University; Dr. Nicholas Pearce, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management; Dr. John Peloza, Gatton College of Business and Economics at University of Kentucky; Dean Alan Solomont, Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University​.               


Q: Who should submit the survey on behalf of my company?

A: The employee who is most knowledgeable and responsible for community engagement programming and initiatives should submit the survey on behalf of your company. It is recommended that another staff member who is familiar with the work of the company should review the information to be submitted for accuracy and completeness.


Q: How much time will it take to complete the survey?

A: We estimate it will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes of staff time to enter your responses in the online Civic 50 Orange County survey. Additional time will be required to pull together the required quantitative information about your company.  See the Survey Completion Instructions Section for further details. 


Q: What is the deadline?

A: The final deadline for submitting the online survey is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) on Sunday, June 30, 2019. Late submissions will not be accepted. Note: we will begin accepting applications on May 1, 2019. Be sure to get an early start to avoid any last-minute issues.


Q: When will the honorees be announced?

A: Honorees will be announced at the Civic 50 Orange County Awards Luncheon presented by the Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ) on October 16, 2019 at Hotel Irvine and published on October 21, 2019.


Q:  Will I receive my score and a report?

A: Yes. All eligible companies that submit a completed survey will receive a free individual scorecard, which lists the company's individual score and ranking in each dimension. Additional reports to support more detailed corporate reporting and continuous improvement efforts are available for a minimal fee. Please contact for more information.


Q: How will the information I submit be used?

A: All data from the quantitative and multiple choice questions collected in the survey will contribute to a company being honored as a Civic 50 Orange County honoree. Only the top 50 companies will be shared publicly, with attribution. Names and rankings of companies that participate but do not have rankings qualifying for the top 50 will be kept confidential. All other information submitted on the Civic 50 application may be aggregated and shared for benchmarking and continuous improvement purposes, but will be anonymous (not attributed to any specific company). Any information the Civic 50 wishes to publicly attribute to a company beyond a top 50, will be cleared with that company before publication.


Q: I’m a national corporation. Which activities should I document?

A: The Civic 50 Orange County is a local award based only on a company’s Orange County community engagement programs. It does not matter whether your company is headquartered in Orange County or elsewhere.


Q: If my company has multiple local companies under one umbrella firm, do we have to fill out a separate form for each?

A: Yes, multiple companies under one umbrella firm need to fill out a separate survey per local company.


Q: Who should I contact if I have a question or problem?

A: Call OneOC’s Civic 50 Orange County survey help line at (714) 597-8958 or email for information and assistance. For technical support with the online survey’s functions, contact


Q: Can previous Civic 50 Orange County honorees/awardees apply again?

A: Yes. Past Civic 50 Orange County honorees are welcome to apply again.


Q: Is there anything else I should keep in mind?

A: Points of Light reserves the right to exclude companies on the Civic 50 list that are not considered to be in good standing during the research year. Bases for not being “in good standing” include, but are not limited to: the company experiencing official, significant legal sanction; an adverse company event so significant that it deems the Civic 50 practices presented in its application as a misrepresentation of the company’s overall community involvement efforts; or any development that puts into question the company’s community involvement to the degree that most people would not consider it reasonable to find the company on a list of the most community-minded companies in Orange County.