Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the practice of a company taking responsibility for its impact on the world by doing more than what is inherent to its business model or required by law. CSR means focusing not just on profits, but also on making the world a better place for people and the environment.
Why take part in CSR?
CSR is a growing movement, and businesses of all sizes and industries honestly can’t afford not to participate. As many as two-thirds of business leaders worldwide are focusing on CSR to create new revenue streams and establish market advantage1. And, newly established companies are starting their CSR efforts earlier and earlier in the lifetime of their company.
- Check out the numbers
- 79% of consumers expect companies to keep up their CSR efforts, and 63% of consumers are hopeful that businesses will continue to take the lead to drive social change in the future.
- Young consumers have even higher expectations for CSR, with 71% believing that businesses will take the lead to drive social and environmental change.
- 87% of consumers will buy from a company based on the values of a company, and 76% will boycott based on the values of a company.
This clearly demonstrates the demand for business to contribute to the world more broadly than just through a product or service.
- The benefits of engaging in CSR
- Increasing innovation by considering new perspectives and opportunities
- Diversifying your brand by having more to offer than just a good or service
- Engaging customers in new ways
- Having a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent — many of today’s top applicants care about a company’s social impact
- Strengthening your business reputation and earning positive publicity
Making the Most of Your CSR with GVNG
CSR comes in many shapes and sizes. Below are some of the common approaches.
- Direct Charitable Contributions
- Fundraise via your GVNG nonprofit and channel funds to nonprofit organizations doing work that matters to your company.
- Employee Giving & Donation-Matching Programs
- Encourage employees to donate to charity by matching their charitable contributions. Or, give them an annual allocation of money to grant to a charity of their choice.
- Employee Volunteering
- Encourage employees to donate their time and services to charitable purposes.
- In-Kind Donations
- Donate your company’s products or services to a charitable cause.
- Run charitable programming that works directly in a community to address a certain need.
- Make CSR a priority. The more time and energy you put into your philanthropic programs, the more impactful they will be.
- Connect the dots. CSR initiatives mean the most (and are easiest to implement) when they make sense through the lens of your product or brand. Match your philanthropic efforts to your for-profit work.
- Build a team of accountable leaders. Pick an individual or team to spearhead your program and be the primary decision maker(s) for your CSR. This will ensure that things get accomplished.
- Listen to what matters to your employees and company at large. Your CSR should reflect the values of your company and what matters most to your employees. The best CSR efforts involve employees in the creation of a mission, take in feedback from everyone and provide opportunities for employees to participate.
- Pick the right partners. Teaming up with the right partners is imperative for scaling impact. Consider potential partners’ networks, interests, reach and expertise.
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