While no single organisation can change the world, we know that the collective resources of civil society, government, business and community groups can work together to create lasting solutions to key issues.
CSR has now become part of corporate language in various forms; sustainability, circular development, community engagement, social impact measurement, shared value, but it’s no longer jargon, businesses are actively seeking out community and sustainability graduates and consultants. A company’s CSR efforts will signal what it cares about. In terms of product, studies have shown that consumers will go for the purposeful product over the non purposeful product. IBM summarised encapsulates this with the slogan “people buy from people they trust.” The co-benefit is that employers enjoy greater staff engagement, retention, productivity, reputation and social impact and their employees gain a sense of pride in their employer. Charities benefit by receiving low-cost, regular funds, access to valuable skills, and strong partnerships.
The Australian Institute for Corporate Responsibility offers great advice on how to become a more purposeful organisation with zero to moderate investment:
– Keep the local community informed about your operations
– Employ local people
– Establish basic partnerships with community groups: offer your premises; sponsor a community group’s events; donate money to a community group; encourage your employees to volunteer for community groups in their own time, particularly by joining a board
– Enable staff to donate money to community groups through payroll deductions
– Give employees time off to volunteer for community organisations
– Allow staff time off for tasks like volunteering at their child’s school
– Encourage and facilitate employee trips for donations to donate blood
– Provide a suggestion box where staff can offer ideas about how your company could better engage with communities
– Involve employees in running your community partnerships – it will give them a break from regular tasks and a chance to exercise their creativity
– Offer to match staff donations
– Match staff volunteering – if they are prepared to contribute a day in their own time, offer them a day (or more) on your time as well
Did you know that most charities have dedicated account managers that deal specifically with corporations and support their CSR needs?
Does your marketing department know about your CSR strategy? Do they know what great community work you’re doing and partnerships you have?
If not, let them know, they would be very interested and could potentially support you with internal communication, external publicity and even budget!
Our Account Managers can assist you in developing your CSR strategy and a suite of programs to support your community focus. In case we haven’t made our point about the significance of the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors partnering for greater good, check out this extremely insightful TED talk by Dan Pallota