Corporate Social Responsibility 101: Implementing a Program
Everyone knows what corporate social responsibility is, why it’s needed, and how consumers are valuing it more when choosing a product. Yet while companies know it’s important, how to effectively start and manage a corporate social responsibility program remains a challenge, especially for younger companies. Here are the three things to keep in mind when it’s time for your company to give back:
Purpose: There’s no need to hide it – corporate social responsibility makes you look good. But, focusing solely on media attention takes away from the goals of CSR: building relationships with people who will be advocates for you later and developing an impactful story that integrates with your brand and drives your business decisions.
Finding a purpose that is centered on the core of who you are as a company will permeate your culture and drive bottom line results – all while making an impact on an issue that’s relevant to your business.
Planning: With purpose comes planning. You know why you’re doing it, now it’s time to develop the how. Throwing money at an organization seems like an easy solution, but implementing a strategy to your giving is necessary to ensure long-term success. Plan your giving to create an impact, even if it’s small or is measured over a longer period of time.
Partnerships: Choose an organization that fits with your company’s vision, background, and goals. The right cause will connect your social purpose with your business purpose, and the two need to closely relate for success.
A corporate social responsibility program should not center on simply donating money (which, by the way, is philanthropy). It’s about creating an impact that is centered around your brand’s identity, and in the end, will become a part of your company’s culture and business purpose.