Donating a portion of your profits to a chosen charitable organisation is commendable. After all, every not-for-profit can always use more contributions to fund their charitable endeavours.
However, if you really commit to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), you can do much more for your charity partners. Even more importantly, your partnership is likely to be far more sustainable and, therefore, more rewarding to both parties.
That’s not to say that simply donating isn’t good corporate citizenship, but if that’s all you’re doing you’re missing out on a lot of potential value for your business while the benefit to your charity partners is limited.
On the other hand, an effective CSR program – one that is implemented with strategy and aligned values and has the appropriate measures in place – will return many positive outcomes to the business, the community, and the charity partners who form part of the program.
Whether on a personal or corporate level, giving to charity can be one of the least informed decisions that we make. Being driven by emotion and the desire to do good is nothing to be sneezed at, however, going with your heart rather than your head isn’t necessarily sound business practice.
If you don’t consider the real cost or the real benefits, there’s a decent chance that the cost will be higher than it needs to be and the benefits significantly lessened.
That’s why it’s in everyone’s interests – the charity, community, business, and individuals – to get it right. All involved want the cost-benefit equation to be as compelling as possible.
A well-constructed program can start with the giving of money, grow through the opportunity for shared experiences, and build to one that focuses on reducing your environmental footprint.
Before long, you’ve consciously constructed and implemented a program that embraces shared value. In other words, a win-win.
The bottom line is the bottom line: the more your CSR initiatives contribute to increased profits, the more you’re able (and inclined) to do for your charity partners. Not to mention the more likely that your partnership will become a long-term one.
CSR may be an established and accepted aspect of doing business in 2022, but many companies still don’t recognise the full scope of its potential benefits.
Your CSR activities can lead to better brand recognition, a more positive business reputation, easier access to capital, greater ability to attract talent and retain staff, increased innovation, accelerated organisational growth, stronger customer loyalty, increased sales, operational cost savings, and better financial performance.
What business wouldn’t want to implement something that has the potential to reduce costs and increase sales? And what charitable organisation wouldn’t want to see their partners be more successful?
So, if you still see CSR as more of a marketing line item than a fundamental component of your company’s operations and identity, it’s well past time you thought again.
Let’s set aside the ‘perception’ benefits of CSR – the boost to your company’s public image – and focus only on how embedding CSR principles in everything you do can make a real difference to the way you do business.
Viewing the way your organisation operates through a CSR lens is likely to lead to innovation, because the chances are the way you’ve been doing things could be smarter and ‘tighter’ if you took the time to assess and rethink.
The clearest example is how CSR activities focusing on sustainability issues can lower costs by improving efficiencies. Whether this involves using less energy or water, creating less waste, sourcing materials locally, or something else, numerous businesses have streamlined processes after reviewing their operations from a CSR perspective.
You never know who might have a good idea about how to do things better but, for some employees, there’s little incentive to contribute to innovation or efficiency. Why would they make an effort to improve the bottom line of a business they have no stake in?
Add CSR into the mix, however, and everything changes. Employees perceive their leaders as more trustworthy and their employer as one that cares about them, as part of the community they serve. That’s an incredibly powerful boost to the positivity of your workplace.
Trust is vital as it informs value and goal alignment. Less organisational pushback lowers the cost of labour as workforce productivity is higher and projects have a higher success rate. This, in turn, promotes high-quality innovation that is produced more efficiently.
While all this can certainly contribute to greater productivity and increased profits, it will definitely make your business an employer of choice, meaning you are more likely to attract and retain talent.
That’s something your charity partners will also appreciate because they’ll also benefit from the ‘quality’ of the people who make up your workforce.
Aligned values are probably even more important to a not-for-profit than more funding.
Our CSR Audit has been designed to help you to create a mutually beneficial partnership through CSR. We help you create a CSR Program that acts as the profit centre of your business. Book an initial consultation today.
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