Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly becoming a central strategy in the way that businesses operate and a key marker of high-value, reputable and powerful brands in the modern marketplace.
Research shows that although CSR is complex and organisations all approach it in their own ways, those firms that do commit to corporate philanthropy and which act as drivers of positive social change are rewarded with loyal customers and a strong brand.
The performance link between strong leadership and a high-performing organisation is proven, and CSR is a powerful means for businesses to strengthen their bottom line whilst positively benefiting society, challenging some of the problems in the world, attracting and retaining excellent talent, attracting and retaining customers too and building a highly engaged board of directors. The returns flow in across the board when an organisation invests in supporting the communities that it serves and the wider environment and empowers its staff to do the same.
The fact is that individuals are keen to work for companies that want to make the world a better place, and this is particularly the case amongst idealistic Millennials and the earlier Generation Z, who are showing a keen preference for social-led business. Equally, discerning customers with the ability to switch their brand allegiance at the touch of a button are choosing to seek out businesses which share their own values, and a strong CSR platform gives organisations a powerful way to demonstrate that they are about more than purely profits.
Look at Pepsi Cola as an example. (http://www.pepsico.com/) The company has its own Performance with Purpose programme, and it is already leading the field in CSR. The company seeks to invest in ethical investments, to encourage internal innovation, to support employee volunteering and to ensure that a percentage of profits are returned to good causes. Is this entirely altruistic? No, as research shows that those companies that give back to society actually outperform those that do not. Those firms which returned 10% to society since 2010 saw their revenues grow by 11% compared to an average of 3% for those businesses without clear CSR policies (CECP Giving in Numbers report.) (http://cecp.co/)
Another leading company with sustainability at the heart of its operation is Walmart, which has its own foundation. The business seeks to ensure that it serves society in a variety of ways, and it works to support community initiatives and to lead strategic change to ensure that the world can access affordable, healthy and sustainable food in a working system at a global level. (https://www.walmart.com/)
Companies are no longer simply giving money to charity and allowing employees to volunteer. They are investing with ethical funds, creating CSR strategies that reshape the business entirely, funding their own foundations, reshaping the measures which define their success and entirely reshaping the way that they see their business and its role in the world. More companies are now reporting on their CSR strategies as a core part of their business, helping leaders to make good decisions and to help consumers to decide where their hard-earned money gets spent.
The facts are clear, and the trajectory of direction suggests that CSR this year will be more powerful than ever.
If you want to take the first steps to a robust CSR strategy, harness your charitable giving and employee engagement through the Fundraising Hub provided by Give as you Live. This is a free bespoke platform which promotes the company’s charity partnership and engages employees by providing further information about the partnership, the work done by the charity and allows them to get involved in a variety of ways – direct donations, fundraising pages and raising free funds when the shop in store or online.
For more information on the Fundraising Hub please contact Ashleigh Green 01386 764927 or firstname.lastname@example.org