The term Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, has become the new buzzword and many organisations, both big and small, are exploring how they can give back to their communities in a meaningful way. Knowing where to start can often be the issue, and a number of organisations have discovered that the notion of CSR can mean different things to different individuals. So where should an organisation begin?
Creating a robust CSR strategy must be done in consultation with staff on the ground level by talking to them openly about what charitable areas they are passionate about. Some staff members may be very vocal and others may have never thought about it before. You can also think about researching local charities and asking them to come in to speak to staff about what they do. Any charity with a Partnerships Team would be more than happy to do so as they are always looking to engage with local businesses. By finding out what makes staff tick, you are well on the way to creating a more meaningful approach to giving back.
Most charities have volunteering opportunities, whether it be skilled or general, and are a fantastic way to engage staff into the organisation’s charitable work. It is often difficult to get a full understanding about a charities mission without visiting them and seeing its work in action. Volunteering programs give staff of all walks of life the opportunity to make a real and tangible difference in the lives of those less fortunate than themselves. In our experience, implementing a staff volunteering program is a fantastic first step to encouraging staff to do more in the community.
Not only does this make a direct impact to the chosen charity, it is also a great way to foster team spirit within an organisation. Dependent on size, some organisations choose to fundraise for two organisations, encouraging a little friendly competition to see which team can fundraise the most for their cause. There are many ways to fundraise and one of the most popular initiatives is entering into a charity fitness event and fundraising for the cause online. Organisations can do this by sharing the event to their social media and asking for support. You can find a list of fitness fundraising events below:
- Sustainable Purchasing
All businesses have a list of suppliers that they use for crucial supplies and resources but many of them have not stopped to think if they are the most sustainable. Evaluating who you are working with and why can be a great first step to improving a company’s CSR. It may be as simple as switching to recycled paper or sourcing food and beverage from a fair trade catering company.
- Be Accountable
Make philanthropy an integrated value of how your organisation is run and hold yourself accountable for the goals outline in your CSR strategy. Set regular meetings and ensure that the goals are on track. CSR is often an afterthought and in the day to day running of an organisation it can often be put on the back burner. By holding yourself accountable and providing key stakeholders and staff with regular updates and milestones, it is much more likely goals will be met. If you are working with a charity, ask them to send you case studies or updates on some of their programs or individuals your organisation has been involved with. Not only is this a great measurable, but it’s also a good way to increase staff engagement as they will know that their efforts are making a real impact.