When There’s No Price On Performance: Your CSR Investment

It’s no longer enough to simply do business as usual. Employees and consumers check out more than your product line when deciding whether to work for you or buy your goods. They also want to know your level of social commitment otherwise known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):

  • High-quality job candidates look for workplaces that reflect their own values, including those employers who place great value on serving their community.
  • Consumers value a company’s contributions as much as their products: nearly nine out of ten check the company’s philanthropy and community work before buying.
  • More than half of consumers polled worldwide willingly pay more for products made by socially responsible companies.

Your company’s financial health depends on your company’s social impact. The local and online community researchers, notes and posts your community involvement in social media. A lack of social responsibility can even result in a hashtag backlash or consumer boycott. Engaging employees and socially responsible giving is not a feel-good, do-right, one-time event. It’s not an expense that should be treated casually. It’s an investment in your company’s long-term future.

Here’s why CSR matters:

Engaged employees remain with the company. Employees are 20% more likely to remain with their- how you impact the communities you sell to company and 50% more likely to take a leadership role when they have a social stake in what the company does.

Engaged employees feel empowered. Over 60% of employees feel better about where they work when they have a stake and a voice in what the company does.

Engaged employees are free advertising. Workers with societal leverage are twice as likely to advocate for their company to potential consumers and applicants. This creates the best and most cost-effective advertising possible.

Engaged consumers want to see the money trail: People love your products, but they want to see you do more than just sell stuff. They want to know where you invest your profits and how you impact the communities you sell into. You want to build trust and repeat customers. Philanthropic investment satisfies both the consumers’ interests and the company’s needs.

How do you engage employees, consumers, and the corporate structure together in CSR?

Get employees involved and create corporate ambassadors: Encourage employees to raise money themselves, adding external donors. Encourage employees to donate time or skills in place of cash. Set up employee run giving circles and give these groups opportunity to engage fellow workers in the fundraising effort.

Get consumers involved: Offer coupons that the company matches with a donation to a nonprofit. Brand a product line with an event, which reminds consumers that buying these items benefits those affected by the event. The Dawn Saves Wildlife and Tide Loads of Hope programs are two examples of product branding that are decades old and still effective. And while digital coupons are pushing paper aside, there’s no getting away from consumers’ love of coupons to save money. Nine out of ten millennials use coupons, and consumers redeemed nearly $4 billion from coupons in 2014.

Get corporate involved: Set up matching funds for those raised by employees. Reward employees with small gifts and meals to thank them as they meet their fundraising goals. Fundraising is not a one-time, here-we-go-again-with-the-meetings-and-donation-cards adventure to avoid. Brand the company with a cause. Add it to the website, stationery, product packaging and any digital information seen by employees or consumers.

Get Creative.  Technology now allows companies of any size to maximize their CSR leverage, expand their giving footprint and “play bigger” without increasing costs or the amount of time required to administer the program. How is CSR “maximized”? By bringing employees and corporate together, providing flexible employee centric programs, including crowdfunding and payroll deduction, while Giving companies full administrative support, account management and detailed reporting capability.

Corporate philanthropy is popular and important. Givinga makes it possible for companies of any size to maximize their CSR impact.

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