There was a time when a firm’s reputation was based on high performance & high profitability. Today, in this Global arena with a vast communication network, as consumers’ awareness about global social issues continues to grow, so does the importance that customers place on which firms are supporting social causes, when choosing where to shop. Corporate firms that implement a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme enjoy a higher turnover as a consequence.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to a business practice that involves participating in initiatives that benefit society. It can include Environmental issues, doing Social Good and addressing Governance issues.
Corporate philanthropy needs to be integrated into a company’s mission and culture. Why? Because it can(1) Increase the firm’s turnover and profits (2) Enhance the long term prospects of sustainability for the firm (3) Enhance the firm’s reputation and (4) benefit society in general and the local community in particular.
The CSR PROGRAMME – It can be implemented by (1) The firm itself or (2) the firm’s charitable subsidiary arm or (3) collaboration with a reputable NGO. Allocate internal corporate resources to CSR investments that feature clear objectives and deliver measurable social outcomes. It can involve the provision of money or time or skills and led from the top, engaging employees & tied to actual impact. Aim for a realistic Programme that serves the need of the community and collaborate with other partners. Present a business case and then monitor & evaluate the progress. Make it easy for people to engage.
The firm can gauge the CSR benefit achieved by its efforts by assessing (1) the total output of resources in terms of manpower, funds and skills and (2) the achievement – by carrying out a social impact assessment. This will be based on a Return on Investment (ROI) basis by considering the total output of investment of time, money or skills that has achieved the measurable social outcome in the community. This is the HACOT CSR Index.
Research points to a majority of stakeholders agreeing that CSR is a ‘must do’. According to Edelman’s 2010 Goodpurpose Study, 67% of consumers say they are more likely to buy products and services from a company if they know it supports good causes, up more than 11% from the year before.
CSR is good for
(2) REPUTATION and
(3) SUSTAINABILITY of Corporations and
(4) A CARING CULTURE among employees improves productivity and positive energy – a WIN/WIN scenario! – all this while simultaneously benefiting society in general and the local community in particular.