Posted on July 8, 2022
77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies committed to making the world a better place. In comparison, 73% of investors state that efforts to improve the environment and society contribute to their investment decisions.
Corporate social responsibility is no longer something “nice” that some companies do. Instead, CSR is what separates good companies from great ones. Companies that survive for generations to come are the ones that value CSR impact, internally and externally.
Corporate social responsibility isn’t something that can be done impulsively. Similar to other business ventures, CSR requires much strategic planning to make an impact in your company. Read on to learn more about how companies measure CSR efforts and what a CSR strategic plan is.
What are the Benefits of CSR
Corporate social responsibility is more than helping the causes outlined in your CSR strategy. The following list describes some of the many benefits of CSR:
- Increases employee engagement
- Improves bottom-line financials
- Supports local and global communities
- Increases investment opportunities
- Presents press opportunities
- Increases customer retention and loyalty
- Improves employer branding
- Improves DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusivity)
How to Create a CSR Strategy
The first step to creating a CSR strategy is to familiarize yourself with the four areas of CSR:
- Philanthropic responsibility
- Environmental responsibility
- Ethical responsibility
- Economic responsibility
Your chosen areas of CSR should integrate into your business growth plan. Discuss with stakeholders, leadership, employees, consumers, professional organizations or unions, local communities, or environmental groups to ensure this is the best CSR effort for your organization.
After getting approval from key stakeholders, it's time to set project goals. These goals are KPIs that reflect CSR impact. For more information on what these KPIs might look like, read our article on how to measure CSR impact.
If you have any current CSR initiatives, you should analyze their impact before starting a new initiative. Ensure they are achieving the goals you set for them, providing satisfactory outcomes for stakeholders, and are sustainable long term. If your current initiatives are beneficial, incorporate them into a comprehensive CSR policy.
Now, you can finally start running a current CSR analysis and putting together what your final CSR initiatives will look like.
Research social and environmental initiatives you think will be a good fit for your company’s vision and those that align with employees’ values. Don’t be afraid to investigate the CSR initiatives of other businesses in your industry and see if you can learn anything from them. Who knows–maybe you could collaborate on a CSR effort in the future?
Note any technology that you might need to support your CSR efforts. This includes updating technology to empower your employees to do their best work.
Launching Your CSR Campaign
With all that planning out of the way- it's finally time to launch your CSR campaign!
Before you launch your new CSR effort, share your initiative internally, such as with employees, shareholders, and investors. You can’t expect the general public to believe in your goals until your internal publics are on board.
After that, feel free to share your campaign with external stakeholders, partners, local communities, the press, customers, and followers. Work with a public relations team to ensure a clear communication plan when sharing your CSR effort.
After launch, the only thing left is monitoring your KPIs to ensure CSR impact. CSR is a continual, growing effort- don’t be afraid to call a meeting with stakeholders to discuss changes to the original plan.
How to Create CSR Impact
We all strive for our corporate social responsibility policies to create change, but there is much planning and strategizing required to assure maximum CSR impact. CSR programs aren’t short-term efforts you engage in on a whim - they require research, planning, and many conversations- just like any other business venture. Looking at CSR through the same lens as any strategic business initiative, you’re more likely to apply the controls and measures necessary to encourage success.
Need help on how to create your CSR strategy? Are you thinking about helping communities improve the health and wellness of children and families? Schedule a consultation with a representative at Impact Parks today to get your campaign started.