Philanthropy and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are more than just buzzwords nowadays. They are now a vital part of the business world. As the world works together to promote sustainability and making an impact in the community, companies are realizing that CSR makes an impact on the bottom line. Consumers are looking for businesses who support a cause or make an impact with a cause that is important and relevant to them.
You don’t have to a be a celebrity, professional athlete, or rich billionaire to give back. Social responsibility is not just encouraged, it is expected. If you are looking at how to get your business involved in social projects and stand out to your potential consumers, here are some tips.
Tip #1: Start Local
The easiest way to narrow down what matters to your consumers is to search for local needs or concerns in your community that your company could help with. Educate your employees on these issues and offer resources where they can help. Employee engagement is an important step in getting authentic results and making an impact for your company. Your employees can serve one weekend a month at a local soup kitchen, or rebuild homes destroyed by flooding or natural disasters. They could organize a food or toy drive in the office for a nearby shelter.
Maybe your community is working to become more environmentally friendly. Make a donation to a local project that makes an impact in that area. Or support a nonprofit that is making a real impact in the community through a partnership. Helping your neighbors is a great way to build goodwill around your brand.
Tip #2: Authenticity is Key
Stay in your wheelhouse to make maximum impact. If you are a marketing firm, reach out to nonprofits in your community and volunteer your marketing services to help them raise awareness. If you are a technology company, donate some of your products to an organization or host a workshop to teach local community organizations how to use technology to make an impact. If you are a restaurant, donate your extra food to a soup kitchen every night, or make a regular delivery to a food pantry. Host a nonprofit for a fundraiser with a percentage of funds raised going back to the organization. Find the intersection point between your company and a community need, and fill that void.
Another part of authenticity is incorporating giving back into your company’s brand. Ensure your employees understand that this cause is a part of your company’s mission, and that part of their responsibilities at the office include giving back. The less forced your community involvement is, the more impactful it will be. People can tell if you are giving back just for the public relations boost and it can negatively impact the opportunities you have.
Tip #3: Stay Involved
Giving back shouldn’t be a one-time event. Creating sustainable partnerships in your community is a great way to maintain a consumer base who is encouraged by the work you are doing. Studies show that consumers, especially younger consumers, are more likely to stay brand loyal if you are making an impact for a cause that resonates.
Partnerships are the best way to achieve this goal. Whether it’s a monetary partnership or a partnership that encourages employees to volunteer their time, it can make a big impact and do great work in the community.
No matter how big your organization or how big your bank account, you can make a real impact in your community. What skills can you donate? What causes do you care about? Find the intersection and start making an impact today!