Corporate Social Responsibility | Top Strategies Corporations are Using Today
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Corporate Social Responsibility | Top Strategies Corporations are Using Today

Many of today’s top companies are looking to maximize their value beyond pure product offerings, investing their efforts into additional social and economic returns not only to their shareholders, but also employees, customers, and surrounding communities.

As a local business, the impact of your contributions has the potential to be seen and felt within your own community. Having a well-implemented corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy can also improve your company’s reputation and connection to its local roots.

So, choose a cause near and dear to your heart, and let’s get started.

CSR Activation Tips

Find alignment – CSR actions should be in-line with an organization’s overall business, its mission, and its objectives. This makes the partnership more credible, believable, and impactful. It also means the company will have to spend less time and effort trying to convince people of its investment in the cause, saving both time and money.

Milk Jar

When Milk Jar was born in founder Holly Singer’s kitchen in November, 2016, it answered two of her desires: to bring clean-burning, beautifully smelling candles to the local market, and to be a vehicle for giving back. Years prior, while studying Kinesiology in University, Holly developed a close friendship with a boy with Cerebral Palsy and his mother. Forever struck by the resilience of people with disabilities and the barriers they face, it was Holly’s goal to raise $500 in Milk Jar’s first year for programs that support learning and growth. Little did she know, Milk Jar would grow to make a far, far greater impact than she ever could have imagined.

Pictured on the left is Milk Jar founder, Holly Singer.

Partner up – do your research and where it makes sense, partner up. There may already be a plethora of institutions already specializing in an undertaking similar to yours. The difference? They may very well have more expertise and money to put behind it. When possible and it makes sense, look to align your name and latter up your efforts with theirs. This can be just as, if not more, powerful than going on your own.

Communicate it – the community can’t know all the great things you’re doing if you don’t tell them about it. Maximizing the benefits of a well-constructed CSR strategy requires having solid communication touchpoints in place. Utilize all your channels, from your website to newsletters, socials, and everything in between, to push your message. Ensuring all your communications are up and running also empowers and informs your employees, allowing them to act as branches of your efforts and CSR advocates.

Picture above – Milk Jar employees

Engage employees – when looking to align your organization with a cause or impact, look to tap into your employees’ passions. Is there something particular your employees are passionate about? If it does not make sense to position the company in alignment with those specific causes, consider something like paid time off for volunteering or even matching raised funds over a specified period of time. Having efforts like these will also improve both qualified recruitment and retention.

Stay accountable – be sure to set realistic goals or objectives. Making promises, and then failing to realize those, will dilute the perceptions of your impact.

CSR can come to life in a multitude of ways, meaning there is no specific formulaic answer when it comes to activating these types of goodwill efforts. Common examples include environmental preservation or reducing carbon emissions, ethical labour practices, or philanthropy.

When approaching your CSR strategy remember that what works for another organization might not work for you. By choosing the right fit for your business and following some of the best practices above, you’re well on your way towards launching a successful — and impactful — strategy.