With corporate social responsibility (CSR) now a mandate in some countries, and currently under discussion in the United States, many international companies have active CSR programs and initiatives.
Why do some still lag behind? Typical reasons include lack of resources, time, budget, or staff to organize CSR projects. In some cases, the concept itself is just too new!
If your organization is thinking of creating a CSR program or boosting an existing one, workplace giving is a great place to start. We’ve collected five great CSR benefits to take to your boss to help persuade “the powers that be” to invest in employee giving.
1. Consumers want to do business with companies that care.
According to Fast Company’s 2015 list of the most innovative companies, eyewear retailer Warby Parker beat out tech giants like Apple, Google, and Instagram to take the top spot. So how did a company that’s only 5 years old, beat out their veteran counterparts? The answer is simple. They care and it shows. Warby Parker’s CEO Neil Blumenthal says “I think it’s hard to collaborate with others if you’re not empathetic.” They demonstrate this compassion everyday with their “Buy one Give one” campaign where for every pair of glasses they sell, they donate one to a developing country. They also send associates to these countries to teach local people how to give eye exams. Warby Parker pulls ahead by creating a socially responsible culture that makes it easy for employees and customers to give back to the local and global community.
2. Employees want to work for philanthropic companies.
Over a century ago William Boetcker, a founding member of the Citizens Industrial Association and a known advocate for peaceful labor negotiations said, “You can employ men and hire hands to work for you, but you must win their hearts to have them work with you.” That sentiment remains true today, as proven in a recent Net Impact workplace survey. The study, “What Workers Want”, revealed that 72% of students and 53% of the current workforce polled felt that having a job where they can make an impact was essential to their happiness. Working for a company that allows the opportunity to give back to the community is a major draw to future and current employees. Many organizations successfully recruiting sought after millennials are leveraging their CSR efforts to build a framework of future leaders.
3. Workplace giving is now more flexible than ever.
In the past, workplace giving programs struggled with the perception that giving to your company’s campaign meant you would have no control over where your individual donation went. This myth is partially true, as some donation software platforms only allow donors to contribute to one charity. Now, innovative platforms like FrontStream Workplace Philanthropy provide customizable options so employees themselves can create and track their own giving campaigns.
4. Workplace giving can drive innovation and global collaboration for even the smallest businesses.
Every business owner is looking for ways to grow and innovate! When your employees lead charitable drives to collect back-to-schools supplies for children in need, or gather donations to help countries affected by natural disasters, they are helping to connect your company to local and global communities. If your corporate giving and volunteer programs are aligned with your company’s goals, your CSR programs can further your relationships at home and abroad.
5. Engaging in social responsibility creates effective leaders.
In an article in Forbes, talent management expert Josh Bersin says, “Long term business performance comes from leadership culture and careful and continuous development of leadership at all levels.” Corporations often opt for university-based executive education programs to help train their future leaders. Research conducted by CDC Development Solutions shows that International Corporate Volunteerism programs (ICV), like the ones being run by Pepsi and Microsoft, are actually more effective than university-rooted courses. In fact, 94% of companies surveyed were very happy with their programs. The top-rated benefit reported was the program’s ability to build employee and leadership skills. Establishing ICV programs as part of workplace giving allows employees to use their skills to teach others, saves money, gives back to the community, and creates constructive leaders inside your organization.
There’s no time like the present for your company to implement or improve a workplace giving program. Use this list of corporate philanthropy’s proven benefits to turn those CSR excuses into execution and engagement!