As a business, you have a network of clients or customers and a team of employees—and they’re a powerful force. Bringing them together to contribute to an issue that is relevant to your industry, your community or your mission has countless benefits, internally and externally. To help you choose the right way to activate your Corporate Responsibility (CSR) program, we put together four steps to help you find a CSR program that is the right fit for your business.
Make a list of issues that are related to your business. If you are a company that makes reusable water bottles, think about river conservation or recycling. If you’re a tech company who wants to hire more women, support a local “women who code” organization. Aligning your company values and goals with your program will ensure that your employees feel connected to the cause and that there is a strong and relevant story for your HR, PR and marketing teams to share.
Meet with the marketing, PR, HR, accounting, and any other internal team that may need to weigh in on the decision or program as a whole. Gather their thoughts and ideas before beginning your selection process. You will want to maximize PR and marketing opportunities with the rollout and ongoing communication of your CSR efforts. Enrolling PR and Marketing teams early on gives them the chance to allot time and resources for campaign planning to announce and maintain the program internally and externally. You will also want to provide your HR team with key messaging about your CSR program that they can use to entice potential hires, and so they can update any onboarding or internal documents. The accounting department will want to know about charitable donations and costs of the program to include in their planning.
Before beginning research on the right cause, non-profit organization or event to support, create a vetting process to compare and contrast the pros and cons of each option. Consider the longevity of the program—is there an opportunity to scale your contribution as you grow? Think about the public perception attached to the cause or organization you’re considering and the ability to measure impact. Record notes on these considerations for each option you’re pursuing.
The location of your business is an important consideration in the selection process. You likely have a strong local client base and a team of employees who also call your city home. Choosing an organization or cause based in your community gives employees local volunteer opportunities and grows your reach and network by connecting your business to new contacts. If you don’t yet have a CSR model, or you’re considering updating yours, think about including WorkWithUs as part of your program. The WorkWithUs Foundation helps rebuild lives by providing sustainable employment and purposeful activity for marginalized populations. Learn more about our diversity hiring solution here.