Many businesses are finding that adopting a cause that fits their values and mission can be beneficial to the company and the individuals and organizations they support. Some have taken it a step further, building their business model around supporting a cause. For instance, some companies have adopted a “buy one donate one” approach, where the purchase of a product also secures the donation of the same product to a person in need. If your company is looking to get started in philanthropy, the myriad of causes may be overwhelming, as is the question of how to construct a CSR plan. However, all it takes is some planning and leadership to start on the path to giving back.
Consider Business Size.
Some of the best CSR plans are those that involve a business working closely with a charity or philanthropic organization and establishing a culture of mutual support. For a smaller business, it may be hard to build a close relationship with a larger charity. In these cases, it’s often smart to partner with a local organization or support a lesser-known cause that relates to a business’s values. Making CSR accessible is a way for everybody to feel excited and involved with the projects you’re planning.
Choose a Worthwhile Organization.
Even among a singular cause, charities and organizations may be varied in how they carry out their missions. Some sites, such as Charity Navigator and Charity Watch, provide information to determine how a CSR project can do the most good. Be on the lookout for organizations that just raise awareness instead of making a tangible impact or those with low accountability and/or transparency. Being an informed donor can save an organization from a poor investment later.
While cash donations are a visible and quantifiable way of showing support for a charity or cause, it may not necessarily be the best way to give back. Do your research on the organization that you’re partnering with—some organizations may be more receptive to the donation of much-needed items. Shelters may require clothing, or children’s organizations may want toys. For others, sponsoring an event to help raise money and support amongst the community is a great way to build awareness while letting a company contribute.
Talk to Your Team.
Your employees will be some of the biggest contributors to your CSR plan. Between helping to set up events, spearheading donation efforts, and running social media initiatives, many will look to take ownership of your company’s charitable outreach. In addition, some may have organizations that they already work with. Get a sense of where their passions lie, as well as which causes they think would be the most worthwhile to support. Once a CSR plan is established, follow through and involve them in every other step of the process.