Corporate Social Responsibility, otherwise referred to as CSR, should be an important part of any company's ethos. The economic downturn in the last few years has seen many businesses' CSR efforts reduced but now it is vital that every company plays its part.
Corporate Social Responsibility broadly refers to a strategy where a company strives to improve the wellbeing of the wider community by carrying out charitable deeds and behaving in a fashion that supports the business's values and ideals. In short, it is a practical demonstration of the company's conscience.
An effective CSR policy will have benefits for many sectors of society. Any fundraising you take part in will obviously directly benefit your chosen charity. You might choose a national or global foundation whose aims are in line with your own company's vision. Alternatively, it might be very important to you and your staff to support a local charitable initiative, perhaps one that you have had dealings with or that is particularly close to your heart. Your staff will feel that they are achieving something worthwhile, whilst your company will benefit from improved links within the neighbourhood. CSR initiatives can also raise your company's profile and spread your business message, especially if your staff wear the company workwear whilst interacting with the wider community.
There are plenty of fundraising ideas that you and your staff can get involved in, from organising a charity football match to hosting a gala event. Your staff might be up for a physical challenge, such as competing in a triathlon or climbing a mountain. Working in teams to reach a goal such as this can not only raise money but also give an amazing sense of achievement. Boost morale by creating special branded workwear for the team members – or sell extra garments to raise additional funds. If sponsored sporting challenges aren't your thing, there are plenty of other ways that you can help out. One of the most valuable things you can donate to a charity is your time – perhaps you and your staff could volunteer in a soup kitchen or spend some time visiting patients at the local hospital. Think about what skills and services your employees can offer a charity. You might have the expertise to design and create a new poster campaign or be able to plant a garden at an old peoples' home.
Putting an effective CSR strategy in place can not only benefit your business, but will have a positive impact on the wider community.