Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is quickly becoming a term that cannot be left out of the conversation when planning a company’s future. And that goes for all companies, no matter what the size.
CSR is not just for ‘corporations.’
Employees, customers and investors are making choices that give preference to businesses that have a positive impact on the communities they live, work and do business in. And that will impact your bottom line.
Here are five very basic reasons your business will profit by considering your social responsibility:
1. PR: Simply put, genuine CSR efforts make your company look good. If shared appropriately through traditional and new media channels, CSR becomes an opportunity to shape positive public opinion about your business. It certainly is easier to navigate a PR crisis (everyone has them at some point) when you are already perceived as a company that has a positive impact in the communities you do business in than starting from a neutral or negative position.
2. HR: People like to work in environments that make them feel like they are part of something good. This is especially true for the youngest generation entering the workforce. Millennials don’t see social responsibility as an option. They expect it from their employers, and the more talented the individual, the more likely they will not join or stay with a company that isn’t actively giving back. Talent from all generations feel better about whom they work for if they see their employer giving back. Especially when the employer organizes employee involvement. The positive effects of giving is much greater on the giver if they are handing a hungry person a plate of food rather than simply writing a check or being told their employer wrote a check.
3. Marketing: CSR can be an opportunity to co-promote both a nonprofit and a for-profit business, with both benefiting. Through cause marketing you can tell impactful stories which are much more likely to inspire sharing than traditional advertising, and it can create vocal brand ambassadors who champion both your business and the cause you are aligned with. Win, win.
4. Sales: Your employees and your current customers are more likely to promote your products and services to their networks if they feel good about the ‘good’ you’re doing in the community. Word of mouth has always been important to sales and never has it been easier for people to share with their friends and colleagues than now. It can be as easy as a ‘share on Facebook’ or ‘click to tweet’ buttons. But first you have to inspire them to do that.
5. IR: More and more investors are requesting to see a company’s CSR report. Why? Note all the above. Investors care about a company’s future. They want assurance that a company is well placed to grow, and that means: retaining top talent, managing public sentiment, inspiring strong brand ambassadors, and exploring new methods to foster sales growth.
Need more convincing? Read 19 Compelling Business Reasons for Corporate Community Involvement by Bea Boccalandro.
If your company hasn’t formalized CSR initiatives, hasn’t figured out how to justify the time spent, or you need help determining what to measure, come join us in Anaheim, California, May 1st and 2nd. We’re bringing together top thought-leaders like Dev Panaik, Carol Cone, Susan McPherson, Chris Jarvis, Neil Bush and many more speakers to help all of us understand better the positive impact CSR can have on our bottom line.