We Help You Make Sense of
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is something of a buzz word. Companies need it. Charities want to benefit from it. Consumers want to believe in it (or they won’t buy your products). Investors want to measure it.
Big goals. Many stakeholders. Trends galore. Lots of potential for confusion, poorly designed programs, unsuccessful fundraising, and even brand damage.
Social responsibility is also a cornerstone to corporate AND community success. It is in the DNA of your brand, whether you realize it or not. Companies that have a conscience will outperform those that don’t. Charities that strengthen corporate relationships will outperform those that don’t. Consumers and investors demand performance … including social responsibility performance.
What does a ‘corporate conscience’ look like? It’s called Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. And how does CSR impact a company’s brand? For starters, consumers are more likely to buy from companies with a conscience, employees want to work for them, other companies and charities want to partner with them, and investors want to invest in them. So ask yourself this: “How does my company or organization harness the power of CSR?”
This is where we come in. We are CSR experts … practitioners with a long track record of creating, implementing, refining, measuring, auditing and reporting on CSR strategies and programs for companies, charities, service providers, government organizations, and more. For example, we can help you with:
Assessing the CSR market, trends and events
Employee engagement programs and participation
Evaluating CSR software options and measuring CSR program success
Developing fundraising strategies that include CSR
Creating ‘Signature Programs’ that encourage collaboration among all CSR stakeholders
and much more!
So remember: CSR work does not stop at the corporate door step. Corporate Social Responsibility activities impact many other stakeholders. That is why we work with leading nonprofits, CSR software vendors, corporate boards, trade associations and media organizations … all of whom share a common mission:
Working together to meet the needs of neighbors and communities, in partnership with the many stakeholders willing to pitch in and get the work done.
Got a CSR question? Then please drop us a note for a free consultation … because CSR matters!
Why Choose CSR Matters?
We’ve been at this for more than 25 years. We have been part of an industry that has grown from a series of scattered initiatives like United Way campaigns, community grants and cause marketing into the consolidated “conscience” of every company that wants to matter. This experience helps us see past the fads and create programs that will meet the needs of our communities, companies and employees alike.
Corporate Social Responsibility can be as dynamic and complex as the companies it serves. From program assessment to technology vendor evaluations, from employee engagement strategies to B-corp reporting and corporate governance, you need someone who understands and can manage all of the moving pieces.
Whether you’re revamping an existing program or starting from scratch, our approach is built around your corporate personality to deliver results for you and the communities you support.
We’ve seen Corporate Social Responsibility programs work wonders for their owners. If you’re ready to create your own CSR program (or improve what you’ve got), we can help.
Building a Solution that Meets YOUR Needs
CSR Programs to evaluate include:
• Annual workplace giving campaign
• Cause campaign • Matching gifts
• Corporate grants • Peer-to-peer giving
• Disaster relief • Signature program
• Dollars for doers • Special events
• Employee engagement • Volunteer and team grants
• In-kind giving • Volunteering
• Loyalty/rewards giving • Year-round giving
Are your CSR programs delivering the results that you envisioned … and that your CEO expects? If not, don’t worry – we can help. It’s what we do – we are CSR experts. And we understand the challenge of connecting the dots – or finding the gaps – between your Corporate Conscience and the measured outcomes that both improve the communities around you and deliver value to your brand.
From program assessments and planning to employee engagement strategies and sustainability initiatives, we’ve got a proven track record for breathing new life into underperforming, even dying, CSR programs. And our Program Evaluation service is a great place to start. With engagements as low as $3,000 for single program evaluation, we can size the work to meet your needs. Service activities and deliverables will be presented in our proprietary Program Evaluation Scorecard, and will include:
- Self-assessment questionnaire to baseline performance expectations
- Program audit to identify and measure outcomes against goals
- Leadership involvement assessment
- Benchmarking against peers
- Observations, conclusions and recommended next steps
CSR Strategic Assessments
From Corporate Conscience to Brand Impact
Every company has a conscience, but not every company knows how to turn that ‘corporate conscience’ into the programs with purpose that will produce the measurable results you need. That’s where we come in. It’s what we do. We are CSR experts. And CSR Strategic Assessments are a specialty of ours.
Ask yourself this: What is the purpose – the mission – behind your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility investment? Is it:
- Doing good for your community?
- To help talent recruitment and retention?
- Establishing a corporate culture that includes ethical and socially responsible behavior?
- To provide a competitive edge to the sales and marketing teams?
- Raising brand awareness among consumers?
- Some combination of these, or all of the above?
Today’s successful companies understand that their CSR investment impacts all of the above.
Our principals have more than 50 years of industry experience in every possible aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility. That is the sort of background required to lead your team through our proprietary 10-point CSR Strategic Assessment, from (a) company values to (b) goals and objectives to (c) the actionable programs you desire … all while incorporating the necessary services, technologies and reporting into your overall CSR strategy.
Creating Signature Programs
Defining Your CSR Brand for a New Generation
Yes, CSR really does matter – to customers, shareholders, your employees, the communities in which you work. People want to buy from, work for, and support companies with a conscience, companies that give back. Which is why you need to build a signature program of your own.
This is our speciality, what we do best. We’ll take your key stakeholders through a thorough evaluation to identify the needs and develop solutions that will help define your brand for a generation. We have experience with both domestic and international programs. We can put to work our relationships with key nonprofit players to help you refine your needs, establish new partnerships or strengthen existing ones. Services include:
- Key stakeholder interviews (including development of the interview if necessary)
- Develop business requirements from those stakeholder interviews
- Address cross-discipline impact throughout company (e.g. Marketing, Corporate Communications, HR, etc.)
- Present innovative options
- Evaluate options and develop phased approach to implementation
- Define targets for evaluation post-implementation, feed-back loops, and tactical adjustments
Because Talent Matters
Every great company focuses on their talent. You cannot build a successful business without high quality employees whom you trust. And let’s be honest – recruiting the talent you need is one challenge, retaining your talent is another.
Employee engagement is critical to your success. And CSR programs can make difference. CSR – practiced well – not only improves the appeal of your brand in the eyes of potential employees, but it helps to establish the bond between employee and employer that can increase worker satisfaction and retention. And what company doesn’t want its employees to be a proud advocate for its brand?
CSR Matters can help with your employee engagement strategies. We often work closely with HR / recruitment / talent leadership to develop the sorts of community-based programs that demonstrate your commitment to the communities and environments in which you work. Show your employees that you care about them not just when they are at work, but about the very communities in which they live. Remember – they spend more time in those communities and neighborhoods than they do at work.
Our employee engagement “engagements” typically include:
- Surveying stakeholders to assess needs and opportunities
- Creating volunteer programs, including budgets for match-grants
- Addressing international needs independently of those in the U.S.
- Working with HR to measure the impact of programs on employee morale and retention
Research & Reporting
Expert Analysis on CSR Data, Trends and Impact
Every CSR department needs some analytical help from time to time. Whether you want to understand your own programs better, compare yourself to your peers, or dig into a new CSR market, geography or problem, solutions start with data gathering and analysis. Understanding and review of peer data, analysis of CSR program performance, stakeholder surveys, original investigation. We’ve performed this work for a wide variety of brands over the years.
Our work, however, doesn’t stop there. Telling the story is as important as analyzing the data.
CSR Matters can help you design and create reports meeting a variety of needs:
- Program Evaluations for C-suite review
- CSR Reports for public consumption
- B-corp Reporting for compliance and corporate governance
Interested? We’ll need to conduct some scoping and can get you a proposal in as little as 48 hours.
Our Recent Posts
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CSR SaaS just took another big leap forward as an industry. I hope you took note, because a lot is happening within CSR that is going to impact all of us for the next ten years. The industry continues to grow up. And the story keeps getting better. CSR SaaS has been a niche industry for a long time. Maturity has [...]
Two weeks ago, Gillette launched a new advertising campaign and in the process made its brand the centerpiece of controversy. Maybe that was the intended consequence - to generate conversation about a brand that has been struggling to regain lost marketshare. But if that is the goal, does Gillette really want to create controversy from current CSR trends? Shouldn't social responsibility [...]
Soon blogs across all industries will be awash with predictions of trends for 2019. As I reflected on one year coming to a close and prepare for the new, I decided not to predict a trend. Predictions for a new year, after all, are totally dependent on market forces to sort out over the next 12 months. Instead, I want to [...]
If I told you that workplace giving is stuck in winter with no spring in sight, would you agree or disagree? Do you sometimes wonder what is going on in our industry? Are we reaching more donors, more volunteers? Is workplace giving dead or alive? Adding to the uncertainty, there has been a fair amount of negative press about workplace giving [...]
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We’ve come a long way with our CSR program, thanks to CSR Matters. – John Smith, ACME Inc.
Ready to create a Corporate Social Responsibility that pays real dividends – to your support communities and your own business? Contact us today.