Now 2022 is finally among us, many Australian businesses are adding Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives (CSR) to their list of corporate to-dos in order to give back after a tumultuous few pandemic-plagued years.
While CSR initiatives and strategies can look great for a business on paper, these good intentions are only just that if they aren’t put into action.
Here are a few ways those looking to turn their CSR dreams into reality can do so successfully in 2022.
1. Pick an initiative that makes sense for your brand
While it can seem like a quick and easy fix to just blindly pick a CSR initiative, NFP or charity to put your support behind and just tick it off your list, it pays to actually do your research and make sure it makes sense for your business and brand to support it.
It’s crucial to take your time and cast your net wide when searching in order to identify a cause that perfectly aligns with your business’ mission and vision.
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2. Be goal driven
There’s no point thinking about CSR without putting specific and time-restrictive goals in place.
Not only does it allow you and your team to have a solid plan, but it helps you factor these initiatives into your overall business roadmap.
While setting these goals, try not to just dress up CSR as a business discipline and demand that every initiative deliver business results. That is asking too much of CSR and can distract you from its main goal: to align a company’s social and environmental activities with its business purpose and values.
While creating your CSR goals, it’s also an opportunity to consult with employees and community members. It helps to rally their participation after implementation.
3. Create an actionable plan
Once you have your goals decided upon, it’s time to create an actionable plan.
Most CSR plans will look different depending on the initiative, goals and business objectives, however, the standard plan often includes specific focus areas, program design, promotion and communication approaches, and an evaluation.
Don’t be shy to broadcast your achievements in a tasteful way. Your CSR is a secondary marketing opportunity you should be proud of, and talking about it will often attract positive feedback.
It’s also important to budget wisely when organising a CSR plan and guarantee it is accounted for in your overall business budgets at the beginning of each year or quarter. Most CSR initiatives aren’t free and many can often come with a hefty price tag, so it’s a good idea to ensure a significant budget that won’t harm your overall bottom line is put aside ahead of time.
4. Get excited
Not only can CSR efforts help to support the environment and community, but it also allows your company to feel great and get excited about the amazing work you are doing.
Plus an added benefit of participating in CSR initiatives is that in most cases it will help your business attract more loyal customers, investors, supporters and employees.
In fact, evidence shows that more than ever consumers want to believe that businesses big and small care about doing right by society and they are willing to lend support to the ones that do.
All in all, it’s about embracing collective collaboration.