Corporate Social Responsibility

How corporate citizenship increases profit

Run your business generously and responsibly to accelerate growth

Recent years have dramatically reshaped how companies approach corporate social responsibility (CSR). These days, companies prioritize purpose by championing issues close to their employees’ and customers’ hearts. Corporate values are now front and center and act as the foundation of most customer acquisition, employee engagement, and cause marketing strategies.

Corporate purpose has become a powerful tool for delivering value to consumers and stakeholders alike. Unsurprising, given the statistics on how consumer attitudes towards the role of the private sector have changed:

  • 91% of consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit, but also operate responsibly and address social and environmental issues
  • 74% of customers said they’d be more likely to tell others to buy from a brand if it demonstrates social responsibility
  • 25% of consumers cite a “zero tolerance” policy toward companies that embrace questionable practices on the ethical front

Consumers now want to do business with brands that take social responsibility seriously. CEOs increasingly see corporate purpose as a key to competitive differentiation. Business leaders have responded by shifting their strategies to be more inclusive, action-oriented, and collaborative. According to the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, 86% of CSR teams have already integrated or will integrate their human resources and marketing departments.

Operating with corporate purpose is great for shareholders, too. A landmark study of 200 top brands during COVID-19 showed that companies with the highest purpose scores most often moved into the top quartile of total shareholder return performance. The study indicates that shareholders expect high-purpose companies to maintain strong connections with customers so they can quickly recover their financial performance.

In the past, companies were hesitant to embrace cause-based marketing due to fear of being seen as inauthentic. Recent market conditions are nudging them to take the plunge. However, there is a new approach to social responsibility that companies must get right to reap the mutual benefits of corporate citizenship.

The new model

In the past, corporate social impact programs revolved around making philanthropic commitments to the nonprofit causes that senior management and strategic partners identified as priorities. Today, companies are approaching social responsibility from a different angle —  they are donating to nonprofit organizations through their customers, employees, and various stakeholders.

New social responsibility practices are more inclusive and authentic than those in the past. They create emotional connections with consumers, which is the most effective way to maximize customer value and increase customer loyalty. They also increase employees’ passion and motivation for work, resulting in higher productivity and profitability.

The new model in action

🎉  Impact rewards

An effective corporate social responsibility program involves individuals from every department in the company. Empower department leaders with the ability to recognize and reward top performers in meaningful ways. Charitable eCards are an engaging way to celebrate professional accomplishments and milestones.

Set an impact budget and make weekly or monthly donations in honor of your star employees. Employees will be proud to work for a company that makes a difference, especially knowing that their job performance contributed to the greater good.

🚀  Democratized campaigns

Whether your company has a long-standing social responsibility plan or you are in the early stages of developing one, the program must reflect and align with the values of all stakeholders. One way to accomplish this objective is to create a democratized social impact campaign.

Use a tool like GiveCards to send employees, customers, investors, and board members dollars to donate to a cause that matters to them personally. Allowing stakeholders to direct your company’s charitable dollars is the freshest approach to corporate philanthropy and will strengthen your most important relationships.

Today, corporate responsibility, philanthropy, and citizenship offer unprecedented opportunities to create a better company culture, loyal customers, and devoted employees. Defining a social purpose for your company and developing initiatives that make a difference in the world will delight your stakeholders, helping to accelerate growth.