In-School Fundraising and Volunteering in Education CSR Programs
Looking for new ways to initiate corporate social responsibility (CSR) in education programs? Here are some data and tips to help you position your CSR program in ways that resonate with today’s preK–12 educators.
Your organization, like many others in the for-profit and nonprofit world, wants to do good through corporate social responsibility in education. Schools want to do good too. There’s a connection there that is far reaching, and here’s why.
Educators are working to foster more than just knowledge in reading, math, and science. Increasingly, they’re encouraging their students to recognize need in their community and using that as a teaching tool for topics ranging from social entrepreneurship and budgeting to sustainability and communication. Corporate social responsibility programs in education can also aid in social-emotional learning. Students can curate their skills in team building, problem solving, and 21st-century learning skills like critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, not to mention the development of empathy and caring for others.
When it comes to students raising money and volunteering for a charity, educators are totally on board. In a recent survey from MDR, on a scale from 1 to 10, K–12 educators rated the idea of students raising money for a cause an 8, and they gave volunteering time for a charity a 9.
Educators are leading the way in this area, so marketing your corporate social responsibility programs to this group is key. And it doesn’t take educators long to decide which causes to pursue — 45% of them take less than a week.
MDR’s survey also noted that 94% of respondents said their school supports at least one or two causes a year. So chances are good, if you get in front of educators at the right time, that your cause could get the attention it needs.
To help ensure your corporate social responsibility program is meeting the needs of educators, and thus making it more appealing for them to choose your cause for their students to support, consider the following:
- Keep your program simple and easy to execute. With so much on their plates, educators are looking for ways to easily incorporate a cause, with clearly defined activities and goals. Requiring many steps or complicated processes such as registration or donation collection can turn educators away from your CSR program very quickly.
- Develop your program with flexibility in mind. Every school is different, even within the same district. Factors such as school size, location, and cultural influences all impact an educator’s thinking when considering which causes to support. Ensure that your CSR program allows room for educators to customize to best fit their school’s needs, making it more attractive than a program that is very regimented.
- Consider a local focus over global reach. Your organization may have an international presence, and while educators and students want to make a difference throughout the world, focusing on issues close to home allows them to see firsthand the impact of their efforts. Students may have friends or neighbors (or even they themselves) who are impacted by your cause, and it shows your commitment to them.
- While raising awareness and increasing impact are core to supporting causes, people still want to be recognized for their efforts. Consider including recognition of students, educators, and schools as an element of your program. Not only does such acknowledgment make participants feel proud of what they’ve accomplished, but it also casts a positive light on the CSR program to other educators who may be considering getting involved.
- Don’t get caught up in tying your corporate social responsibility program to a curriculum. An argument can be made that there is a benefit to aligning your CSR program to a curriculum, but the point here is that it’s not necessary. Educators will still consider a program without a curriculum element and sometimes even prefer it for the flexibility it provides.
- Consider giving money back to the school for its efforts. Though not necessary, donating to the school itself could be an additional incentive for participation.
By keeping your CSR program simple, flexible, and with a local focus, and by acknowledging individuals’ participation or even donating money back to the school itself, you will increase your organization’s chances of connecting with educators and administrators in your mutual goal of doing good. Together, let’s make “good” happen.
Clients choose MMS Education because of our deep understanding of the education market, backed by more than four decades of working with schools, school districts, administrators, and agencies. Call us today at 800-523-5948 or fill out this form to see how MMS Education can help you reach, engage, and measure impact in the preK–12 education market.