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The ABC’s Of Education-Focused CSR Programs

Employee engagement and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are two important cornerstones of any corporation. Study after study demonstrates the benefits of social responsibility when it comes to employee engagement, as well as the growing need for corporations to take an interest in developing a corporate responsibility program. Employees can definitely be impacted and even inspired by the examples of corporate social responsibility displayed by their place of work, and young people in particular are interested and involved in their communities now more than ever—and want to leave a positive impact on the world. So, it doesn’t come as a shock that millennials today are less likely to stay with an organization that they feel is not socially responsible.

In fact, according to a Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study completed in 2015, 62% of millennials are actually willing to take a reduction in pay if they know that the company they plan to work for is socially responsible. This is how young minds in the workforce think today. Young people establish a sense of pride through their employer based on ideals that match their own, and in turn, this impacts their productivity and overall engagement.

Education is a great area to center CSR programs around, and one that employees love to get involved in. The benefits are often immediate, tangible, and easy to track—employees will know they’ve made a difference in their community. Here are three ways your business can get involved with schools through a CSR program and really make an impact:

Create a grant or scholarship program
There is great disparity in the U.S. public education system, with districts in very affluent areas to districts in lower socioeconomic areas. In communities where many lower-income families live, school options and resources may be limited. Your company can reach out to the local school board and collaborate with them to create a scholarship program for hard-working high school students in the district who are in need. You’ll not only support the community by giving opportunities to students that they otherwise wouldn’t have had, but you’ll also demonstrate your belief in education to your employees. This will help to retain existing employees, while also creating a connection to potential employees in the future who may have benefited from the scholarship prior to seeking employment.

Develop an in-school program focused on education
If education is an area your company has identified as a top priority, consider developing an in-school program that reflects your company’s purpose and goals. An example of an organization that has done this is Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). Years ago DMI identified a need to make an impact in the health and wellness of children in the United States, so they embarked on the development of an innovative program that would reach students in schools. Now, that program is the largest in-school health and wellness program in the country. MMS was fortunate to be involved in the development and implementation of this program. You can read the details of how this program evolved here . However, not all CSRs need to be national in scope.

Get involved with community schools
Partnering with local schools is another way for your company to give back and a great opportunity to get your employees involved in the surrounding community. By collaborating with local schools on projects such as building playgrounds, painting classrooms, collecting books for libraries, or even tutoring in the classroom, you are fostering meaningful relationships between your neighborhood schools and your employee volunteers. Not only will your employees feel great about the difference they’re making in the community, but you’ll be extending goodwill on the part of your company to the community at large. It’s a win-win that will reap multiple benefits across the board.

So whether you set up a community scholarship program, establish an in-school education program, or partner with schools on much-needed projects, an education-based CSR program will not only keep the millennials and other employees in your company happy and satisfied in their positions, but you’ll also be doing great work in your community, which truly benefits all involved.

Let MMS Education help you design and manage a CSR program with an educational focus that not only reflects your company’s ideals, but also enhances the connection between your employees and the community. Please contact us at for a no-obligation consultation.

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