Why Corporate Social Responsibility Is Important To Your Bottom Line
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is your corporation’s proactive and strategic means of engaging with the surrounding community to make a positive impact on the environment, institutions, and individuals within it. It generally applies more to the efforts you consciously make above and beyond what is required through legislation or local policy. What may surprise you is that CSR programs are more than philanthropic outreaches that make people feel warm and fuzzy. CSR can actually provide measurable benefits to your company’s bottom line that can be supported with data that is sure to raise the interests and enthusiasm of shareholders and/or investors on top of onlookers in support of a humane cause—and the biggest corporate players are doing it. Apple and Coca-Cola are two examples of companies known for social responsibility, and it seems to be working for them. Here are four reasons why CSR is important to your bottom line:
1. CSR stretches your company’s reach to everyone
CSR stretches your reach to those beyond your typical target base. A greater network is bound to increase traffic and subsequent market attention. Corporate social responsibility programs are highly flexible and can be catered to various social groups and causes including your education programs. If you see a need or a need is brought to your attention by someone else, there is likely a way to make a CSR program work for that situation.
Some examples of corporate social responsibility programs are strategic partnerships, in-school health and wellness programs, and grant and award programs. These programs support institutions, students, and the educators.
2. CSR benefits brand awareness and corporate environment
So, what are the benefits of corporate social responsibility? There are many, but brand awareness is a very important one. CSR simply makes you look good, and we all know people are drawn to what looks attractive. The strategic development and implementation of CSR programs improve overall branding and awareness for your corporation. It also creates loyalty and interest from those affected and/or involved. This often applies even if the subject(s) would not necessarily qualify as your typical target client. Positive brand awareness is a powerful tool. When your company supports the community and issues that matter to it, positive attention is bound to follow. In many cases, when a corporation actively engages in a CSR program they can expect an increase in media attention. That means advertising for far less than a direct ad or marketing campaign.
3. CSR improves company morale
What about your employees? Who wouldn’t want to work for a company they feel is making a difference beyond payday. You help provide notoriety and self-worth to your staff, which will most likely impact your corporate environment in a positive way. You can imagine how the added attention of your CSR programs will draw others in, and before you know it, you have increased your network, created strategic partnerships you may have never considered, and managed to improve the overall morale of those with whom you work. These are just a few of the benefits of social responsibility, but there are many more to consider.
4. CSR provides supporting data
It goes without saying that your shareholders and investors are going to want hard data to prove the value added by corporate social responsibility. That means measurability is vital for enthusiasm and support. After all, demanding large quantities of time and money for philanthropy doesn’t appeal to the typical business-minded individual outside of a tax write-off. Creating an emotional connection with someone or appealing to their personal values is only part of it. It is critical that there is substantial research and data to support the benefits to your company’s bottom line if you expect to see these programs through to fruition.
The good news is this data does exist and it can be obtained. CSR programs have been tested and provide the data you need to make a positive impact in your community as well as your corporation’s finances and reputation. Here is more research from MMS Education that supports the idea that your company’s bottom line will improve with the added benefits of increased corporate reach, brand awareness, and an overall improved corporate atmosphere.