Ready to Make A Difference through your business?
We’ve looked at why, how to create impact, but how do you tie it together?
There are five, evidence based fundamentals that you need to remember when you think about Making a Difference. Whether you’re just starting, developing existing work, or looking to revive a plan that has lost momentum, they apply equally.
Choose good causes that fit for your business
Choosing causes and community work that fits with your sector will gain the most value from CSR. The key thing is that the choice of your causes should make sense to your stakeholders. If you have to explain it in too many steps then you risk confusing people and losing the impact.
Make a Wholehearted Commitment
You need to commit wholeheartedly to CSR. It’s ‘Go big or go home’! Doing things half-heartedly or without forethought can backfire, as both your team and your stakeholders can spot inauthentic activities or a lack of true commitment. Having said that, you should choose the right amount of activity for your organisation and adjust during times of high activity or other priorities.
Manage it effectively
When it’s done well, CSR is like any other value creating asset in your organisation. And as such, you need to manage it effectively. Have a target of what you want your CSR activity to achieve in a given period of time, create a plan, manage it month by month. Review. Do more of the things that work well, and less of the things that don’t.
Connect with everyone
You must connect your team and your other stakeholders to what you’re trying to do. For your team, this means involving them in the conversation as you shape up your CSR strategy so that they feel involved and are more likely to engage, and keeping communication high through the period of the plan. For other stakeholders, this means communicating clearly and consistently through all your available channels. Vehicles such as newsletters, social media, your website and printed material in the are all ways you should use to talk about the causes you support, what they do, and what you’re doing to help. You should also look to communicate externally through local press and community publications.
Build a relationship with the charity and community causes you posse to support. You’ll learn from them, and vice versa. Business interaction with good causes is always more productive for both parties when it’s a win:win, and so you need to get information from your chosen groups on how you can best help, and get them to keep you updated with how your help is making a difference.
Making a Difference through your business is not only a great thing to do for you personally, but it will have a positive impact on your team and reputation as well.
To get started, you can download my free ’60 Minute CSR plan’ by entering your email address in the form on the right of this page. It’s a quick lunchtime read, and will get you off and running in developing your structured CSR plan.