The Social Society works with businesses to meet their CSR needs. In this blog, Director Toni Finnimore shares five ways businesses can give back.
When discussing the ins and outs of corporate social responsibility and having a socially conscious business, people often ask me, (midway through their CSR strategy and tearing their hair out) 'how do I do it? It’s all so complex, are we philanthropic? (What is philanthropic?) Do we support our teams to engage in community projects? How do we show the people of Brighton we want to make an impact?' The answer is all about going back to basics folks and keeping it simple.
Decide on and actively promote a social mission
Having a socially conscious mission for your business helps build genuine and lasting relationships within your community. Your mission creates a positive brand awareness that helps you develop trust with shareholders, customers and employees alike. Demonstrating that businesses and communities can thrive together is a powerful thing. Those that can see businesses taking an active role in supporting their community and helping others are more likely to engage with you.
Create a team of socially responsible team members
It is important to dedicate a group of employees to your business's social responsibility to ensure you are consistent and are working within the strategy you have agreed upon. The team should be passionate about social change, have skills in campaigning and be able to implement new ideas quickly. It is always a good idea for your team to set aside time to discuss how your business can make a positive impact on your community regularly.
Encourage and actively support volunteering
Volunteering is so very important and incentivising team members to actively take part in volunteering is a positive move. Those that wish to take time out in the working week
could be paid to do so and allocating volunteer time each month will help build employee and employer relationships. Find out about local organisations that can support with facilitating these volunteer sessions and offer your help at local events as a team.
Collaborate with businesses that can support you to achieve your CSR goals
Partnering with organisations that are already well established in the area of supporting local charities can help grow your reach and impact. Source people and businesses that are already making a difference and collaborate. The needs of most communities are high in more than one area, you don’t need to be an expert in every area of support, simply find those that are.
Ensure your efforts are long term
When deciding on and actively promoting your business as one that is socially conscious, make sure you are in it for the long haul. Nobody likes to see a one off marketing ploy to grow their followers or reach, they want to see trustworthy and transparent businesses that have an ongoing commitment to support their communities. If you set yourself realistic expectations and are consistent in your approach you’ll make a bigger impact.