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Why Corporate Social Responsibility is Good for Business

CSR initiative and corporate philanthropy

The business strategy of staying socially accountable

Businesses strive to develop their brands while simultaneously driving profit. But what if companies set out with another objective in mind, and in so doing could have a direct impact on their growth?

Companies are no longer confined to the restricting business model of being profit-driven machines. They can benefit, rather, by turning to social and environmental impact--leveraging drivers of social good. Brands can transform into business leaders of the charge towards corporate social responsibility by running philanthropic initiatives, civically engaging their customers, shedding light on pressing social issues, and developing meaningful socially responsible business practices.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), or the practice of companies establishing initiatives that enact socially responsible behavior, is on the rise. There are many ways in which businesses can now imbue corporate social responsibility practices into their organization's operations. For example, they can put in place environmental sustainability efforts, engage in more ethical business practices, or participate in philanthropic responsibility.

Companies also have the ability to drive civic engagement amongst both their consumers and employees. By inspiring your audience with CSR initiatives like voter mobilization, environmental efforts, and providing the resources to engage with local communities, your company can help drive tangible change and generate a positive image.

With so many avenues available for companies to integrate socially responsible practices into their organizational priorities, the next question is why? In other words, what good does doing good do for your business?  Not only can a commitment to corporate social responsibility allow your company to have a more positive impact on the world, but doing good can also yield significant gains for your employee engagement and bottom line.

CSR initiatives create more invested customers. 

A proactive emphasis on corporate responsibility can help boost your company’s reputation, and generate more interest in your brand. In recent years, social media has allowed businesses to grow more and more transparent. This transparency has led consumers to take more interest in a company’s purpose, mission, and decision-making process.

Consumers now care about companies that invest themselves in the issues that matter to them. In fact, over 88% of stakeholders want brands to make the world a better place. Stakeholders respond positively when you display social issues and values your company takes seriously, which in turn increases favorability towards your brand.

CSR programs make for happier employees. 

Not only can participating in CSR activities better your company’s relationship with consumers, but it can also better your company’s relationship with employees. CSR strategy is key to promoting a positive work environment for your employees.

By employing CSR efforts such as participating in team volunteer grants and team philanthropic programs, a sense of community and higher purpose is fostered among employees.

Armed with a larger purpose, employees are likely to feel happier in their jobs, and in turn, be more engaged in their work. Ethical responsibility comes with its upsidecompanies with engaged employees outperform competitors by up to 202%. Offer your employees channels to get involved in impact initiatives and corporate giving that yield greater satisfaction. Your business will also benefit as a result.

Build a brand with corporate social responsibility. 

Find a cause that speaks to your brand’s core message and aligns with your values. When you successfully craft a core mission around that cause you strengthen your brand and set your team up for sustainable development and lasting success.

Large organizations, from Ben and Jerry’s to Patagonia to Chobani (to name a few) understand it is inherently valuable to seek a purpose as the foundation of your business. They have successfully built ‘impact’ into their core brand value. The value of this brand will attract new customers, new talent, and propel your business long into the future.

CSR companies build communities around their philanthropic responsibility

So, what steps can your business take to meaningfully incorporate social impact? Consider crafting a core cause or mission that aligns with your customer and/or your employees’ values. Then, start by creating a digital home base. Share resources to educate and inspire your audience. Building a true community around your messages of social impact, engagement, and action.

Leading brands from Starbucks and Levi’s to Patagonia have all begun doing just that. So, what will your business do? Embrace corporate social responsibility, prioritize social good, and empower your business to grow, all while becoming a leader in the movement to drive tangible change.

Learn how Countable can kickstart your CSR journey.