Well-organised Company Social Responsibility (CSR) activities enable your company to make a return on investment and deliver social return on investment, as well as meet various stakeholder needs, including employee engagement.
Additionally, on 1 January 2021, new measures came into effect making it mandatory for companies bidding for government tenders to demonstrate their social value (Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/20). Social value now forms a new score of 10-30% in the evaluation criteria for tender bids. Companies must be able to evidence their social, economic and environmental benefit – for the entire life cycle of the contract.
How should a company go about building a CSR strategy?
The most effective and engaging CSR strategies generally reflect the overall values and
strategies of the organisation. It all begins with an understanding of your company mission – what does your organisation aim to change within society?
There are three approaches to consider when deciding on how you will reach your goals and which partners to work with:
1. Industry/knowledge approach
2. Geographical/local approach
3. Societal/environmental approach.
Organisations should consider using technology solutions, reasonably priced advice and free content to create strategies, plans and manage implementation and costs. It is essential that implementation costs stay minimal in relation to the wider contribution that is being delivered.
How should a company decide what to donate and how to volunteer?
It is important to have a high-level definition of how much money, how many volunteering hours, products and service donations your company could be donating annually. It is good to keep in mind that well-planned CSR contributions deliver economic, social and environmental value. They should not only be considered as ‘donations’ but also a investments that deliver benefits, both for your employees and the company as a whole – increasing employee satisfaction and retention, boosting your brand reputation and customer loyalty.
I really recommend a combination of money and skills-based volunteering as many charities and social enterprises would truly benefit from funds to implement any advice or strategies they might receive from professional volunteering. What’s more, product and service donations might help companies actually save on costs – especially in relation to possible tax deductions.
Why is impact reporting important?
Impact reporting is key to evaluate the success of any social value delivered. This should
always be done by the beneficiary organisation implementing the actual social value work.
Each organisation has a different impact, although they might be operating within the same cause or doing quite similar work, so being able to get an accurate picture of impact is essential.
I would recommend collaborating with organisations that can help with the process of impact reporting. whatimpact.com has an advanced, automated impact reporting process for collaborations, which helps the donating organisation not only report to their stakeholders, but also evaluate the future of the partnerships.
Tiia Sammallahti (BSc. Food Economics, MBA) is the CEO and Founder of whatimpact.com. She is passionate about making a difference and a big believer in positive, social change. She has 20+ years experience working with