Companies who support a cause show they're after more than just dollars and cents.
"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something." -- Gil Scott-Heron
With retail heavyweights like Amazon disrupting the e-commerce environment and "apps of convenience" like Uber, Lyft, and Drizly working for your schedule, it's no wonder that the business world has been turned on its ear. Now, the business arena is full of noise, disruption, and millions of entrepreneurs who claim to have "the next big thing."
What sets an organization apart from the rest is what cause they openly support while focusing on their business goals. Cosmetics giant Mary Kay supports causes that are working towards ending domestic violence and funding research for women's cancers. Coca-Cola works to help provide clean water in Africa. Goldman Sachs helps military veterans prepare for careers in the financial industry after ending their service. No matter how big a company grows, it should never be too big to help a worthwhile cause.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about running a business that also works to improve social and environmental good. As more awareness grows to various causes globally, consumers end up turning to businesses and ask, "Well, what are you going to do about it?"
Whether it's ditching plastic cutlery in favor of silverware in the breakroom or donating to a cause that falls in line with the company's mission, practicing CSR shows that a company cares about something other than its balance sheet. To get started, we compiled a list of steps a business should take to get on the road to supporting a cause.
Get Company Alignment and Buy-In
Start by getting aligned with your employees. You can either stick to industry-based needs, like wildlife and conservation programs if your business concerns outdoor sporting goods, or you can opt for business practices that promote environmentally-conscious behaviors, such as recycling or cleaning trash out of nearby parks.
It's one thing to say you're going to do good, however, it's entirely different when it comes to actually doing good. Set accountability standards for the company and place quarterly or annual goals to get employees motivated to help implement positive changes.
Let Customers Know What You're Up To
Consumers want to feel good about who they invest with and that starts by putting their dollars toward businesses who strive to make a difference. Don't be shy about your efforts to make the world -- or part of the world -- a better place. You'll not only attract new customers, but your existing customers will love you more.
Make Friends With News Sources
Whether it's local bloggers or news sites, showcasing your initiatives will get your organization more exposure and your cause will get some much-needed attention.
Since you're all in the same boat working for the same company, there should be plenty of interdepartmental collaboration as to how to promote CSR. For example, the employees in Marketing can gain valuable insight from the Accounting department in order to rustle up new ideas for acts of goodwill within the company's budget.
Whatever you choose to do, do it because you care, not because you feel that you have to. By being genuine with your cause, others will follow and appreciate your business even more than they already do.