Espace idées • June, 26th, 2019
Regardless of the size of the region in which it operates, its location or the clientele it serves, any business that gets involved in its community will benefit from many positive spin-offs.
Several companies have already developed processes to reduce their impact on the environment or they’ve established social committees to enhance the social climate of their workplace. These are great initiatives, but in this article, we propose additional ways businesses can broaden their corporate social responsibility practises by supporting nonprofit organizations in their region.
What is corporate social responsibility?
“Corporate responsibility is the way a company takes responsibility for its actions and their impact on employees, stakeholders and communities. It includes the way your company conducts its business, how it manages its impact on the environment, how it treats its employees and how it supports community activities that aim to solve social problems such as poverty or discrimination.” - BDC Definition
How to get involved?
Some businesses want to get involved with nonprofit organizations in their community but don’t know where to start. Here are a few suggestions:
Companies can select a date in their annual calendar and dedicate it to volunteering. On this day, employees volunteer their time to different organizations. In addition to doing a good deed, this is a great team building opportunity among colleagues and reinforces their sense of belonging to the company.
Several nonprofits also look for volunteers who are willing to share their expertise in specific areas so that they can evolve and better meet the needs of the community, whether it be in accounting, law, graphic design, marketing, etc.
Financial contribution (donation or sponsorship)
A company can also make a donation or sponsor an activity or program in support of a cause. However, it’s important to support causes that are aligned with business values. The idea is to give back to society while conveying the company’s purpose.
There are many ways to make a difference. Businesses can also communicate with the nonprofit that they wish to collaborate with and together, discuss in which way they’d like to partner. For example, service users from a nonprofit could do work terms at the business, mentorship opportunities between employees and beneficiaries could be implemented, etc.
Use of office space
Nonprofit organizations are often looking for larger venues where they can organize activities. If the company has the opportunity to lend its facilities, it's a great way to get involved.
Board of Directors
Becoming a board member is another way of giving back. An effective board brings together people from different backgrounds who complement each other with their strengths and experiences.
Creation of a community engagement committee
Several companies create a community engagement committee made up of employees who are motivated to contribute to the well-being of their community. This type of committee is responsible for proposing or accepting different opportunities for support requested by nonprofits.
Why get involved?
1. Good reputation/image
Businesses can gain an excellent reputation by bringing benefits to the community. In today’s economy, success and reputation are no longer based exclusively on income and profits, but also on actions taken.
2. Stand out from the competition
Getting involved through volunteering or donating in the community allows companies to play a leading role and gain a head start on the competition since many have yet to incorporate these practices.
3. Happier Employees
In this time of labour shortages, corporate social responsibility can help attract employees and subsequently, improve staff retention, involvement and motivation.
4. More loyal clients
According to a study by the Nielson Group, 55% of consumers are willing to pay a little more for products and services from companies that are socially or environmentally positive.
Customers are increasingly concerned about socially responsible business practices, especially in the age of Internet, social media, blogs, etc. It’s easy for them to pass on a business that’s not doing enough to improve the quality of its actions in the community.
5. Attract new investors
Responsible actions improve the capacity to attract new investors.
6. It feels good!
Finally, feeling like we’re making a real difference in the lives of others feels good! That's why it’s essential for companies to invest in causes that touch them and motivate them to get engaged on a long-term basis.