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As we draw closer to the season of giving, community members and organizations alike are placing renewed emphasis on community involvement. According to BDC, corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is a company’s commitment to managing the social, environmental and economic effects of its operations responsibly and in line with public expectations.
There is a great deal of anecdotal and statistical evidence that suggests that companies and individuals are becoming increasingly committed to bettering their communities than ever before. CSR is an opportunity for a company to better establish themselves in the community by creating positive attention that can lead to the continuation of a good reputation, aid in attracting top talent and can inspire peers within a business category to join in on “doing good.”
According to a study conducted by Cone Communications, 87% of consumers will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about. Furthermore, the same study found that 63% of Americans are hopeful that businesses will take the lead to drive positive change within their communities, even in the absence of government regulation. Community members are placing increased scrutiny on a company’s stance on an issue or involvement in a cause. As such, brands must be wholly authentic when establishing their approach to corporate responsibility.
In order to maximize an organization’s positive impact on its community and its bottom line, determining how to link a core product or service directly to a CSR endeavor is extremely helpful. Corporate social responsibility is not a one-size-fits-all approach to community engagement. Involvement in one’s community largely varies based on a company’s individual mission and goals. As such, CSR activities can include:
While these themes are great starting points in developing a go-to-market campaign to promote your company’s efforts, we’ve provided some additional insights as you work to execute and follow-up on your plan.
Actively practice philanthropy
When it comes to CSR, we recommend showing, not telling. While flashy marketing campaigns are certainly a way in which to draw community attention to your efforts, citizens are more appreciative of work they can see being done in their community. Recording metrics on the success of a fundraiser or highlighting the volunteer work of your employees is a way in which you can have your desired audience take notice.
For organizations new to the world of CSR, donating time to a nonprofit organization is a great way to get your feet wet. As the holidays approach, regional food pantries and food banks will need extra sets of hands for set up, food delivery and clean up.
Promote further communication with those you have helped
While marketing and communication teams are great assets to an organization when it comes to promoting a CSR initiative, allowing the organization you have aided tell the story of your company’s involvement can help to boost brand authenticity. In fact, as 65% of Americans say that they will research a company’s stance on an issue to ensure corporate social responsibility marketing is well-intentioned, allowing those who have benefited first hand is a way to circulate the news on additional platforms from an unbiased source.
The Times Union recognizes that philanthropy is an important facet of an organization’s identity. Philanthropy increases brand loyalty when it is practiced genuinely and resonates with a company’s customer or client base in a manner few other advertising or branding campaigns can.
In its sixth year, the Times Union’s Capital Region Gives special section and The Big $100,000 Giveaway is wholly dedicated to showcasing nonprofits and the businesses that support them by continuing to do good in the community.
The Big $100,000 Giveaway is a voting contest where the votes for the top 10 local nonprofits participating in the Capital Region Gives publication, will have the opportunity to share $100,000 in granted advertising space in the Times Union for 2022. On November 21, 2021 the Times Union will kick off this effort by publishing our special section on philanthropy aptly named Capital Region Gives. The largest editorial piece published by the Times Union, Capital Region Gives showcases nonprofits and businesses collaborating for the greater benefit of the community.
The Capital Region Gives program fosters the philosophy of authentically giving back by offering an ad space matching program to non-profits when a sponsoring for-profit business buys ad space in the special philanthropic section. There is a local tradition of businesses gifting ad space to their favorite nonprofit which benefits both the brand and the nonprofit.
If your organization wishes to become involved in this collaborative, community program, we encourage you to contact Anne Curcurito, Director of Community Engagement, at 518-454-5792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to be a part of the Capital Region Gives publication.