Corporate Social Responsibility - A Positive Impact for Non Profit Organisations

Corporate Social Responsibility - A Positive Impact for Non Profit Organisations

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming a vital element in the marketing communications and strategic mix. This is developing into one of the most important considerations when not for profit organisations and charities are creating and delivering their strategies.

Often the trustees or management board focus on elements of the strategic mix with which they are familiar or on the ingredients which have traditionally been the planning agenda in their organisation. Moving forward though, CSR is becoming as integral a theme as the corporate vision, culture and strategic objectives.

CSR has generated up to £2bn for charities in a report by The Guardian. It highlights that “Some charities want just cash,” says Manny Amadi, chief executive of C&E Advisory, a consultancy that specialises in CSR. “They believe they’re the experts on social problems and will fix that side of things, which leads to tension and frustration.” Increasingly, businesses want CSR programmes to move away from old-fashioned philanthropy towards “strategic philanthropy” or “social investment”, says Amadi.

This leads us to understanding the broad definition of CSR. According to the European Commission, Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.

According to Corporate Watch, the type of activities companies roll out to position themselves as socially responsible include: Corporate philanthropy, cause-related marketing, sustainability through corporate sponsored award schemes, corporate codes of conduct, stakeholder engagement, community investment eco-efficiency and investing in socially focused companies.

There are two core considerations when a charity or not-for-profit organisation is seeking to integrate CSR into its plans. These are Marketing and Systems.

Marketing is about gaining an intimate understanding of the customers, stakeholders and donors. The most effective method is the creation of audience personas from which a clear public perspective of the communications strategy of the organisation can be created and developed. Systems is then about planning and integrating process and ICT in order to support the delivery and ongoing communication of the policies, codes and messages both internally in the organisation and externally to the highest priority audiences.

For more information and strategic guidance about getting started in this vital CSR planning activity contact Viper Marketing for marketing and our friends at Geecon for systems.