Building a Legacy: How Corporate Social Responsibility Benefits Customers, Employees, and Reputation

Did you know people quit their jobs because of their corporate social responsibility? Corporate Social Responsibility has evolved. CSR is the new marketing channel to leverage your brand equity among Millennials. Now, in the age of social media and quick information, reputation is more important than ever. It is crucial for a company to have an upstanding legacy. CSR is no longer simply philanthropy for the purpose of tax write-offs. Rather, it is incorporated into a company’s core values and business model. Garratt Hasentab, the Director of Sustainability at the Verdigris Group, described the importance of CSR in an interview with Forbes, saying, “CSR policy is at the core of our daily operations and guides our future progress.” CSR is no longer about the past; it’s about the future and about the impact a corporation can make and the legacy it can create for generations to come. Hasentab expanded his point, explaining that “setting a good example is the greatest benefit in that we inspire other organizations, companies and individuals” and that it “encourages further inspiration in the community leading to a more enlightened perspective on how to run one’s business or lead one’s life.” SmileyGo is a real-time data analytics platform that uses AI to help organizations take control of their public policy risk and understand the community.

The Millennials, those who were born between 1980-2000, have the reputation for selfishness, materialism, and laziness. In the midst of these negative labels, studies have shown that Millennials have a tendency to give generously and to support corporations that give as well. In a recent study by the French communications company, Publicis Group, 8,000 millennials were surveyed and said they look to corporations to “help solve global problems” (Fortune). 78% of millennials recommend a corporation to peers based on the company’s generosity. In addition, young people themselves are generous; according to the 2016 Millennial Impact Report, 52% of millennials donated to a nonprofit in the month of July alone. Two prime examples of corporations that benefit from millennials because of their giving are Tom’s and Soapbox Soap’s. The “one-for-one” business concept is successful among millennials because giving shoes and soaps to those in need through a single transaction is a simple way that the customer is able to give to others by purchasing those products. Through strategic tax-deductible giving, a company builds trust with their customers and encourages them to participate in the cycle of giving through supporting an upstanding company.

Not only does CSR appeal to millennials and boosts a company’s reputation, but it also encourages employees to give back as well. When CSR is incorporated into the core value system of a company, it influences its employees to participate in and continue the cycle of giving. Employees are pleased to participate in a company that helps with improving society and the environment. In fact, according to a survey done by the nonprofit Net Impact, 53% of  employees reported that “a job where I can make an impact” was essential to their happiness (Jeanne Meister, Forbes). Nearly all large companies match employees’ donations to nonprofits with an annual cap. For example, the Fortune 500 Company, Chevron, will match up to $10,000 in donations to nonprofits per employee annually (Chevron Humankind). By incorporating employees into the company’s CSR on an individual level, the matching of donations “further ingrains CSR into the company’s culture, while also providing personal satisfaction and empowerment among the employees” (hrcommunication.com).

Corporate Social Responsibility has evolved from simple philanthropy to making an impact on the community in lasting ways through the involvement of employees. The rise of social media and the younger generation has placed greater emphasis on a company’s reputation like never before. Corporate giving is no longer just about dollar signs, but about a core value system ingrained into a company that spreads to every nonprofit and individual it comes into contact with.

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