CSR and social purpose

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is often seen as an add on to a business - to be done when you can afford it. We would argue that in this highly connected world you can't view it as a nice to have - it has to be essential if you are to be successful. You need to be a good citizen or your organisation cannot flourish. Social purpose is a better way to think about it, how you change lives and exemplify your values.

As our Social Impact Identifier(c) tool indicates there are many potential areas of social impact.

We believe that corporate social responsibility should be about working together to mutual benefit, partners in profit, who also achieve a social impact rather than just donations.

Because of our understanding of the national and local strategy for the third sector plus our knowledge of the practical issues facing charities at all levels, we can add value to companies wishing to work with charities as well as providing effective support to charities. Any CSR strategy should fit with the corporate strategy and the social impact should fit also, it all becomes part of your social purpose.

Businesses and charities have much in common and the relationship on both sides can be profitable as well as helping a business fulfil their corporate social responsibility. (see an interesting example of how singing could be used). In particular, we look to develop corporate partnerships between businesses and charities which will help both achieve their strategic aims.

As businesses begin to think how they can address not only the need to make profit but also to be seen as good corporate citizens acting in an environmentally friendly way and as good neighbours working for the social good of the community we can help by developing an effective strategy and a practical plan that will work. Our Responsible Organisation Charter(c) provides you with a simple way to bring this all together.

Many organisations initially get involved with CSR because of their image. Almost half (49 per cent) of the European managers interviewed for UPS’s Europe Business Monitor said that the need to improve brand reputation and corporate image is one of the biggest drivers of their company’s activities in corporate social responsibility. Fewer than two in five cited giving something positive back to the community as their motivation. We can help a company move beyond this to seeing CSR as a more positive part of their corporate strategy providing social and economic benefits. We believe that only if this is the case will CSR be really successful.