Consumer interest in companies or brands that do good has been growing and current events have only heightened expectations. There’s a bigger premium on companies having a corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice and values built into the core of their business. Having CSR at the center of the business and being involved in the community and giving back is important to not only the health of the business, but to the business’ stakeholders.
It can seem daunting to start, but identifying a cause that is important to the company and authentically fits their brand is a great way to begin. Start small and grow your CSR practice into a larger part of your business, involving your employees!
Here are a couple of examples on how companies are giving back:
Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)
In January, Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), the world’s largest deaf-led social impact organization, launched the CSD Unites Community Foundation – a grant provider and partner that works collaboratively with deaf-led organizations and communities to achieve long-term and widespread impact. The Foundation aims to create a centralized network for deaf-led organizations, removing the multitude of barriers they face elsewhere while trying to support their communities.
To ensure these individuals and the organizations that serve them continue to thrive in spite of the pandemic, the Foundation is accepting grant applications, along with donations to expand existing funding capacity, for its COVID-19 Resiliency Efforts now through March 4, 2021. Projects that increase accessibility, foster innovation, and promote sustainable community change are especially encouraged.
Cedar, an innovative patient engagement and financial technology platform, recently re-launched its Cedar Cares program, a charitable initiative that supports non-profit organizations improving access to healthcare, tackling climate change and closing educational gaps. The company set aside a portion of its annual holiday party budget for charitable giving and is donating the proceeds from the sale of limited-edition Cedar Cares merchandise. Cedar will also donate a percentage of each new partnership deal signed in 2021.
CareAcademy, the leading home care and home health workforce empowerment platform, launched a free program available to the public to empower anyone out of work or interested in making a career change to begin training for the home care industry for free. Through this program, CareAcademy partnered with home care agencies to help match individuals that completed the training with home care agencies in need of caregivers. This was a move to try and help offset job losses as a result of the pandemic, by pairing it with an initiative that helps meet a need exacerbated by the pandemic too (more people wanting home care, not enough people available to provide it).
Here are a few tips for companies who want to get involved in CSR and how they can get started:
- Be authentic and true to your brand – make sure that your CSR work tracks back to your mission and values.
- Be engaging – your CSR work should be more than a press release on your website. How are employees, customers and partners involved? What can others do to get involved if they’d like to join you on this mission?
- Be consistent – one and done doesn’t mean anything. Make your strategy meaningful and effective by making it part of who you are as a company.
This article was written by PR Club Board Members Angelica Bishop and Justin Gagnon.