Now more than ever, businesses are ramping up their efforts to become more socially responsible, whether it’s championing for the environment, protecting women’s rights, or fighting hunger, on local, national, and global levels.
Smart business leaders and key stakeholders are making it a priority to implement corporate responsibility programs (CSR). A CSR program can support worthy causes, improve employee morale, and create a company culture of integrity.
The public should believe that a company conducts itself ethically, operates transparently, supports worthy causes, and conducts business fairly. As such, businesses that ignore corporate social responsibility do so at their own peril.
According to Harvard Business School, over 70 percent of Americans believe that it is very important for companies to make the world a better place.
Many businesses and individuals will happily pay a premium for goods and services, knowing that part of the company profits will address social, environmental, and cultural issues.
Corporate social responsibility can give corporations a competitive advantage. Companies with a clearly defined sense of purpose are up to 50% more likely to successfully expand into a new market.
Steps to Build a Demonstrable CSR Program
When it comes to corporate social responsibility, a big question for companies isn’t why or when, but how. Become socially responsible and get involved with a non-profit organization in Hawaii.
Hawaii Rise Foundation has several ways your organization can work with us. Below are tried and tested steps you can take to establish a sustainable and demonstrable CSR program.
These steps can be implemented into your companies corporate social responsibility program regardless if you are based in Hawaii or live on the mainland. Nonprofit organizations all around the world need corporate responsibility efforts to make positive changes in the world today.
Focus on a Relevant Social Mission
An effective way to start a CSR program is to focus on social missions relevant to your industry. Most businesses have statements for their goal and mission, but they don’t have a third one for emphasizing how they will help the community.
Step one is to create sustainable development goals, many companies hire a social impact officer. This individual is solely responsible for the development and action plan to create a positive impact in local communities.
Brands should not create vague goals, such as preventing global warming one quarter and then moving on to preserving the rainforests the next.
Come up with a cause that you and your employees can rally behind – and one that you can afford. Climate change, humans rights, and diverse workforce initiatives are some great movements any company could stand up for.
At Hawaii Rise Foundation, we focus on creating positive social impacts within the native Hawaiian community. This is achieved through various online community workshops and classes.
We also provide numerous care packs for youth, the elderly, and the greatest areas of need on the Big Island. If you believe your organization’s goals and mission line with Hawaii Rise Foundation, we would love to hear from you. Together we can make a meaningful difference within the Hawaiian community.
Get Employees Involved
Keep your employees in the loop about issues your organization is addressing, why these causes matter to the company, and how they will go about solving them. A sustainable CSR program invites suggestions from employees and leaves the final decision up to them.
This way, your employees will have a vested interest in the success of the mission, and therefore, will result in a real impact not only on society but also on your business.
In addition, a CSR program can keep employees engaged and reduce the cost of attrition. Bonus points if your CSR initiatives provide paid time to employees for volunteering.
Let employees be a part of your CR strategy,
Set up Measurable Goals
Once you have decided on your mission, you should set up goals to measure your progress. Create a list of measurable goals and keep them visible to both employees and clients.
Be honest when you’re not able to reach your goals. Remember, your goal is to create an authentic voice with the customer, not an inherently promotional one.
Try to create both long-term and short-term goals. Break the long-term goals into smaller, easily attainable steps. It’s important for your goals to be aligned with your capability and resources.
Expert tip: Quantify social efforts that are directly tied to your company’s bottom line, such as activities that result in customer acquisition, brand awareness, and cost savings.
A great way to measure your impact. Is through the Hawaii Rise foundation’s care packages. This is an easy way to quantify how many induvial you help. We track how many items go in each package and how many people receive them.
You can demonstrate social responsibility by donating to local charities. Money and resources can make a big difference for charities and their results. It’s important to start small regardless of where. For example, you can donate a small percentage of your profits to a local charity.
If you would like to make a recurring monthly or quarterly donation to Hawaii Rise Foundation, you do this on our donation page. Visit here to start donating today.
Ensure a Culture Fit
Culture fit is all about ensuring congruence between the company mission and the values of its employees and clients. Ask yourself if the company’s values align with the social mission you have set up for yourself.
Is it something your customers even care about? If you’re unsure, you can always set up a survey to learn more. Whether or not your organization is based in Hawaii, Hawaii Rise Foundation focuses on several social issues that your organization can get behind regardless of your geolocation. Get in touch with our Executive Director Breeani Sumera-lee for more information.
Prepare for Responding to Current Events
No CSR program is set in stone and requires changing based on current events and social movements. This means launching new programs, modifying existing ones, adjusting budgets, and redirecting investments of time.
Be adaptive with your CSR program, and your social causes will remain relevant, timely, and authentic. Those are responsible business practices that both the public and private sectors can participate in.
Charitable efforts are no longer enough, people want to see that businesses are making actionable and sustainable activities to make the world a better place.
Expert tip: Respond to natural disasters that create an urgent crisis and respond quickly as a company following a hurricane, flood, tornado, or others.
Four Types of Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility can take on a range of social issues and activities that mostly fall under four categories:
1. Environmental Conservation
An environmental CSR program focuses on making the business more sustainable and environmentally friendly. This could be demonstrated in a willingness to reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, single-use plastics, and waste.
The category offers many opportunities to small businesses, such as setting up a recycling program, relying more on solar and wind energy, and offering environmentally friendly products.
2. Ethical Responsibility
Ethical responsibility is when the company ensures that its operations are fair and ethical. This includes fair treatment of all stakeholders, including employees, investors, executives, and customers.
Businesses can adopt ethical responsibility in various ways, such as not purchasing products that result from slavery or child labor, producing products that are longer lasting (even if they come at the cost of profits), and raising wages for employees.
3. Philanthropic Efforts
A company can dedicate a percentage of its earnings to social causes. Many firms donate to charities and nonprofits to help vulnerable communities and areas that need more help. Some businesses with more influence create their charitable organization or trust to give back to the community
4. Economic Responsibility
Economic responsibility is when the company pledges to produce products or services that match the consumer’s needs instead of maximizing their profits. The company might make adjustments to its products and services to help the overall community.
Economic responsibility may also refer to labor practices that provide more opportunities for professional growth and give employees a chance to their feedback on experience and observations. Addressing the needs of the employees is good for the bottom line.
No matter which category your professional organization falls under. Hawaii Rise Foundation has a way that we can partner with your corporation, to provide assistance to the native Hawaiian people.
Wrapping it up
By following the steps outlined above to implement a CSR program, you are giving your business the best foundation to launch and run a sustainable program, both for the organization and the causes you care about.
Since sustainability and corporate responsibility are becoming an important aspect of every company’s business strategy, Hawaii Rise Foundation realized that professionals needed more support to achieve their objectives and lead effectively.
If you want to grow your impact while simplifying the processes that drive your CSR program, look no further. Team up with Hawaii Rise Foundation to achieve your sustainability goals, adopt new, targeted methodologies, and reach your full potential.