Breaking Down Barriers and Measuring the Impact of CSR

We’ve come a long way in the corporate philanthropy and employee engagement technology space. Not so long ago, many of us were managing multiple programs on multiple technology providers. Although this ensured we were working with the best vendor, we couldn’t truly understand the impact of our programs.

Let’s take an example.

Say one of your cause areas is STEM education. You have one platform that tracks your volunteer hours, one platform that tracks matching gifts, and one platform that manages your corporate giving program. How can you understand the impact you are creating for students if you are tracking data on three different platforms?

Good Done Great STEM Education

With disparate systems, you’ll never understand the depth of your programs and overall impact. If you can’t clearly distinguish your impact, it’s difficult to justify your CSR programs.

Fast forward to today, and most corporate philanthropy technology providers offer a unified tool to manage every aspect of your CSR program. Now, you can analyze your CSR programs from a high level and paint a better picture of your initiatives. With a better understanding of your impact, you can confidently report to your stakeholders your good works. Furthermore, you can accurately plan for future initiatives and make adjustments as needed.

As our work and personal lives continue to intersect, it’s interesting to note changes in the workplace. Employees expect their employers to provide opportunities to contribute to social and environmental causes. According to the 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study, 78% of employees are okay with their work and personal lives intersecting more as long as employers provide benefits that balance both.

Cause areas Good Done GreatNot only do employees want to contribute to causes, they want to contribute to the causes closest to them. According to the same Cone Communications study, 47% of employees believe companies need to find a balance around providing opportunities that focus on individuals’ personal interests and the social and environmental issues most important to the business.

As employees contribute to causes and charities through their workplace, they want to share their stories within their personal and social networks. Ten years ago, the largest corporations never would have agreed to integrate with Facebook and Twitter. Now, it is commonplace for social media integrations.

We are breaking down barriers in the corporate philanthropy space. We are expanding our impact beyond the walls of our corporate headquarters and adding additional stakeholders to our CSR story.

It’s important as CSR professionals to continue to focus on the individual. Let’s create opportunities for our employees as individuals to make a difference. As a workplace, we can foster giving communities and serve as the backdrop for powerful and long-lasting change.