Many times companies enter the world of corporate social responsibility by philanthropic efforts, but that’s where many of these companies conclude their efforts. It’s an unfortunate situation, but many companies feel that a donation of money is enough. Frankly, it’s pitiful that so many corporations believe that their efforts are enough.
It’s great that companies are willing to donate part of their revenues, but monetary gifts are only a gesture, not an effort. By coupling monetary efforts with personal involvement much more can be accomplished. Incorporating the corporation’s personnel will have lasting effects and can create a ripple effect for continued efforts.
As I discussed in Non-Profits: Sources for CSR, the not-for-profit organizations offer a platform for inspiration in CSR strategizing. This innovation and dedication can also be utilized in a company’s philanthropic efforts. Non-profits create communities and meaningful experiences through engagement of volunteers. They create a connection on a personal level that is irreplaceable and keeps people returning to offer their services again. These volunteers feel that they have a sense of belonging and have partaken in something that has created good, giving them the satisfaction that is innate in most humankind. The world’s for-profit corporations should follow these examples to engage their employees and create a longer-lasting impact.
Donations to causes help, but donations of people’s time and effort create impact. Companies can be more influential by sponsoring a program and or cause AND bringing others to aid in the efforts. Employees donating their time will benefit both the efforts of the organization and personal achievement. Many people already volunteer their time and have compelling stories of their interactions and personal connection to the cause and many are looking to insert themselves into a worthy cause. Companies need to take advantage of the assets they possess and utilize them in a momentous and purposeful manner. Companies can also create incentives to join in on the cause as well. If the company can show its support for the efforts, it is more likely that employees will join the cause and eventually spread the word to create meaningful experiences for others and further the expansion of efforts.
Engagement of employees is key to creating a more desirable workplace. By contributing time coupled with money to a cause will help create a better sense of belonging leading to higher engagement and a greater reach of impact.
Philanthropy does not have to end at donations of money, but should continue to create ripples by generating meaningful memories that will pay for themselves through personal connection and accomplishment. For-profits can learn a lot from the non-profit community. By following the examples of these organizations we can stray from paying for others to be hands on and we can learn for ourselves to do more good.
I’d love to hear your stories and experiences. Comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.