Incorporating business purpose into corporate social responsibility: how and why
Consumers, candidates and society, in general, seek to live in and create a much fairer world where the organisations they purchase from or are employed by mirror their personal values and purpose. This fairer world benefits all of us – especially young people facing a rapidly changing world.
More and more organisations are placing social purpose at the heart of their business strategy. This approach can create positive environments across the board for society. Talent attraction, employee satisfaction, and consumer loyalty can increase in a purpose-driven environment. Similarly, in doing so, businesses can make the world a fairer and more equal environment. People now want to see businesses demonstrating an understanding of societal issues and creating solutions that speak to their core values.
Organisations can utilise that same purpose that drives their everyday – the essence of their business – to ensure that their social impact initiatives (also known as CSR or ESG programmes) are aligned with their business strategy. The way a business can demonstrate social purpose can always come from within.
EVERFI from Blackbaud, specialists in helping organisations drive social impact through corporate social responsibility, conducted a survey on the business impact of social purpose. A majority of consumers, 78%, said that whether businesses take action to help make society fairer would be an important factor in their decision to purchase goods or services from them.
Organisations have the power to demonstrate to their audience, from their stakeholders to their consumers and everyone in between, that they believe in creating a fairer society in devising a social purpose programme that places young people at the core. A business’ purpose is its power. It shouldn’t be underestimated how that power can create equal opportunities and when this purpose is put into practice, organisations can create equal opportunities for all and inspire future generations.
Are you using your purpose to drive social change? If not, how can you?
Using business purpose allows businesses to play to their strengths. A bank might want to upskill young people on financial education, and a cosmetics company may choose to raise sun safety awareness. A supermarket might sponsor a competition to help school children learn about healthy eating, and a technology company may help children develop STEM skills. By aligning their social impact initiatives with their purpose, organisations can develop an authentic approach to CSR.
Another way to align a business’s strengths to its CSR is to involve employees. A company’s social impact significantly influences employee motivation, so much so that 60% of employees surveyed as part of a Harvard Business Review study said they would choose to earn less to work for a purpose-driven organisation.
Organisations are bursting with talent able and willing to feed into their CSR agenda, and the good news? Employees want to get involved. The desire to do good and create a fairer world matches their own personal motivators. For example, a software engineer at a technology firm can help develop a programme explaining coding to young people. Organisations’ talent can do more than help profit – they can make social impact.
Businesses can also combine purpose-driven, employee-fueled social impact with preparing the workforce of the future, by creating programmes that upskill young people. The World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of children starting their education will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. Those jobs are likely the ones innovative organisations will need filling, so investing in a CSR programme that helps young people develop the necessary skills for these jobs can benefit future generations and an organisation’s industry.
The Premier League, Aldermore Bank, Amazon, and many more, are some of the organisations that EVERFI from Blackbaud work with to impact the communities they are trying to reach whilst meeting their corporate social responsibility goals – utilising their purpose.
EVERFI by Blackbaud has been working with The Premier League for over five years. The Premier League Primary Stars programme, funded by the Premier League Charitable Foundation and created in partnership with EVERFI, uses the power and appeal of football to support primary pupils learning and development in English, Maths, PSHE and PE. The programme, now in over 86% of primary schools in the UK, comes with no cost to teachers and uses exclusive matchday video footage, stats and the use of former and current Premier League stars to engage pupils in key subjects.
Now is the perfect time for businesses to consider how their purpose can be applied to make a positive and long-lasting difference in the world, changing the lives of current and future generations. Social change is required in many areas, especially at a grassroots level. The need is there, and every business has the opportunity to shape a social impact programme around its purpose.
What impact will you make in 2023? EVERFI from Blackbaud can help you use your business purpose to create social impact.