If you work for a small or medium-sized company, it’s easy to feel like CSR is for the big guys. Large, multinational corporations with billions in revenue each year have no reason not to participate in corporate social responsibility. For smaller companies, however, it’s easy to wonder how your efforts will make a difference or stand out in the noise. Here are five ways to maximize your small company CSR efforts:
Focus on local contributions and impact
You’re not likely to be the largest donor to a national nonprofit. It’s hard to compete with the multimillion dollar grants that giants like JP Morgan Chase give out. So how can you stand out and make a difference?
Focus on one or several local nonprofits. Many of these struggle to get funding from those large corporations, but are doing meaningful work in your backyard. And, because they are focused on local work, your efforts will be even more impactful to your customers.
Tell your story often and well
No one will know about all the wonderful contributions your company is making if you don’t tell them. Share about your corporate giving, the volunteer opportunities for your employees, your environmental stewardship, and anything else you do to give back to your community.
Video is one of the greatest assets for this kind of storytelling, with Facebook alone experiencing 4 billion daily video streams. Leveraging this trend doesn’t have to be a huge investment, either—simple videos of employees or leaders at your company talking about what you’ve done can be shot on a smartphone with an inexpensive external microphone.
Encourage employees to share
Your best advocates are your employees. By encouraging them to share about their experiences in your CSR efforts, you expand the reach of your efforts and help them to feel even more proud of working for your company.
Work with your HR and marketing teams to come up with a branded campaign around this and include a catchy hashtag—you can then use tools like SociableKit to pull all the photos on various social media platforms with your hashtag and feature them on your site, creating an impressive record of your company’s charitable work.
Getting your employees to spend their time on behalf of a local cause can have monumental impacts. Most nonprofits are glad to give credit on social media to companies that send employees to volunteer, and the work makes for great video and photography content. On top of that, your employees will feel more engaged and are more likely to want to stay with the company!
Get your C-Suite involved
Finally, make sure that your leadership is involved in your CSR efforts. Modeling that investment to your employees will help ensure that you're communicating a consistent message. And, content from your leaders can go a long way to showing your customers that you are putting your money where your mouth is.
One word of caution—make sure that your C-suite is actually on board. If they seem to just be going through the motions, it can actually have the opposite effect and increase cynicism for your employees and customers.
Overall, corporate social responsibility programs can help your small or mid-size business to build deeper relationships with your customers and community, engage your employees, and help your business to succeed. Take a look at how DonationXchange can help streamline donation requests and other administrative components of your CSR program!