The Benefits of Digital CSR
Your company’s CSR program is an important way to give back to the community, engage your employees, and boost your reputation. By supporting causes you care about, your business builds deeper connections to your community and employees—whether that’s by volunteering, donating in-kind goods and services, or sending monetary donations to your nonprofit partners. Your corporate social responsibility program is an important piece of managing how the public perceives you as well as how your employees think about your company and their work. A robust CSR program helps the public feel like your company is a part of the community and a responsible corporate citizen, while it also helps your employees feel like their work supports a greater goal.
While CSR programs are very popular, it’s important to know how to run your CSR program well. A manual or offline CSR program can quickly become a huge time commitment and drain on your resources, as every task takes a lot of effort and attention to accomplish. Want to make your CSR program more effective and simple? The answer is easy—a digital CSR program helps you run more efficiently.
Why Manual CSR Programs Aren’t Effective
Offline or manual CSR programs are often ineffective. The model is ripe with opportunities for bottlenecks, misunderstandings, and a kind of administrative work that wastes more time than it accomplishes tasks.
Offline CSR is Inefficient
One of the biggest challenges of manual CSR programs is that they are inherently inefficient. The amount of emails and approvals that go through every single application for a grant or donation from your company can quickly eat up someone’s day. Nonprofits applying for support may forget to include certain information or neglect to share, which then requires your CSR team to follow up to get what you need to make a decision.
You have to find manual ways to route approvals and decisions through, which can make one of your team serve as a project manager just for the application process! While you want to support causes you care about, this can become incredibly costly when it comes to your human talent and resources. On top of that, organizations that apply every year don’t get any built-in efficiencies or tracking data to help you streamline those repeat donations.
Involving your employees in your CSR program is also a challenge is it requires manually reaching out to them. Rather than building a digital CSR program that connects in with your human resources and other departments, you have to shoehorn the program in—leading to misunderstandings and more analog work for your CSR team.
Offline CSR Relies on Institutional Memory
Another serious challenge of manual or offline CSR programs is their reliance on institutional memory. Since most interactions are done via email or phone, everything that has happened for your corporate social responsibility program is stored in one inbox or one person’s head. That can lead to a lot of inefficiencies if someone loses track of something or forgets what happened last, setting your CSR program back and making your company look unprofessional.
Without a centralized database and record of everything, it’s hard to report out on your CSR program. It’s important to have all the information in one place where it’s easily accessible, especially if you have turnover in your department. Building effective digital systems for your CSR program goes a long way.
Offline CSR Creates More Work for Other Departments
For every way that your CSR program is inefficient when you haven’t set it up online, it creates more work for your other departments. Your finance team ends up being more involved in sending payments, tracking numbers, and building reports. Your executives spend more time making decisions about your CSR program and awards you give out than they would with a streamlined, digital CSR program. Your CSR team, most of all, will spend most of its time emailing people and following up on tasks.
All of these parts of your CSR program could be automated into a digital CSR program like DonationXchange.
Managing Your Corporate Social Responsibility Program Online
Moving your CSR program online is one of the easiest ways you can make your corporate giving more effective. Digital CSR programs streamline the process and help your dollars go even further to support the causes you care about.
Mistakes to Avoid with Your Digital CSR Program
While digital CSR programs can help you to be more effective and efficient, there are some common mistakes you should avoid.
Digital doesn’t fix everything. Moving your charitable giving online is a big step, but it isn’t a magic bullet. You’ll still need to have clear goals for your program, define what kinds of causes you’ll support, and think through exactly how you want to engage your employees. A digital platform for your CSR program like DonationXchange can make that a lot simpler with things like automated pre-approval quizzes to determine if nonprofits qualify, 501(c)3 status verification, and customized workflows. Even with all of those extra capabilities, your digital CSR program can only work well if you plan ahead.
Pre-approval quizzes need to be robust. Automated pre-approval quizzes are a great way to weed out requests for support. Not every cause or nonprofit is going to be a good fit for your company’s charitable giving. By setting up a robust pre-approval quiz that asks important questions like the focus of the nonprofit, whether it aligns with your CSR program’s goals, and other simple things like location, you can narrow down your applications to the top contenders for your company’s charitable giving. With online applications and CSR management software like DonationXchange, your company can streamline the process without adding a lot of extra work for your team.
Don’t forget to use all your tools. It’s important to remember all the capabilities you have access to. Robust online CSR management software is going to help you with every step of the process—from applications to approvals to cutting the check. Tools like DonationXchange are helpful because they add capabilities for your team in every step of the process, which means moving your charitable giving online can expand your impact even further.
Benefits of Managing Your CSR Digitally
Moving your charitable giving program online can provide many benefits, streamlining your tasks and making things easier for your team — which in turn can help your company’s CSR program be even more effective in giving back to your community.
Cut down on processing and administrative fees. Moving your CSR program online can help reduce the fees you pay on your charitable giving. Paying your nonprofit partners through Electronic Funds Transfer is a quick way to support the causes you care about online. By making your charitable giving digital, you’ll cut back on fees for checks and other administrative costs, including the extra work for your other teams.
It’s important to make sure you find the right online CSR management tool. Some tools can charge significant administrative fees that add up over time and take money away from the nonprofits you’re trying to support. Low-fee options like DonationXchange help keep as much money in the hands of your nonprofit partners as possible while still providing the logistical support that helps your company be more efficient and effective.
Assign tasks to the right people. Robust digital charitable giving management software will also serve as a project management tool, helping you track workflows for every grant application you receive. You can assign reviewers for each application, set reminders to make sure that tasks don’t fall through the cracks, and automate many of the steps in the process. By automating the management of your online CSR program, you’ll avoid the need to have an employee shepherd an application through every step of the process — freeing up their time to do more important, pressing tasks.
Showcase professionalism. Your company’s reputation isn’t just impacted by the donations you make to causes you care about. It also matters what kind of experience those nonprofit partners have when asking you for support. Is it a very dated, analog process riddled with errors and missteps? Or is it a streamlined, digital CSR program that uses technology effectively and gets answers and funds to them quickly? Impress your community partners by providing an excellent experience in this area as well and showcase the professionalism and quality of your company.
Instant, guaranteed deposits right to your cause’s bank account. Sending paper checks through the mail is dated and inconvenient. With the rise of remote work, it can be hard to get checks signed, processed, and mailed — not to mention how often mail is delayed for long periods! Moving your charitable giving online means your funds will be deposited in your nonprofit partner’s bank account instantaneously with no worry of fraud or lost checks. Tools like DonationXchange use instant Electronic Funds Transfers to keep your books cleaner and your nonprofit partners happy, all while taking a lot of work off of your finance and accounts payable teams.
Electronic Funds Transfers make it easy to fund causes across the world. Perhaps you’ve built a partnership with an international NGO or want to support an area across the world in the wake of a disaster. Sending money internationally can be incredibly difficult, as it’s easy to get caught in unexpected regulations or have trouble finding the right place to get the money to. Using Electronic Funds Transfers, your online charitable giving program can instantly send funds to the places that need it. DonationXchange makes it simple to give where it’s needed without any added inconvenience.
Promote transparency by easily collecting data from your nonprofit partners. Collecting data from the causes you support can be challenging. By automating the process, you can create timed requests for data from your nonprofit partners that they can easily submit in the DonationXchange portal, as well as pull reports from all of your charitable giving in one easy, online tool. The transparency will help your program and make it easy to showcase the success of your online CSR management.
Maximize employee engagement. Engaging your employees in your company’s online charitable giving is an important step to building deeper bonds with your team. Giving employees are engaged employees, and engaged employees work harder and stay with the company for longer. Using DonationXchange’s Employee Portal, your team can work with company matching to support causes they care about, find volunteer opportunities, and donate to support disaster relief or other unexpected situations. By integrating the charitable giving Employee Portal into your HR functions, you can give your team the chance to give back to the community while also showcasing how your company is investing in causes that mean something to your employees.
Moving your company’s charitable giving program online isn’t just a cost or time saving measure — it’s also a way to make your CSR program more effective and more connected. Your nonprofit partners will appreciate the time you save them as well as the convenience. Your employees will feel better connected to the causes you support and to your company. Finally, your team will be able to scale and streamline every aspect of your online CSR program more effectively than the previous manual model. Overall, moving your charitable giving online will provide quick, easy wins for your organization.
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