Corporate Social Responsibility is defined as “the obligation of organizations to take an active part in improving society.” You are probably familiar with Tom shoes and that when you buy a pair of Toms they donate a brand new pair to someone in need. As their company has grown and offered other products to the consumer so has their giving program. In addition to shoes, they now donate eyewear, exams, and surgeries as well as fresh water where needed. What does your business do to help others in need? Do you donate time by volunteering in your community?
Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies run employee volunteering programs. Employers encourage volunteering and provide paid time off to employees who volunteer with nonprofits in their community. As a small business owner, you too can design a corporate social responsibility program. Your community thrives when people step up to volunteer.
Steps to Designing Your Business Social Responsibility Program
1. Review your budget – this means not just money but time. How much time can you afford to offer your employees each week or month to give back to the community through volunteering?
2. Select an organization that aligns with your values or has a mission you want to support. You will find a link to get you started at the end of the article. If you do not live in Onslow County you can do an online search for volunteer opportunities in your community.
3. Decide if you will close shop and volunteer as a group or if you will honor individual commitments.
4. Create a simple form to record the employee and volunteer opportunities.
5. Let your customers know what organizations benefit from your Business Social Responsibility Program. Share this information on your website, social media platforms and in a media release. Take photos and share.
Other ways you can be socially responsible is by engaging in environmental sustainability. This means honoring and conserving our natural resources. Does your business recycle soda cans, in cartridges, and used or unwanted equipment? Do you use green products that are environmentally friendly and safe for our water systems? I challenge you to take the time to think about this and see what modifications you can make to how you do business that will not compromise the quality of services you deliver. One way my business is conserving resources is by not printing documents that I want to read. I am a paper junky. However, I am curbing the printing and saving the documents online. Printing client files requires not only the use of electricity, ink, and paper but it also requires the use of cardboard or plastic when storing the files.
I invite you to be a change agent for your industry and business. Adopt a corporate social responsibility program. Give back to your community while conserving resources.
This is a link to get you started http://www.onslowcountync.gov/Administration/VolunteerOnslow.aspx