We recently posted about defining corporate social responsibility and thought it would be beneficial to elaborate on why it is so important for both corporations and nonprofit organizations.

Corporate Social Responsibility – Corporations

As mentioned in our earlier post about corporate social responsibility, the current consumer climate doesn’t allow for companies to simply be in business for the sake of making a profit. While consumers may rely on corporations for goods and services, the level of competition allows customers to make decisions based on how much good a corporation is doing outside of the workplace and how they are positively impacting their community.

Public Image

A corporation’s public image is at the mercy of it’s social responsibility programs. According to a study by Cone Communications, 9 out of 10 consumers would refrain from doing business with a corporation if there existed no corporate social responsibility plan.

For example, if a company is heavily involved in the practice of donating funds or goods to local nonprofit organizations and schools, consumers are more likely to use their product. Or if a corporation takes great care to ensure the materials used in its products are environmentally safe and the process is sustainable, this goes a long way in the eye of the public.

Remember, consumers feel good shopping at institutions that help the community. And that’s good for business!

Media Visibility

The amount of positive media coverage a corporation receives can have a significant impact on the company’s bottom line. How much good a company does in its community or beyond reflects its corporate social responsibility values. And the more positive the benefits to the community, the more media coverage a company will likely receive.

On the other hand, the media will often also cover corporations that participate in production or activities resulting in negative community impact. Media visibility is only useful when it sheds a positive light on your organization.

Positive Workplace Environment

It’s just common sense – employees like working for a company that has a good public image and is constantly in the media for positive reasons. Happy employees almost always equals positive output.

Corporate Social Responsibility – Nonprofit Organizations

How corporations embrace corporate social responsibility is of great importance to nonprofit organizations. Corporate giving programs include matching gifts and volunteer grants. These programs, which vastly increase the positive impact corporations can have, are vital to nonprofit organizations because they are the ones receiving the monetary donations and volunteer time.

Employee Matching Gift Programs

Corporations that offer matching gift programs are essentially doubling donations that its employees might give to eligible nonprofits. For example, if an employee provides a $100 check to a nonprofit organization of their choice, an employer with a matching gift program will write an additional $100 check, thereby increasing total funds brought in!

It should come as no surprise that matching gift programs increase employee engagement for companies that offer these programs, but they also help foster deeper nonprofit/donor relationships. If you’re looking to increase fundraising from existing donors, matching gift programs are a great place to start.

Employee Volunteer Grant Programs

Corporations that offer volunteer grants, or even offer paid time off to volunteer at nonprofit organizations, are bringing in helping hands to eligible nonprofit organizations. For example, a corporation might offer a $250 check to a nonprofit once an employee has volunteered at least 10 hours with the organization.

These corporate giving programs are a win-win for both parties involved, and a huge reason why corporate social responsibility is important to nonprofits!

Corporate Partnerships

Handshake (credit: http://amabc.com.au/public-relations/)Another positive impact corporate social responsibility has on nonprofit organizations is the possibility of corporate partnerships. These partnerships are vital to the positive impact a corporation has on its local community, and important to a nonprofit that may not have the resources for major marketing campaigns. Longterm corporate/nonprofit partnerships can benefit everyone.

For a corporation, a partnership with a local or national nonprofit organization improves the company’s image in the public eye, as consumers can clearly see the positive impact a corporation is having on their community. A key benefit is that it makes it easier for consumers to trust a company.

For a nonprofit organization, a partnership with a local or national corporation puts its name on tons of marketing materials that otherwise could not have been afforded on tight budgets. A key benefit is the partnership brings additional awareness to the nonprofit’s cause.

Bottom line: Corporate Social Responsibility is important for corporations and nonprofits alike. If your organization isn’t on the CSR bandwagon yet, it’s missing out on the many benefits CSR brings!

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