What is ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR)?

Aspirations and Future Planning / November 18th, 2019

What is ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR)?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), sometimes known as ‘corporate conscience’ or ‘corporate citizenship’, is about companies playing a responsible role in the wider community. Effective CSR provides an opportunity for organizations to work towards the betterment of the society and simply make it a better place to live. However, often when CSR is discussed it is as if it were a new concept, but in reality, businesses have been supporting their communities and recognising the specific needs of their localities, for a long time. Community minded businesses, as well as the organisations that they support, understand the simple reality that without effective CSR many valuable community programmes would simply never take place. Haines Watts have developed some brilliant ways for them to enhance and develop their CRS and we are very lucky to be their nominated charity.

The Benefits of CSR for Charities and Companies

When Haines Watts generously named Building Self-Belief CIO, as its nominated charity for the Newcastle and Leeds offices for the 2021-2022 financial year. They developed a comprehensive plan of how they would support us and how they would engage the workers at Haines Watts to support their events. In addition, the production of a series of career Podcasts helped them promote their positive business model and it enabled us to gain a much greater insight into the world of finance so that we could better prepare our young people, as well as share the podcasts with them so that they could do their own research into careers linked to working for an accountancy firm. It is a great way for them to appreciate and understand how many options there are in relation to careers in finance and the man different routes that can be taken to get there.

Our Visit to the Haines Watts Newcastle Office

We took a group of  ten Year 12 students, from Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Gateshead who are in the process of completing our Bridging the Gap Between Education and Work programme, on a recent visit to the Haines Watts office at Newcastle. As part of the visit they had their CVs scrutinised and improved by the Head of HR, conducted mock interviews to give them a 'real' workplace experience and they had advice about how to develop and grow their Linked In profiles in preparation for the workplace. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Haines watts for making us feel so welcome and creating such a positive atmosphere for the group to experience, We then used this opportunity to take the students on a visit to Newcastle University where they could also further explore their career options 

Funding and Exposure

When companies publicise their support for a charity, awareness of the cause spreads, acting as free marketing and in turn encouraging more funding. CSR initiatives like ‘match funding’ also mean that charities can receive up to double the amount that they may have done so otherwise.

Stable Partnerships & Volunteering

The partnerships formed through CSR between companies and charities can often lead to long-term collaborations. Building Self-Belief CIO has been made to feel part of the team at Haines Watts and have found it to be an invaluable experiences in establishing positive corporate relationships.

Better Company Image and Customer Loyalty

Corporate social responsibility schemes increase a brand’s recognition and contribute to a better public image. For example, it makes sense that consumers want to shop with companies that care about their community and have a sense of social responsibility. This, in turn, helps to foster customer loyalty. Indeed, investors want to work with reputable companies can see that for businesses with CSR initiatives concern for worthy causes, and not just profit, is a key motivating factor. As part of the support we have received form Haines Watts they have recommended us as their named company to their clients. Receiving such support has been a brilliant way to help us fund projects and programmes and allowed us to take the charity into new directions. As an extension of this support, we have created a Building Self-Belief Christmas Appeal Crowd Fund. Please give that you can afford to support us.

Identifying Areas for Improvement

CSR efforts often lead to businesses reviewing and evaluating their current processes, with many leading directly to business improvement. For example, the energy savings that may come from a new renewable focussed energy assessment programme.

Increased Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

CSR schemes create a sense of community and bonding amongst employees, engaging them and encouraging positive relations. Companies that demonstrate a dedication to improving communities through CSR programmes are much more likely to retain and attract engaged employees. Ultimately, effective CSR is a win-win prospect for your company, customers, employees and the wider community.

A Self-Regulatory Business Plan

Essentially, corporate social responsibility is a type of self-regulatory business plan, with initiatives focusing on achieving economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders be they employees, consumers, investors other community groups. Consequently, CSR initiatives are often defined as initiatives that place social improvement before the often short term interests of business financial performance. The most common examples of which include donating money to charities and implementing environmental schemes in the workplace. This could also include more practical and hands on support by inviting our young people to visit your company where you can give them the most up to date support and advice linked to your industry. Perhaps as part of our Bridging the Gap between Education and Work programmes.

Types of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’

Social responsibility can take many forms, these include;

• Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility
One of the most common forms of corporate social responsibility, where a company focuses their CSR efforts towards reducing their impact on the environment. You could support our Environmental Programmes
• Ethical Corporate Social Responsibility
Ethical corporate social responsibility programmes focus on ensuring that all stakeholders in a business receive fair treatment, from employees to customers.
• Philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility
Philanthropic social responsibilities go beyond simply operating as ethically as possible and involve actively bettering communities. This type of CSR is frequently associated with donating money to charities, with many businesses supporting particular charities that are relevant to their business in some way. However, philanthropic CSR does not only refer to charity donations. Other common philanthropic responsibilities include investing in the community or participating in local projects. You could support our Wellbeing Programme or our Year 6 Transition Programmes.

We can help you develop and build your Corporate Social Responsibility. If your company would like to support Building Self-Belief CIO, please get in touch


 

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