“Impacting Communities” Is Prime Motivator Of Corporate Social Responsibility Programs
Having an impact on critical issues is the number one reason why corporations invest in philanthropic or socially responsible activities, according to executives in new research released today by Weber Shandwick's Social Impact specialty group. The survey of more than 200 corporate executives in large-sized companies with responsibility for philanthropic, social responsibility or community relations was conducted by KRC Research in October.
| Posted in Philanthropy on Dec 26, 2010
|| 0 Comments |
A second reason given for funding corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the opportunity to see an organization's values in action (25%). Several more business-oriented motivations, such as building customer loyalty (15%), differentiating the company from competitors (6%) and engaging and retaining employees (4%), were cited as the least important reasons for engaging in community philanthropic activities.
"Corporations are looking at community needs and asking how they can better focus their resources and expertise to foster genuine change on specific critical issues,” said Weber Shandwick's Social Impact Co-Founder, Paul Massey. Given the urgent need for action in the U.S. on vital issues such as education, health and wellness, economic development and environmental sustainability, that's encouraging news."
8 in 10 Executives Consider Nonprofits Valuable Partners
The survey also asked executives about their work with nonprofit organizations. Nearly 60 percent of the executives responding to the survey said that they fund nonprofits, and 79 percent view nonprofits as "valuable partners” because they make their CSR investment more effective by providing a critical foundation and infrastructure, contributing expertise and helping to engage consumers.
"The research validates the importance of collaboration and partnership in building successful CSR programs," said Stephanie Bluma, co-founder of Social Impact. "Weber Shandwick's Social Impact team has definitely seen an increase in interest from the corporate sector on how best to leverage new and existing nonprofits partnerships to create enduring and mutually beneficial social impact."
Senior Leadership Drives Success
Nearly all executives reported that strong and vocal support from senior managers (94%) and well-defined objectives and outcomes (91%) are the most important ingredients in creating successful CSR programs. In addition, 82% said that clearly focusing on a specific area and issue was a critical element in the viability of their CSR efforts. "Developing a clear vision and focus for CSR works best when senior management is at the table to help narrow the choices," said Bluma.
Community Engagement & Communications
More than one in three corporate executives (34%) said that the key takeaway they learned from their organization's implementation of CSR is how it demonstrated their company's commitment and impact within the communities they serve. Notably, the research also found that the majority of executives (59%) reported an increase in communications around their community involvement over the past 12 months.
"For companies interested in making a positive social impact, the takeaway from this research is clear: well-defined CSR goals matter, as does executive support and strategic communications focused on key stakeholders," said Massey. "The more engagement internally and externally that companies can have with nonprofits, customers and communities regarding their CSR efforts, the greater the likelihood that socially responsible citizenship will continue to rise to the top of corporate agendas and benefit us all."
Weber Shandwick's Social Impact team will release new survey findings early next year on the role of social media and crowd sourcing in helping companies build more effective CSR programs.
Full survey results can be found at http://impact.webershandwick.com.
Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations agency. Weber Shandwick's Social Impact practice builds insight-driven communications programs to drive engagement on pressing social issues. We partner with corporations, nonprofits and foundations to develop strategic platforms and campaigns that reach key audiences with resonant and actionable messages on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and issues spanning global development, education, sustainability, human rights and more. For more information, visit www.webershandwick.com.
KRC Research is a full-service market research firm that specializes in the kind of research needed for effective communications—combining sophisticated research tools with real-world communications experience. To learn more, please visit www.krcresearch.com.
Corporate Social Responsibility CSR Weber Shandwick Weber Shandwick Social Impact Nonprofits Paul Massey Stephanie Bluma KRC Research
Submit A Comment