Back to Resource Center

5 Key Features of Impactful CSR Strategies

Your business wants to leave an impact, but to do that, you’ll need a strategy with enough weight and power. At its core, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is a plan that businesses and their stakeholders use to create, execute, and analyze their initiatives. It’s a sort of roadmap that helps you decide what decisions to make, when to make them, and how to determine where you’re going next. The best CSR strategies ensure companies see the real-world results of their hard work. Below, we explore some of the essential components of those plans and why they matter.

Table of Contents

Why Your CSR Strategy Matters

5 Essential Parts of the Best CSR Strategies

  1. Impact Goals Aligned with Business Priorities
  2. Strong Partnerships
  3. Thoughtful Use of Resources
  4. Measurable Results
  5. Regular Feedback & Engagement

Groundswell Empowers CSR Teams to Create Real Change

Why Your CSR Strategy Matters

A strong corporate social responsibility strategy is more than an idea – it’s an asset. Not only does a CSR strategy help you build and oversee programs, but it also gives you a framework to share with the world. 

Some companies share their CSR strategies publicly; they may share campaign details with stakeholders and consumers, or they might release corporate responsibility reports. Regardless, having a clear sense of purpose and intention makes leveraging your CSR actions as a value point for your business much easier. 

Because corporate social responsibility initiatives are so public-facing, they also significantly impact your brand reputation. Less-than-ideal approaches to CSR can reflect poorly on your business, even if your efforts are sincere. 

Overall, a good CSR strategy helps you navigate the complex nature of your programs while guaranteeing they have a demonstrable impact. Even with all the right ideas and goals, without a strategy to unify everything, you’ll likely find it hard to transform your visions into reality. 

5 Essential Parts of the Best CSR Strategies

So, if good CSR strategies are so important, how can you ensure that yours ticks the right boxes? Let’s examine some core pieces of meaningful CSR programs that benefit all stakeholders.

1. Impact Goals Aligned with Business Priorities

Before you consider anything else, make sure that your CSR goals match your corporate mission, employees, and the communities you want to impact. In other words, do the things you want to achieve make sense based on your business’s overarching purpose?

Take Nestle, for example, which focuses its CSR strategy on sustainability. As a major player in the food industry, Nestle’s business has a natural environmental and agricultural impact. 

As such, its initiatives center around supporting local farmers, minimizing emissions, maintaining deforestation-free supply chains, and more. A strategy like this helps Nestle align with its business values – “Good food, Good life.” 

2. Strong Partnerships

It’s great to focus on building a social impact system of your own, but don’t forget to support what’s already in place, too. The best CSR strategies rely on sustainable, equitable partnerships with community nonprofits. 

Look for the people in your space who are already doing good, and do so early. It’s much easier to join an already impactful movement as an ally than to try and create tangible results all by yourself. 

Do what you can to learn from those around you, too. Offer your resources and goals, and leverage the knowledge you gain in return to take your CSR plan to new heights. 

3. Thoughtful Use of Resources

It’s easy to shoot for the moon with your corporate social responsibility strategies, but it’s also important to look toward what you already have. 

Utilize the resources – whether that means employee skills, donations, knowledge, infrastructure, etc. – you have as you create your game plan. 

How can your employees get involved, and what are you already doing that you can change to align with your goals? A simple initiative can be just as impactful as something more convoluted; what matters most is authentically connecting with your community.

4. Measurable Results

Goals that can be quantified are goals for which companies and their stakeholders can be held accountable. 

Sometimes, it can be tricky to determine how you’ll measure your impact, but it helps to zoom in on metrics that relate directly to strategy performance. In other words, are you doing what you initially set out to do? What evidence do you have that shapes your answer?

x

5. Regular Feedback & Engagement

Get everyone involved in shaping your CSR strategy to boost engagement levels and learn when it’s time to make adjustments. 

Given that nearly all (95%) employees believe that businesses should work to benefit all stakeholders, including the communities they operate within, it’s important for everyone to see the impact of your CSR strategies. 

There’s no better way to make that happen than by keeping your entire organization in the loop. Be open to feedback, too, so that you can understand how to create future strategies that better align with your goals. 

Groundswell Empowers CSR Teams to Create Real Change

There’s one final essential component of a successful corporate social responsibility strategy: the right tools to get the job done. Groundswell’s platform is optimized for CSR leaders and teams that need an easy solution for managing their programs. 

With Groundswell, you can drive strategic corporate social responsibility actions like:

  • Locating and selecting community partners
  • Setting up and monitoring an employee giving program
  • Simplify the corporate grant process
  • Begin a corporate volunteering program that rewards employees for engaging in your CSR initiatives 
  • Quickly and easily log volunteer hours, match employee donations, and more, all right from your mobile device

Seamlessly integrate CSR best practices into your routine with the help of Groundswell. Schedule a demo today to see our platform in action, or contact us at any time to learn more.

Related resources

All Posts
Cause Spotlights
The 15 Best Nonprofits in Chicago to Support
The 15 Best Nonprofits in Chicago to Support

All Posts
Cause Spotlights
The Best Climate Change Nonprofits Working to Protect the Planet
The Best Climate Change Nonprofits Working to Protect the Planet

All Posts
Corporate Philantropy
4 Types of Corporate Social Responsibility Explained
4 Types of Corporate Social Responsibility Explained

Subscribe to our newsletter