EVERFI Content Team

Corporate social impact refers not only to what a company’s activities do to its bottom line, but also to people and the planet. Also known as corporate social responsibility (CSR), this field goes beyond philanthropy. It’s about integrating social impact considerations into all aspects of business operations and into relationships with stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, consumers, investors, and local communities. If you’re just getting started with corporate social impact, here are three tips to help guide you.

1) Create authentic and ongoing support for causes
Many companies participate in supporting well-known social causes such as Pride Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or Giving Tuesday. While these initiatives are commendable, the essence lies in ensuring that support is not performative but genuine, woven into the fabric of the company’s culture.

Authentic action involves more than surface-level gestures; it requires a strategic approach to impactful change. Acknowledging that no single brand can address all issues, a holistic strategy becomes paramount. Investing in communities and community causes, and offering employees a way to give back that is meaningful to them, is key to creating authentic and ongoing support. 

2) Cultivate meaningful partnerships
The shift from transactional engagements to trust-based partnerships marks a significant step in corporate social impact. Rather than just donating funds or time, businesses benefit from forging relationships with community and charity partners that is grounded in authenticity. 

A cornerstone of this approach involves actively listening to partner organizations’ needs and aspirations. Open dialogues, joint problem-solving, and acknowledging historical power imbalances contribute to equitable partnerships. Companies can empower these partnerships by sharing decision-making power, co-designing initiatives, and ensuring benefits reach all stakeholders.

Moreover, adopting a “social good” approach aligns corporate resources with broader societal goals, such as addressing systemic issues of poverty, education inequality, and environmental sustainability. This commitment reflects a brand’s dedication to utilizing its influence for positive change beyond its immediate business interests.

3) Empowering through employee education and engagement
The link between positive employee engagement, well-being, and organizational success is undeniable. By fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), businesses can align internal efforts with external impact.  

CSR programs play a pivotal role in engaging employees authentically with community and charity partners. Aligned with organizational values, these programs leverage executive support and leadership role models. Measuring impact through a blend of quantitative data and qualitative insights ensures continual growth and improvement. 

When organizations champion causes authentically and sustainably, they not only enhance their bottom line but also cultivate a stronger brand reputation and deeper customer loyalty. 

Through these pillars of corporate social impact – authentic support, meaningful partnerships, and employee empowerment – businesses can embark on a journey of purposeful change, benefitting society while nurturing their own success. Crafting a CSR strategy tailored to your brand’s vision is pivotal. Explore how EVERFI and YourCause from Blackbaud can empower your corporate social impact initiatives on a global scale.