If your business is in the growth phase, and you’re working all hours to turn a profit, your business strategy is to do all of the business you can. But sometimes making discriminating choices will take you in a different direction, a more sustainable one for your business, and one that will take you further than you ever thought possible.
But more and more companies are realising it’s just as important to have a really impactful corporate responsibility policy too. In the 21st century, it’s not enough to simply provide work for people any more. Today’s most successful businesses know that they need to give back in a much more formalised way.
For example, some companies give their staff regular days off for them to volunteer with charities close to their heart. Others partner closely with specific charities to help them develop their business acumen, helping them become scalable and give aid to more and more people across the world.
Finding the right CSR partnerships is the key. Making the discriminating choice is not opening the door to anyone who knocks on it; it’s getting to know those who come knocking and understanding how you can work together. The magic that can come from the meeting of two like-minded people can be really inspiring – think Lennon and McCartney, Ben and Jerry or Jobs and Wozniak.
And that’s just two individuals - now imagine the impact that two inspired organisations can have if they work together in true partnership. Two like-minded companies, both filled with smart, imaginative, inspirational people, have the potential to become more than the sum of their parts.
CSR partnerships have the potential to provide significant benefit to both parties since the NGO or charity gains resources in able contributors and the contributing company provides a huge sense of personal satisfaction to those contributing to excellent causes, whether it be elimination of disease, provision of education, provision of clean water etc.
CSR projects can be linked closely to a company’s business or set of products – one example is a company that makes ingredients for sun-tan cream partnering with a skin cancer charity to provide resources to help combat skin cancer. Everyone loves to have the feeling “I really contributed something to make people’s lives better and to make the world a better place”, and CSR partnerships provide this opportunity.