There are times when you do something nice for someone else with no expectation of personal thanks or gain, and it feels great. Companies should also strive for this feeling; to work not only on return on investment but also toward return on relationships through corporate social responsibility.
You should know that I practice what I preach. Last year, Empower Network donated a total of $17,500 to local affiliates of the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Anaheim, California; Dallas; Denver; and the District of Columbia during company events. We also donated $2,500 to the 100,000 Homes Campaign at an Orlando event. We are now pleased to announce that the 100,000 Homes Campaign achieved its goal of finding homes for 100,000 vulnerable and chronically homeless individuals and families. Here’s how your company can work on your own success story and, perhaps more critically, why you should:
The importance of corporate social responsibility
Henry Ford once said, “To do more for the world than the world does for you … that is success.” In business, we sometimes get so caught up in measuring achievement only with profitability that we often forget this.
Research has shown that approximately 90 percent of consumers expect the companies they trust with their hard-earned dollars to give back through charities and causes. More importantly, they want those companies to do a better job of publicizing those good deeds.
Social responsibility also provides a way to connect with customers. With so much competition, consumers can be choosier than ever, and today, many are selecting the companies and brands that meet their social responsibility expectations instead of those that don’t.
How you can be a good corporate citizen:
- When making business decisions, consider the impact they will have on the surrounding community and the public at large. If it is negative, reconsider or research other methods to prevent leaving such a huge footprint that you wind up stomping on everyone.
- Make corporate social responsibility a part of your company’s overall objectives and strategic plan, not just something you do once in a while or an empty gesture employed to deflect negative publicity.
- Put your goals in writing and seek company-wide buy-in so that everyone from the top down knows what is expected and works to discover new ways to put it in action.
- Find a cause that educates the public, solves problems and offers a realistic connection with your brand.
- If you are already engaged with corporate social responsibility efforts, don’t be afraid to let your audiences know about it. You can even develop ways to get them involved, such as requesting input or feedback.
More about the 100,000 Homes Campaign
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ “The State of Homelessness in America 2013” report, more than 630,000 people experienced homelessness in 2012. Federal estimates indicate nearly 100,000 of those are chronically homeless, meaning they have been homeless for an extended period of time and suffer from serious health conditions.
The Campaign, completed before the July 31 deadline, has more than 230 communities participating and will permanently house more than 101,000 homeless Americans, including 31,171 homeless veterans. Additionally, these efforts have saved taxpayers an estimated $1.3 billion since the Campaign’s launch in July 2010.
What has your company done for others this year? How about this month? If you need ideas for incorporating social responsibility into your overall company and marketing plans, contact me to discuss.
Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of the Empower Network, LLC. Empower Network is a leading affiliate marketing and direct sales company that’s helping tens of thousands enjoy the “Empowered Lifestyle.” Jonathan enjoys travel, spending time with his wife and red wine.