The New Face of CSR:
How Technology is Revolutionising Corporate Social Responsibility and How Nonprofits Can Benefit
Pauline Kwasniak is a Polish-born, Irish-raised digital marketer and business founder. She has been on the list of Ireland’s 30 under 30, as well as several other prestigious competitions. She is a speaker and lecturer internationally in the field of digital marketing, branding, social media, workplace philanthropy, and CSR. Pauline is also a dedicated volunteer and CSR consultant and always dreamt of helping the third sector utilise digital innovation and technology. This dream came true as she is now the Managing Director of Finedeeds.com. Finedeeds is a technology platform and app for corporates to manage and measure their social ambition and involve employees in workplace philanthropy. Finedeeds also offers complimentary functionality for charities and nonprofits to create philanthropic fundraising projects and invite companies to take part. Charities can also use the platform to run their fundraising and pro-bono projects digitally without giving away any commission on donations.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has come a long way – we can all agree with that. And while corporates have largely embraced the new face of CSR, revolutionised by technology, many nonprofits are still doing CSR like it’s 1999.
Globally, corporations realise that what is good for society is good for business. Therefore, they want to contribute to social, economic, and environmental issues. According to the Harvard Business Review, in 2011 only 20% of companies on the S&P 500 Index published a CSR report. That number jumped to 90% in 2019.
This shift in CSR has allowed nonprofits to partner with more corporations to gain funding. But, unfortunately, some charities have been more successful at it than others. Why is that?
From what I see daily at Finedeeds, nonprofits that modernise their CSR outreach and collaboration activities are winning.
CSR has been an essential aspect of business for decades, but with the increasing importance of digital technology, it became necessary for CSR to be digitalised and measured. To fully leverage the potential of CSR partnerships, nonprofits need to familiarise themselves with the tools and technologies that support CSR initiatives.
By familiarising themselves with CSR tools and technologies, nonprofits can better understand the needs and priorities of corporations. This makes it easier for nonprofits to collaborate with corporations on social responsibility initiatives, such as cause marketing campaigns, employee volunteering programmes, and social impact investments.
First, it’s key for nonprofits to understand why corporations are digitalising their CSR endeavours.
Digitalising CSR allows companies to collect data more efficiently and accurately. Digital tools like Finedeeds.com can be used to automate data collection and analysis, reducing the risk of errors, and making it easier to identify patterns and trends. This, in turn, allows companies to make more informed decisions about their CSR initiatives and to identify areas where they can make the most impact.
Secondly, digitalising CSR gives more transparency and accountability. By making data about CSR initiatives public, companies can demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and build trust with stakeholders. Nonprofits can also share updates on where the funding and support are going.
Thirdly, digitalisation helps to improve communication and collaboration between companies and their nonprofits. For example, charities can provide digital feedback on CSR initiatives and keep all employees informed about updates with one simple click.
Another critical argument for digitalising CSR is that it facilitates better employee engagement in corporate social responsibility projects. This is hugely important for HR departments looking for ways to retain talent. For example, companies can use gamification techniques available on Finedeeds, to encourage employees to volunteer, donate to charities, and reduce their environmental impact
Now let’s talk about the benefits to nonprofits of digitalising their CSR endeavours and embracing new technologies.
1. Increased Funding Opportunities:
Many corporations have dedicated CSR budgets and look for effective ways to invest in social and environmental initiatives. By familiarising themselves with CSR tools and technologies, nonprofits can position themselves as effective partners for corporations and increase their chances of receiving funding for their programmes and initiatives.
2. Enhanced Impact Measurement and Reporting:
CSR tools and technologies can help nonprofits track and measure the impact of their programmes and initiatives. This is critical for demonstrating their work’s effectiveness and attracting funding from corporations and other donors. In addition, by familiarising themselves with impact measurement tools and technologies, nonprofits can enhance their ability to report on their impact and engage in evidence-based decision-making.
3. Improved Organisational Efficiency and Effectiveness:
Finally, nonprofits can improve their organisational efficiency and effectiveness by adopting CSR tools and technologies. For example, they can use project management tools to streamline their programme delivery, CRM systems to manage donor relationships, and socials.
There is no doubt that technology has revolutionised CSR and is changing the way companies approach social responsibility. From increasing transparency and accountability to improving resource management, collaboration, employee engagement, and communication, technology has opened up new opportunities for companies to positively impact society and the environment. As technology evolves, we expect to see even more innovative approaches to CSR and a greater focus on sustainability and ethical business practices.
Therefore, nonprofits should be confident in the digitalisation of CSR in their day-to-day work. This technical revolution can offer numerous benefits to help them achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently. Technology can help nonprofits expand their reach, improve their impact, engage corporate donors, and save costs.