The concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Social Investment (CSI) are closely associated.
CSR is regarded as the ability of an organisation to be aware of how its operations are affecting the environment, along with particular communities. Organisations need to avoid negative impact of any kind.
It’s broader the CSI in the sense that actions taken by companies are driven by responsibilities towards the environment and society.
A company may change its suppliers to align with the values espoused by the organisation. So a company like Starbucks, which prides itself on being a green company, is regarded as a responsible corporation because it has a clear Corporate Social Responsibility footprint.
Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to support companies that practise CSR through its activities.
Corporate Social Investment is a derivative of CSR. This is when a company directs monetary investment towards causes that are aligned with the company’s mission. These initiatives are taken on with the intention of improving the districts in which they operate.
This may be in the form of donations, or even offering programmes for the less fortunate.
It’s important to implement CSI properly, by having a strategy.
- Focus on issues that matter most to stakeholders and have a clear strategy that is aligned with company values.
- Assess projects regularly, so you know what is working and what isn’t.
- Do your research about CSI in terms of regulatory requirements as well as what the needs of the community are. Once you are clear on these, set realistic goals.
- Keep in mind how it will benefit stakeholders. CSI is driven by the need to create a positive impact on communities, so as a company, you should know how you want to create an impact on the community.
- Get your own team on board. In-house dedication is key.