Building Capability: Corporate Social Responsibility – How can it benefit your NFP?

 The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seems to have gained momentum in recent years, and more and more business – large and small – are recognising the need to be a good corporate citizen, and focus on doing things ethically, responsibly, and in a way that adds value to the world, whilst also making their profits.

“So what does that have to do with my NFP” you may ask…
Well, it is often through partnerships with NFPs that corporations and businesses can have the biggest social impact. And that is where your NFP can come in…

CSR programs can benefit not-for-profit organisations in a range of ways:

1. Financial support: Many large businesses and corporations have significant financial resources that they can use to support not-for-profit organisations. CSR programs could involve financial donations, sponsorships, or grants that can help not-for-profits fund their activities. This can be particularly attractive to business if you have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.

2. Increased visibility: Corporate social responsibility initiatives often generate media attention and publicity. Not-for-profit organisations that partner with corporations on CSR programs can benefit from this increased visibility, which can help raise awareness about their cause and attract new supporters in that way.

3. Expertise and advice: Big business often has expertise in areas such as marketing, communications, or technology that can be valuable to not-for-profit organisations. CSR programs can sometimes provide pro bono or low cost access to this kind of expertise and advice, helping not-for-profits develop and implement effective strategies to further the work of their organisations.

4. Collaboration opportunities: Corporate social responsibility initiatives generally involve partnerships and collaborations between corporations and not-for-profits. These partnerships can create opportunities for not-for-profits to work with other organisations and to leverage off each other’s strengths and resources.

5. Access to networks: Through CSR programs, not-for-profit organisations can gain access to the corporate network of the partnering organisation, which can lead to new opportunities and connections. This could help in a range of ways, none the least of which is Board succession planning!

Overall, corporate social responsibility programs can provide not-for-profit organisations with important resources, expertise, and networking opportunities that they might not otherwise have access to, and which can help them to deliver on their Purposes and make an even greater impact.

So if you find your NFP’s Purpose aligns with the CSR priorities of an organisation in the for-profit sector, you could have the beginnings of a great partnership!

Megan Buntine
04 May 2023

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