For the next generation of brands, the challenge when it comes to social purpose and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is how to achieve the greatest business and social impact with limited resources — people, dollars and time.
Read on for Rocket’s review of purpose efforts of multiple companies emerging as purpose-driven leaders to gain insights on best practices and trends.
focused purpose efforts
Larger and more traditional companies tend to have broad purpose and CSR efforts focusing on multiple sets of issues.
Emerging companies have eschewed that approach, rather:
• choosing to focus their limited purpose and CSR resources on one or few social issues
• determining social issues that best align with company’s purpose, values, expertise and business
• putting emphasis on areas where they can also have greatest impact, relevance and differentiation
tackling more provocative issues
To stand out in a crowded purpose marketplace, many new entrants to developing purpose-driven and CSR strategies are focusing on edgier issues historically ignored by other companies.
• Racial Justice
• Mental Health
• Sex Trafficking
• Criminal Justice Reform
• Child Marriage
• Immigration Reform
• LGBTQ Equality
Tackling Men’s Mental Health with goal of helping 500,000 men by 2021
Addressing discrimination across its platform via #WeAccept
Holistic Approach, Going Beyond the Donation
Often lacking large CSR budgets, emerging companies leverage all their assets to drive impact:
• Product donation
• Employee giving
• Partnership with suppliers/vendors
• Skills-based volunteerism
• Communication and advertising assets
• Sharing expertise & technology
with nonprofit organizations
Headspace: Provides free subscriptions to healthcare workers, individuals who are unemployed, and have developed meditation courses in response to COVID.
box.org: Cloud Content Management company goes beyond dollars leveraging employees, product, partners coaching and connection to resources.
Integration of CSR, DEI & Sustainability
Many growing companies may not yet have dedicated DEI and Sustainability teams. These efforts tend to fall under CSR purview. As a result many CSR leads are connecting the dots of existing assets to further social impact, DEI and sustainability:
• Creation of CSR Integration team
• Employee Resource Groups focused on Sustainability and DEI
• Integration of DEI principles into CSR and vice-versa
• Recruitment of employee champions to help scale efforts
• Connecting giving, volunteer and DEI nonprofit partnerships together
LogMeIn: Created a social impact team called Mission Possible with social Impact ambassadors across the globe to identify partners.
Finish Line: Developed a Louder Than Words grants program, highlighting commitment against bigotry and promoting inclusion.
* Promoting CSR POV through thought leadership strategies
* Designing Product with inclusion and accessibility in mind
* Identifying ESG priority areas such as making climate commitments
* Leveraging CSR to bolster Health, Safety and Wellbeing of Employees
We believe in the power of purposeful brands to change lives & the world.
That’s why we get up each morning with a fire in our bellies to help brands and causes unlock their potential, activate their opportunity and share their story.
We’re a social purpose agency specializing in helping emerging brands develop, implement and communicate their social impact.
Rich MaiorePresident, Rocket Social Impactrich@rocketsocialimpact.com