Corporate Social Responsibility – Making a Difference

A recent tweet from Your Cause highlighted an article written by Aman Singh about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and company sustainability, spurring my interest in the different ways corporations give back to the community.  Considering we, here at Event.org, developed a software organizing corporate and organizational donations, this is an issue close to our own hearts as well.

One of our event staffers is an HR manager for a local Target.  Next month she is participating in the reveal of a Target sponsored rehabilitated library in an underprivileged Chicago neighborhood.  This incited me to look into Target’s CSR initiatives.  Their CSR campaign is called, “Here for Good”.

They specifically focus on the following agendas:

  • Safe Communities
  • Healthy Living
  • Commitment to Education
  • Sustainable Practices

According to their website, Target has given over $2 Billion to the community wince 1946.  But all of this begs the question that was recently posted on Forbes’ Blog, Is Corporate Social Responsibility “Hypocritical Window Dressing?”  Granted the 5% that Target gives back to the community is pennies in comparison to what they as a corporation rake in,  I have to admit, my overall response is, who cares?  Regardless of whether the company is using CSR as a marketing tool, the community still reaps the benefit.  In this case, something is better than nothing.

My main concern regarding CSR is if a company drops a CSR initiative, what happens to the programs and people it once supported.  At that point, the company will be doing more damage than good.

But overall, the corporations and organizations we have worked with regarding their donation initiatives have been eager to increase employee volunteerism and community involvement. Regardless of whether a company gives back to the community as a gimmick to increase profit or because they actually want to give back, the bottom-line is that the community benefits.

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One response to “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making a Difference

  1. Thanks so much for picking up on my article. My greatest concern is that mainstream media, when they do report on CSR, end up silo-ing it into corporate philanthropy or social good, like the Target example you exemplify.

    A company’s community outreach and social initiatives are a part of CSR, but CSR extends to a lot more than that. Kudos to your corporate members who are doing what’s needed. At the end of the day, though, these initiatives will only be successful for the community and the company if they create value for the companies themselves via increased employee engagement, retention, innovation and brand loyalty. That’s when we know the initiatives are on the right track and are adding value for all who participate, not just the ones who receive.

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