Why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is More Essential than Ever

A person holding a bouquet of flowers against a fence, exemplifying the essential notion of Corporate Social Responsibility.

For nonprofits and charities, inflation is a double-edged sword. It’s causing demand for their services to spike even as many donors are forced to slash contributions. As fewer dollars flow in from individuals, the role played by corporate giving and CSR programs becomes more crucial than ever.

With prices for food, back-to-school supplies, and other essentials rising ever higher, more individuals and families are turning to charities and nonprofits for help. At the same time, according to Axios, “Americans gave the lowest percentage of their disposable incomes to charity last year since 1995…as (they) faced high inflation and economic uncertainty.”

Changes in tax policy have also factored into reduced giving, as the higher standard deduction means fewer taxpayers are able to itemize their charitable giving. Combined, those factors make nonprofits and charitable organizations more reliant on contributions from high-income earners and corporate giving.

CSR to the Rescue

Fortunately, businesses and other large employers are responding to recent research studies demonstrating how corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs benefit everyone involved: their enterprises, employees, and local communities.

As noted here previously in our post on the value of CSR programs:

  • 82% of employees want opportunities to volunteer with peers in corporate-supported events.
  • 88% of company leaders believe effective employee engagement programs help attract and retain employees, while 90% say that partnering with reputable nonprofit organizations enhances their brand.
  • 92% of businesses say their customers expect them to be good corporate citizens, and 89% believe partnering with nonprofit organizations leverages their ability to improve the community.

Employers Do Well by Doing Good

“Ever since Benjamin Franklin counseled Americans to ‘do well by doing good,’ individuals and companies have debated the proper mix of capitalism and philanthropy in society,” according to Forbes. Further, “the current level of philanthropic support and community service is truly global and unprecedented…it’s being driven by employees at all levels and corporate leaders who understand the need for compassion in these times.”

And consulting firm McKinsey noted that, “Social responsibility and sustainable profit go hand in hand, now more than ever.”

Businesses are facing their own headwinds in the current economic climate. In addition to dealing with inflation and economic uncertainty, they are struggling to retain talent and maintain employee engagement.

Fortunately, CSR team building programs can benefit companies as well as their employees and local communities. These programs give employees a sense of purpose in their work and support their well-being, two of the key factors in employee engagement.

CSR programs have a big impact on employee loyalty, by enriching your corporate culture as well as making a positive impact on your community. And they encompass the pillars of all team building programs: developing workplace relationships, improving collaboration, enhancing problem solving skills, and fostering better communication.

Address a Range of Needs for Deserving Nonprofits

There are CSR team building programs designed to meet a variety of needs for a wide range of groups and nonprofit organizations.

Best Corporate Events is a leader in this area, delivering hundreds of programs involving thousands of participants each year. Many of our programs are unique, and we continue to innovate in developing worthwhile new programs.

Several of our CSR activities are focused at helping schools and children, such as our Bike Build Donation®; our Build-a-Guitar® and Build-a-Band™ programs, which donate musical instruments to schools and other youth organizations; STEM Backpacks for Kids, which helps spark children’s curiosity for learning and experimentation plus an understanding of the importance of STEM to their future success; and our We Care for Schools program, benefitting schools in need of basic classroom and office supplies.

But it’s not only about kids. We have CSR programs designed to benefit a range of other groups as well, including:

Individuals with mobility challenges: Our Build-A-Rollator® and Build-a-Wheelchair® programs are fun, heartwarming events in which participants compete in trivia, photo, and video challenges on iPads to earn the tools and parts needed, then assemble and test these items for donation. When possible, a representative from the selected charity will be on hand to accept and thank the group for their donations.

Individuals with cognitive disorders: Autism Awareness Sensory Donation and Project Alzheimer’s™ programs are wonderful, emotionally powerful experiences that enhance understanding of these disorders while assembling kits for donation to organizations that support those impacted.

The environment: Earth Wind and Solar is an engaging activity in which teams complete challenges to earn kits that have all the necessary materials to build a solar-powered car and three additional items. After assembly, the teams test the speed of the solar cars in a fun competition before donating them to children through non-profit organizations. 

Homelessness and hunger: In our Helping the Homeless and Mini-Golf Build and Food Donation programs, teams use creativity and collaboration in fun activities that culminate in contributing food and other essential items to community organizations serving the homeless and hungry.

Military service members: Operation Military Care provides a unique opportunity to support the brave men and women proudly serving our country. Teams complete trivia, video, and problem-solving challenges to earn items to pack into military care packages. The supplies have been carefully chosen based on the items most requested by service men and women and their families.

Animal shelters and rescues: Putting for Pets combines the creativity and collaboration of designing a mini-golf course using pet supplies with an entertaining tournament, and concludes with the donation of the pet food and supplies to a local animal shelter or rescue organization.

Got a different cause or perhaps even a specific charity in mind? Best Corporate Events is the only nationwide team building company with a department dedicated to developing and maintaining relationships with national and local charitable and nonprofit organizations across the country.

Wrapping Up

A combination of inflation, economic worries, and tax law changes has led to a significant drop in charitable contributions from individuals. At the same time, rising costs and financial uncertainty have increased the need for help among charities and nonprofits.

The drop in individual contributions combined with greater demand is causing these operations to rely more on funding from businesses and other large employers. Fortunately, CSR programs can help everyone involved: they increase employee satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty while providing much needed contributions to deserving groups and organizations.

There are CSR programs designed to help a wide range of individuals, groups, causes, and organizations. As a leader in CSR programming, Best Corporate Events has established relationships with national and local charities and nonprofits across the country, and can work with organizations chosen specifically by employees and employers as well to make sure donated items fill vital needs.

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