How to Build a CSR Strategy in 6 Steps

Feb 22, 2023

Creating a corporate social responsibility plan can be a great way for your company to be a collaborative partner to the communities where it operates and contribute to making a positive impact. By working with nonprofit organizations, your company’s employees can use their skills, time and talents to make a difference while also developing professionally.

If you’re wondering how to build a CSR strategy, here are SIX steps to get you started.

1. Define your company’s purpose and values.

The first step in creating a CSR plan is to clearly define your company’s purpose and organizational values. This will help guide your decision-making and ensure that your CSR efforts align authentically with your company’s culture and overall goals and priorities.

2. Conduct a CSR audit.

Before creating a CSR plan, it is important to conduct an audit of your company’s current CSR activities and initiatives. This will help you identify areas in which your company is already doing well and areas where there is room for improvement.

3. Launch a listening tour.

The greatest opportunity for success for your CSR strategy lies at the intersection of community needs, employee interests, and business objectives. You already have an understanding of business priorities so take the time to listen to these other stakeholders and learn more about ways communities and potential partners need support and what might motivate your fellow colleagues to participate.

4. Set CSR goals and objectives.

Once you have conducted a CSR audit and listening tour, the next step is to set specific goals and objectives for your CSR plan. Set distinct goals around each of your biggest stakeholders, which include the impact the company wants to make on society, on its workforce and its business priorities. Remember to keep goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound).

“More than C-Suite and senior leadership, a company’s middle managers are often best positioned to ensure that a company’s social impact work is felt by employees and is truly being experienced as a part of a company’s values and priorities. Spending time onboarding, updating and incentivizing your middle managers around the company’s social impact work is a critical strategy to take your purpose work to the next level.”

— Christine Schoppe, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer

5. Develop a CSR strategy.

After setting your CSR goals and objectives, the next step is to develop a comprehensive CSR strategic plan. This should include specific actions and initiatives that your company will take to achieve its CSR goals.

6. Implement and monitor your CSR plan.

Once you have developed a CSR plan, the next step is to implement it and monitor its progress. This may involve training employees, identifying partners, creating data collection methods, and regularly reviewing and updating your CSR strategic plan to ensure that it remains effective.

Need a partner to help build your CSR strategy or increase engagement in your employee volunteer program? Points of Light’s Corporate Services & Solutions team can boost your company’s CSR efforts through best-in-class tools, frameworks and customized support.

Points of Light

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