As we have ushered into 2017, it is likely that CSR trends as well would see a shift and savvy companies would adapt in order to not only keep up with the trend but thrive.
Here are three experts sharing their thoughts on what we can expect for CSR in 2017 and beyond
Tyler Butler, Founder and Principal, 11Eleven Consulting, Former Director of CSR at GoDaddy
You can expect to see more large-scale campaigns in 2017 and beyond that leverage their company products to help their local communities. One great example of this is Subaru’s Drive the Love campaign. This campaign offers a $250 donation to one of a few select, well-respected charities with each Subaru purchase and also ties the campaign to the iconic song by Jackie DeShannon, Put a Little Love in Your Heart. You can expect to see more companies taking CSR to heart and sharing funds earned from their products and services in an effort to gain a more positive sentiment for their brand while also making the world a better place.
Also expect to see more employee activation. Companies now realize that there is a huge opportunity to scale their philanthropic efforts through empowering their employees. Whether it’s through volunteerism or matching donations and volunteer grants, there are several ways to mobilize a huge army for good by allocating a small portion of the company’s philanthropic resources to their employees so that they can, in turn, support their own charities of choice.
Christen Graham, President, Giving Strong, Inc.
Leading companies recognize CSR as more than philanthropy and as more than a check book charity. CSR will continue to break out of and reach beyond the traditional actions of community giving and employee volunteerism. Employee diversity, responsible sourcing, workplace safety, good governance and energy conservation are all attributes of corporate social responsibility. Next year we will see more companies embracing CSR across the enterprise as part of an overall strategy to be better corporate citizens.
Tom Paladino, Founder and CEO of Paladino and Company
In our experience, we see a lot of professionals in positions such as Community Relations and Director of CSR who are struggling to find the framework that best matches their business; addresses the questions of their investors and constituents; and tracks the data that will most benefit operational improvements for the company. We are already seeing companies getting smarter about the frameworks that they use (or sometimes creating their own frameworks), and we expect to see this improvement and empowerment continue in 2017 and beyond.
We expect to see the various departments impacted by CSR reporting improve their collaboration and cooperation. Carbon disclosure, for example, impacts operations, finance, marketing, accounting, and legal departments. With CSR reporting, it’s not just about documenting year-over-year progress or regression from a baseline – it’s about actively monitoring the activity of a business in order to improve outcomes. These groups are getting increasingly interested in not just the methodology and framework of the report, but in the day-to-day actions that can be taken based on that data.