Giving for Growth: How CSR Increases Business
Date: Wednesday 28th March, 2012
Author: Costas Pavlou
Whether you were able to join us or not, on behalf of us all at Coutts, Hewitsons and Mercer & Hole, we were very pleased to host our CSR forum yesterday where we discussed the business case for corporate social responsibility.
We were blessed with an inspiring venue at world heritage site Bletchley Park, home of the World War II code-breakers and a fantastic example in itself of the energy and dedication so often evident in those who engage in charitable and philanthropic activities. But what of the business case for such endeavours?
Our speakers Larry Sullivan and Nick Pauley gave us contrasting perspectives on this. For Larry, CSR is embedded in the DNA of all his business ventures. For Nick, digital and social media are key to delivering the exponential business growth results which are possible. Stimulated by their experiences, we examined the role of corporate social responsibility in growth of the donor business itself.
We learned also how there are usually three stages in establishing CSR in a business: drivers which make the case for it, triggers which stimulate it and action which makes it happen.
Drivers come in many forms but usually suggest either a philanthropic case or a business case. The philanthropic case is well established: essentially if someone has a need you can help with and you recognise this, the case is made out for you – provided the charity has good governance.
CSR benefits those businesses which implement it, by improving staff engagement, customer loyalty, networking and profile, which result in market gains and financial returns.
The business case is less well recognised but no less real. CSR can benefit the business which implements it, by increasing staff engagement, customer loyalty, market gains and financial returns. Those present at the forum seemed quite persuaded of this by the experiences they heard.
As to the actions to implement CSR in a business, a number of examples were showcased, from three peaks challenges, to social enterprises, to investing in the health of employees. The possibilities are great and perhaps the topic of a conversation another day...
A very rewarding evening was rounded off with a demonstration of one of the Enigma code-breaking machines and a private viewing of the Turing papers, before turning out into the balmy sunshine of what appeared to be an early Summer evening.
If you would like to discuss philanthropy, charitable activities, CSR, or hear about other events we are hosting, please contact one of us:
Please note that the opinions expressed in this blog represent the views of the author and not the views of Mercer & Hole.