|Budget Time Is Pruning Time.|
CSR managers often lack the tools, metrics and capacity to assess and describe their program’s performance. As a result, their positions and budgets are vulnerable.
The following ten tips are abbreviated from the fine list in the Guardian this week by Paul Klein, president and founder of Totonto-headquartered Impakt, which helps corporations and civil-society organizations become social-purpose leaders:
1. Assume CSR Acceptance. Start from the position that the person you report to accepts that CSR is necessary but is highly skeptical of its value relative to other parts of the business.
2. Show How Part of CEO Plan. Demonstrate that your initiatives align with the priorities of the CEO. While the resources allocated to CSR are small, few aspects of business have the potential to get the attention and support of the company’s most senior leadership.
3. Secure the Support of Finance. This is the toughest internal stakeholder group and the one whose opinion matters most at this time of year. (See #9.)
4. Indicate the Value of Every Aspect. Find metrics where your program is quantifiable (eg a successful cause marketing program).
5. Find Out How Your Initiatives Are Working. How does CSR influence the stakeholder group that matters most to your company’s growth? For example, if you are a B2B company you should know whether or not your CSR initiatives are influencing the acquisition of new customers.
6. Show How CSR Costs Are Being Leveraged. This could include providing data or statements from other managers that substantiate the value of CSR initiatives.
7. Stay Away from Generic Metrics. Executives want to know how value is being delivered specifically in your company.
8. Get People Involved. Create opportunities for executives to have direct experience with the stakeholders who benefit from CSR.
9. Commit to Delivering More Value. Take a sharp pencil to corporate philanthropy, non-profit partners costs, time and money spent on CSR reports.
10. Innovate. Take your program to the next level.
I think the best example of all this is the workplace innovation of the Rapid Results 100-Day Program. I have written up how that has been working (very successfully) in Brazil. The last tip, taking the program to the next level, has an exact analog in the 100-Day Program.