Authentic engagement in CSR is no longer an optional tenet of good corporate citizenship; it’s a necessity. CSR events have become a popular activity with corporations wanting to give back, but executing these events and activities is complex. We’ve identified The Four Ps of Meaningful CSR Events to provide a clear and helpful framework for planning and executing these activities.
Purposeful, Powerful, Professional, Passionate
First, we start with a Purposeful tie-in to the issues of the world at large or a cause uniquely tied to your organization. Next comes deciding on the Powerful impact your event can have on your community beneficiary to help them achieve their goals and objectives. These two ideas are then brought together through the Professional implementation of a facilitator-led CSR experience, showing stakeholders and event participants the depth of your dedication to the community. All of these are bound together and elevated to new heights via Passionate and sincere connections, bridging the gap between the corporation and the community beneficiary, making sure that all who attend feel inspired by the work they have accomplished, and the contributions they have made. Once you can meaningfully connect these 4 Ps, you can make an impact for good.
Purpose Driven Results
Authentically integrating your CSR values into your meetings and events is crucial. You often see companies aligning their philanthropic giving to organizations in their industry, such as tech companies promoting STEAM education, restaurant chains combating hunger, and more. Work with your CSR manager or executive team to see if there are causes and organizations you should be considering for your give back event.
Sometimes these purposes can be personal and focused. For example, a prior client had a sincere wish to give back to a cancer foundation not only because it aligned with their industry, but because a treasured colleague lost their fight with cancer. In another instance, an executive wanted to donate stuffed animals to kids because his wife was the recipient of one when they experienced complications during the birth of their first child. When these clients designed their events, they kept that emotional note at the forefront of their programming, and they shaped a meaningful experience for their teams.
As important as it is to ensure you achieve your corporate objectives surrounding philanthropic giving, it’s equally essential to meet the goals and objectives of your beneficiary organization. Keep in mind, you may have a great idea of how to make a difference, but it doesn’t always fit the needs of your intended beneficiary. It’s best not to force your concept on a non-profit, as they really want to have a relationship with corporations and might be willing to accept a donation that might not suit their needs just to get their foot in the door. Your role is to listen to their needs and to take action by providing a useful and powerful donation.
Professional Delivery of the Message
What matters almost as much as the message itself, is the message delivery. It’s up to the event and its facilitators to deliver a meaningful understanding of the cause you’re supporting and the impact the participants are making.
Facilitators should be trained in active audience engagement, and be knowledgeable about the cause and beneficiary. Activities are created and custom tailored to match the overall theme of your event, and of your donation, rather than relying on a cookie-cutter mentality that only takes into consideration the ticking of objective boxes. The delivery of this message must be authentic, and it must not hide behind a disingenuous adherence to social impact merely from a reputational standpoint. It needs to be grown from a fundamental foundation within your company.
Passion as a Catalyst
The unique goal of a CSR activity is to connect participants to their local community by giving back. Remind your attendees that a good CSR program extends out into the community. It leverages social compassion and the attendee’s desire to be a force for good and change. When implemented correctly, everyone can walk away from an event with a better understanding of what it means to be connected to colleagues and community alike. That’s when you know that you have helped solidify the bonds that tie us all together and provided a catalyst for social impact.
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