A study by public relations and marketing firm Cone Communications and Echo Research revealed that corporate social responsibility is now a reputational imperative, with more than 90 percent of shoppers worldwide likely to switch to brands that support a good cause, given similar price and quality.

  CSR (corporate social responsibility) is no longer a luxury choice for businesses. It’s become a necessity, a compulsion, a means to win customers, and turn them into loyal followers and eventually fans.

  So, if you come to think of it, the question with which we began this post is kind of rhetorical. Because, anyone who’s everyone knows that corporate vision is no longer confined to simply maximizing self interest.

  It has expanded to ensuring sustainability, manufacturing environment friendly goods, working towards bolstering greener surroundings, and continuously giving back to the society in the form of charity and volunteer work. It has become part of the two way road where the more a company gives, the more it’s bound to receive.

  Socially responsible companies along with example:

  Google – the company was able to bring down its power requirements by 50% with its Google Green concept that was aimed to promote efficient use of resources.

Xerox - Community Involvement Program is a donation and support program that Xerox has been running since 1974. The company earmarked $1.3 million in this program and encouraged 13,000 employees to participate. As a result, not only the company earned better community recognition, but also earned employee commitment.

Target - Since 2010 this brand has donated more than $875 million dollars. Almost five percent of its earnings go to charity work.

  The two pillars of corporate success:

The two pillars or should we say the founding stones upon which relies the success of any business entity are – employees and customers. It’s not the brick and mortar that makes up a corporation. It’s the people; the people who are working for it and for those for whom the corporation is working.

  Findings of a survey – Proof that socially responsible companies actually do better

  In 1999, Cone Communications released a press release that talked about the observational findings of consumer responses to companies that were actively involved in cause related marketing.

As per the observation, each year since 1993, almost 80% of the people that were surveyed reported, agreed to having a more positive image of the companies that were involved in any cause they supported.

  Furthermore, two third of the samples surveys agreed that they would likely switch to retailers and brands that participated in cause-related marketing.

In another Roper Green Study it was revealed that 10% of the Americans, who truly care about environment, happen to be strong opinion leaders - both socially and politically. These are the people whose opinions strongly impact consumer behavior and their buying decisions.

  How being socially acceptable strengthens these two pillars

  1. Employees -
  First off, giving is the human nature! It’s in line with our baser instincts. We may not realize it but giving gives us more pleasure than receiving. And when, a company works to contribute to the society by giving it what it needs, it satiates our need to make a difference. To contribute towards the world! And any place, where this baser human need is met – well, it goes without saying, employees would want to stick with that company. The higher the employee engagement and loyalty, the more the company grows. And eventually, so will the bottom-line.

  Gives employees a sense of purpose: Without a purpose, we feel lost. And it goes without saying that our true purpose is not just to keep the cash flowing. It’s much bigger than that. Nothing gives us a truer sense of purpose than involving in social work and uplifting the society and people around us.

  1. Customers -
  There’s no dearth of businesses that work to maximize only monetary profit. The world doesn’t need more of that. What it needs is businesses that do so while benefitting everyone in the process. The world needs more of selfless givers. Working selfless for the good of others – it’s not something that people see every day. And when people do notice such businesses, they would want to keep them in the game longer. It’s human nature to take pride in something that endorses a good cause. And if a company is seen endorsing a good case, well, there’s nothing that appeals more to mass psychology.

  Giving is Receiving:

  Confused? Well, don’t be! Think about it. It’s the law of nature. Anything you want, you start giving it and you will start receiving it.

  Here’s a good example:

If you want respect, you start giving it, and you will get it. You need help, you give it, and the person will owe it to you. You want money? You start investing it and it will come back to you multiplied. The same concept applies to companies giving back to the society. The more you serve people selflessly, the more they would want to contribute to your cause. They more likely they will stick with you. Exploit this law of universe to serve everyone’s purpose. You go on making big bucks all the while bolstering a sustainable tomorrow and today!

  Factor in all the above mentioned points, and you have to perfect recipe for taking your company to unprecedented heights of success.

Image credit: Leon Kaye

About The Author

Gaurav Bhattacharya

Gaurav is the CEO and co-founder of Involve (www.involvesoft.com) which is a software as a service platform to help companies and its employees give back to their favorite causes by creating personalized giving and volunteering opportunities. Gaurav started his career by starting a medical software business while still in high school and is an accomplished technology leader with 6 years of team and program leadership with PwC, Montgomery County & Cymer.