In terms of power and influence, there is no more powerful institution in society than business. The business of business should not simply be just about money. Instead it should be about responsibility. It should be about the public good rather than the private greed of a person or a company. For years, big banks and large businesses have been negatively criticized for their lack of commitment to the communities and neighborhoods around them. While there is partial truth to this, this does not mean you cannot make that transformative change in impacting the day-to-day operations within the office.
That being said, we first and foremost need to understand and internalize the overall concept of corporate social responsibility. When we discuss social responsibility, especially within the private sector, the definition can get lost in translation. At times, many people understand corporate social responsibility to be the ethical and economical impact companies should be making in our world such as charities or donations. While this definition does represent the ideals and beliefs of CSR, the ethical and economical impact is just one of many elements that encompasses social responsibility. By definition, Wikipedia defines corporate social responsibility as a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a specific business model. To put it in laymen terms, it is the responsibility of an employee, specifically within the private sector, to participate in various initiatives that benefit society. This can be something dealing with product developments or environmental changes that enhances the betterment of mankind, something similar to the work we see with Tesla and SpaceX.
Because of this difference, you would need to focus specifically on the concept of corporate philanthropy, which is the first entity of corporate social responsibility. By definition, it is the act and engagement where companies and their employees contribute to nonprofit organizations through programs, mentorships, and noteworthy charities.
If you are looking to make that impact and go above and beyond the standard monetary scale of giving, take a look at the following below. Remember, the measure of an enterprise or institution is not what it says about itself. Instead it is what others say about it. Even if your company is not affiliated with any charities or nonprofit organizations, you can be sole game changer that can get the ball moving. At the end of the day, for good or for worse, large corporations and businesses have enormously impacted and shaped the communities around them. That being said, these businesses need to go beyond their self-interest of their companies and give back and serve to the communities.
- Charity Donations
- At times, many people are not engaged with social responsibilities due to the pressures and burdens of everyday work objectives. If you are one of those individuals, you always have the option to impact your community on a financial level by donating to charities. The first step is to see which organizations your company is involved in. If it is not, try and spark some interest. Talk to some of your co-workers and see their stance on heated topics. You’ll be surprised by how many people are will to engage and donate with a cause that interest them.
- Issued-Oriented Philanthropy
- To add to the charity donations section, many people are actively involved in various issued-oriented philanthropy organizations. This can be issues such as education, domestic violence, or hunger. Whatever is the case, try and see if your company is will to get involved and tack action. If they are uncertain, start the initiative yourself.
- Scholarship Grant Programs
- You have heard of the Coca Cola, Posse, and the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Similar to these, you can try and engage your company in various higher education scholarship opportunities. This can range from small financial gifts to full ride scholarships. Whatever is the case, the main idea is to bring it up and see how it can work with their specific budget. Obviously, be tangible about your company’s means and what they can do to make this goal a reality.
- Donating Resources to Communities or Schools
- For many communities and schools, there has been a large outcry for new and functional resources. These donations can incorporate school supplies, food, or even technological materials such as computers or tablets.
- Corporate Volunteerism
- Get out there and make an impact! Yes time can be money, but that doesn’t mean you cannot use your time to make a difference. Many large firms have several partnerships with non-profit organizations and afterschool programs. If your company does have this opportunity, make sure to take full advantage. In fact, you can even rally up some of the troops to volunteer and aid their time to help impact their communities. This can be beautification projects, after-school mentoring, or other service projects..