The modern world of business dictates that the true sustainable value of your business, is based on a combination of its financial value and its social impact.
But we need to be honest with ourselves too…
CSR and Social Impact activity is often regarded as a brand awareness strategy. CSR budgets tend to come under Community Engagement, Citizenship or sometimes Staff Training or any other title that effectively means ‘anything that we do for the people’.
I get frustrated when all I see is corporate staff being given on average of 3-5 days a year to go out there and plant a tree, do a charity walk, paint a school fence, pick up rubbish in the local park, dress up in a character outfit of choice and engage in some fun activity or whatever idea can be created, to tick the ever-present community box.
Don’t get me wrong…these can also be very admirable activities that do create a positive impact and, in some cases, can make a REAL difference in the lives of others.
But I’m a realist. The stone cold reality is that one-off, one hit ‘do good activities’ are not sustainable, the difference made is subject to time, resources and capacity and the level of importance is often down to the passion of the people, who have had to suffer first or simple go out there and deliver!
So why does this happen?
The truth is that many senior executives find it difficult to tangible quantify the monetary value of social impact, in relation to the commercial and strategic growth aims of their business.
Our tool has been designed SPECIFICALLY to measure:
- the increase on the net worth of the company based on their social impact.
- benchmark companies against competitors social impact based on market, sector and locality.
- the ROI on CSR spend.
We can also create a bespoke version of the tool that is tailored to the individual business, rather than a one size fit’s all approach.
We are increasingly excited by seeing the faces of senior executives light up, when they realise that they can now increase their social impact in a more measurable way, invest their funds in the right projects, and measure what this all means as a FINANCIAL value to the bottom-line of their business!
There are a number of reasons why measuring the business value of social impact is not easy generally, but here are two:
1) Different businesses support different causes, for different reasons – there is no industry standard for the ‘right’ CSR activity, so the impact created will vary based on resource, need, strategic influence and the people involved.
2) The focus of CSR investment is often on creating external positive impact, not achieving internal strategic KPI’s – the whole notion of Corporate Social Responsibility is on supporting the diverse range of stakeholders affected by the practices of your business. There seems to be an unwritten moral code which states that a business should not link financial gain with CSR investment.
But, here two other simple reasons that are often overlooked:
- ANY form of spend made by a business, should be measured in commercial terms.
- ANY business that can measure the ROI level of its social impact, can increase the net worth of the business.
Whilst there are a myriad of social impact measurement tools out there, integrating social impact as a strategic tool for growth, is not a natural thing for most corporates and not readily demonstrated in hard financial metrics.
But therein lies the opportunity!
The more CSR is integrated as a measurable strategic activity, the more corporates will invest MORE into the development of communities and wider society as a whole!!
Wouldn’t that make this an even better world for us all?