The DNA of a Successful Corporate Giving Program

International Corporate Philanthropy Day, a day designed to build awareness of corporate-community partnerships and inspire businesses to engage in philanthropy, is the perfect time to celebrate the CSR work done by companies and communities that contribute to positive world change.

From supporting literacy programs in Africa and Asia to local community volunteer programs around the world, we’ve learned quite a bit from our employee-led CSR program, called Ketchum Social Responsibility (KSR). With that in mind, we’re excited to share four CSR tips with hopes of inspiring you to create or enhance your own CSR plans.

So what makes up the DNA of a successful CSR program?

1. Relevancy to a Company’s Expertise and History
Companies make the best contributions by tapping into whatever it is they do best. Identify your sweet spot as a brand and build your CSR program out from there. In Ketchum’s case, this is communications, and we are involved with a wide range of pro bono communications support activities year-round.

2. Employee Engagement = Employee Passion
Make sure employees at all levels and in all geographies have the opportunity to get involved if they want to engage. Allow your volunteers to contribute to the communities where they live and work. Conduct an internal survey to gauge employees’ interest and use this feedback to pursue programs that are in-line with their wishes.

3. Strategic Partners Maximize Impact
Once your findings are clear, use the data to align your philanthropic efforts with an organization that speaks to both your brand, and your colleagues’ interests (click to tweet). Analyzing our research highlighted our employees’ interest in literacy and education, which allowed Ketchum to then find a kindred spirit with Room to Read, a global charity dedicated to transforming the lives of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.

4. Accountability
Track your efforts. Year over year, set CSR goals to measure your work and contributions. Among other things this might include time, reach, projects and investment. Also, consider sharing your contributions in an external report.

International Corporate Philanthropy Day is one of many days throughout the year we are reminded of our role as stewards and communicators of greater social good.

 

Julie Ferriot serves as the global director of Ketchum Social Responsibility (KSR), overseeing the agency’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, including the management of Ketchum’s pro bono partner Room to Read. In this role, she drives global engagement in volunteer and sustainability programs across Ketchum offices and affiliates. Since joining the agency in 2005 Julie has also served as Vice President in the Corporate practice. Julie is based in San Francisco.