Businesses these days are getting aware of their social responsibility and doing their best to fulfill it. If you are not, then you definitely should – it can form part of a solid customer-first strategy when you show customers that they, as well as the world around them, matter to your business.
You don’t need to adopt an entire village or anything like that. Even small steps like sponsoring a local football team will do. Here are 15 businesses to inspire you to do so!
Tom De Spiegelaere, Director, Mango Matter Media
We were committed to giving back from the early days of our agency. While some people might go and volunteer somewhere, do it themselves, it’s not really up our ally, or plays to our strengths as digital marketers. Instead, we’re doing what we know best, and give a % back to a few charities each month.
Currently, those charities are a mix of local and global ones. Examples are:
Mater Hospital in Brisbane: They were established in 1911, and offer high-quality care for their patients, the donations also help with research.
The Nature Conservancy: As the name suggests, focuses on protecting/conserving nature. They also help with providing food and water sustainability and tackling climate change.
Oxfam: A household name, mainly focused on poverty and inequality.
Our donations grow as our profits grow, and are reviewed every year. We’re also always on the lookout for new charities to add to the list, though we do review each addition quite carefully so we know our donations are put to work efficiently.
Kevin Hilton, Director, Multi-Layer Marketing
“I personally like to support many national causes, but as a business I think it’s incredibly important to support local causes in whatever way I can. Multi Layer Media regularly advertises in the magazine of a local hospital. The payments from advertisers go towards the upkeep and daily needs of the hospital.
The hospital itself is very important to me and all staff at Multi Layer Media, as it is the local emergency care provider for us all. Various departments at the hospital have been threatened due to funding cuts, so supporting the hospital through advertisement is something I am proud to do.
We are also planning a fund raising event for a local charity where we will offer seminars for local business owners. As a company we want to be able to share our knowledge of successful marketing tactics with local business owners, and in the process be able to raise money for a local cause.”
Stephen Sumner, Founder, Optimise Agency
As Optimize is a relatively new online marketing agency, we have not yet fully developed our thoughts and plans on corporate social responsibility, that said, we have some things in place already and few plans in the pipeline I’m happy to discuss today.
When it comes to the environment, we care passionately about protecting it as much as possible, for this reason, we generally avoid face-to-face meetings that involve over an hour of travel time, for meetings that would be over an hour away, we aim to use communication channels such as Skype or Zoom to facilitate such meetings.
We also limit the number of conferences we attend each year and limit those that require air travel even further. We also believe in contributing to the local community in which we are based and this year, we intend to offer apprenticeships and local sponsorship/contributions to organisations that deliver positive change locally.
Chris Sloane, President, Heaviside Group
We view our corporate social responsibility primarily as serving and giving back locally where we do live and work. We also want to help out where there is a greater need and not necessarily funneling donations to nonprofits who then give that money back out. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but we look for the “little guys” who may not have access to that. Helping sponsor a Cub Scout pinewood derby race is one way we’ve helped in the past. Kids sports teams are always looking for local sponsors to help cover equipment and uniform costs.
The other area we look to help is free or reduced costs services. We’ve known people involved in local nonprofits who needed to build a new website or could use some help getting their Google Grants accounts approved and running. Those groups happened to be supporting causes we care about, and so we offered free support to help them with their projects.
Chris Porteous, Founder and SEO Director at My SEO Sucks
Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, both at home and abroad.
At the on-set of our agency, I felt very strongly about the importance of education in low income areas, both locally and across the globe. While My SEO Sucks was making donations to education-based charities, more could be done.
It’s important for business around the globe to leverage their unique advantages to help those who are less fortunate. In our case, My SEO Sucks invests a large portion of its resources into training, educational videos and internal certification programs to develop the best and brightest in the digital marketing industry. How can we leverage this further to make a difference in the community?
Locally, we provide 1-on-1 mentorships and set aside approximately 15 hours for employee education initiatives each month. In recent years, we’ve gone a step further and provided free digital marketing resources and training to those in developing countries. There’s no limit to what any human in the world can accomplish with the right education.
Kris Nicolaou, Founder and Digital Strategist at Brain Box Labs
It’s often tricky finding opportunities to give back to the extent we would like to while running a small business. Each year, we have around a dozen not-for-profit companies reach out to us to help them with their web design and development projects. We usually end up working with all of them and provide each discounted services. While we were able to help each non-profit, the impact was less significant than we could have hoped for.
That changed in 2016. Of those non-profit companies, we selected one that we felt we could contribute and have the greatest impact on their success, and complete the
ir project at cost. It’s not much, and we definitely could do more, but this initiative continues to evolve as we strive to ‘do more’ for our community.
But giving back doesn’t need to mean ‘giving away free work.’ It can also mean how you conduct yourself with employees, clients, and partners. Have integrity, be ethical, and treat people with respect. Take responsibility for your words and actions. When they are full of good intentions, you can always walk away from any situation with a clean conscience.
If I can leave you with some words of wisdom (I should probably have lead with this): make a change today that your future self will thank you tomorrow.
Jason Berkowitz, SEO Director, Break the Web
In today’s socially conscious environment, consumers are more apt to spend their money with brands that prioritize Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Your brand image is more important than ever, and even virtual companies like ours should make every effort to have a positive impact on the community and environment.
In fact, employees also tend to be prouder and more committed to employers who are socially conscious. Social responsibility isn’t just about treating employees fairly or meeting legal and ethical standards. It’s about showing concern for the public and being a productive member of the community. But, how can this be achieved in a virtual work environment?
Virtual companies can start by encouraging their staff to take time off to volunteer in their local community. And, they can set a good example by donating money, services, or products to charities and other worthwhile causes.
Involving your staff and even your customers in your efforts to give back also fosters a sense of community and engagement, which isn’t always easy to achieve for virtual companies. Being socially conscious can help your business stand out in a crowded marketplace and encourage brand loyalty, so it’s a win for you, your staff, and the community.
Amanda Thomas, Partner, Konstruct Digital
Corporate responsibility is a big topic these days and for good reason. Aside from being an employer and economic driver, corporations can play a key part in both civic and national pride through their support of communities.
This year, Konstruct Digital sponsored ReProm, a gala event for LGBTQ2S+ adults to re-experience prom on their own terms. There are many LGBTQ2S+ adults who weren’t able to be “out” at their high-school prom, unable to attend the event as their true selves. The event was put on by the Centre for Sexuality and was a fundraiser for their LGBTQ2S+ programs. Sponsoring this event was an important alignment for our company. Not only was it a great opportunity to support an organization that does amazing work in our community, but also to align ourselves as an open and inclusive employer.
Another side benefit is encouraging your staff to be great corporate citizens while also strengthening their ties to the community.
Nick Eubanks, CEO, From The Future
We run a digital marketing apprenticeship (still using the old SEO domain) that supports anyone, at any age, and any level of capability (including ZERO) to get skilled up enough to land a full-time job at a digital agency.
We’ve had folks in their teens, twenties, and thirties (so far) with no experience in marketing at all, with jobs like bartender, line cook, retail merchandising, and even straight out of high school successfully go through our program.
I’m proud to say that as of today we have more members on the team at FTF that went through the apprentice program than didn’t.
Dan Christensen, President, MorningDove Marketing
Employees and customers are changing the way they perceive the companies they work with. They not only want a company who is good to work with, they want them to actually BE good, too. Whether this means donating to a local charity, performing service, or creating initiatives, it’s more important than ever to create a brand that’s associated with good things.
We have built many sites for local organizations for free in order to render service and help others. We’re constantly thinking of new ways to be a blessing to our local community. One thing we’ll be implementing in the near future is a “micro charity” where people pledge one dollar per week to help the community and we, through submissions, use it to help a family in need.
We’d do something like this either way, but knowing that this act is directly associated with our company can’t hurt either.
Jordan Choo, Managing Partner, Kogneta
One of the way that we fulfill corporate responsibility in our culture is by instilling it during the hiring process. Since we are a remote company, we are able to hire people from across the globe.
This not only ensures that we have a diverse and inclusive team it also gives us the opportunity to bring in team members who otherwise wouldn’t have work all while upskilling them. This could be due to local economies, lack of access to career development resources or cultural reasons.
Gary Simpson, CEO, The Wave Digital
At Wave Digital, we are being proactive in the Covid-19 situation by allowing all employees to work remotely and being flexible with their needs. We have cut out unnecessary expenses to also allow us to keep all members of our staff through this trying time.
We are also encouraging our staff to donate to local funds for service workers that are unable to work and aren’t as privileged as ourselves. The company is also matching each of these donations and contributing a large amount to help the community and those in need.
We are blessed to be able to continue our craft, and have steady work, but we must think of our fellow neighbors who may not have the same opportunities as we do. Our goal is to come out of this as a better team and with a more positive and caring culture. Every company will be defined by how they act through this unprecedented time.
Paul Leary, Founder, Are You On Page 1
The intention and liability placed on companies by society are comprehensive. In-line with the moment, they are broadening from product quality and assurance, and address environmental issues, to information security, compliance, and labor management and employee rights.
In the field of business as well, with the growth of globalization the interest from customers and business associates to deal with companies that meet the certain benchmark in terms of deliberation paid to the international environment and society is growing.
In harmony with our corporate philosophies, working and living together for a common good. We make candid efforts to engage with the social obligations that come with operating a business and to acknowledge any significant knowledge.
This key statement echo’s our stand regarding the underlying and universal corporate social duty that the Company must accomplish in order to ensure our services and products can be used with satisfaction and continue the reliability of the Group.
Yuri Burchenya, Cofounder, Getfound XL
We’re focusing on fulfilling our responsibilities towards our employees and clients first.
And being socially responsible is something we’re doing privately. Without advertising it to the world, putting it in our mission statement, producing quarterly 20-page reports, or expecting to get anything in return from our clients in exchange for being socially responsible.
When you’re focusing on social responsibility as an individual, it’s a lot easier to tailor your efforts to matters close to your heart.
For example, did you know that in the last 30 years, giraffe numbers have plummeted 30 percent? By some estimates, there are less than 100,000 individuals remaining in Africa.
Africa’s most iconic mammal and the tallest animal on Earth is in danger. You can adopt a giraffe and help save them before it’s too late. Research giraffe conservation foundation to learn more.
Jonny Platt, Founder, SEOscout
I first got into the web by creating a charity fundraising portal back in 2002, where all commissions generated from online shopping were donated to charity. This taught me SEO and lead to a stint as a VSO volunteer in Vietnam.
To supplement the stipend I received for living costs I started building personal affiliate sites which lead to the business I run today.
Now, as a solo founder I tend to support causes personal to me. As I launched my business while living in Vietnam I now try to help organisations working there to help disadvantaged children.
Most recently with all the stockpiling going on we’ve been making donations to local food banks in Bristol too, as well as a couple of homeless and environmental charities.
Where possible I also try to support businesses I believe in when spending on the business. The majority of our servers are powered by renewable energy, and I aim to buy from fellow bootstrapped businesses over corporations wherever possible.
After putting so much effort into writing about your company activities regarding corporate social responsibility why wouldn’t you take the extra step to have a single place where you can keep your content? This is where an online newsroom comes in handy.
Cover photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash