5 CSR Resolutions for 2012

Employees making a difference at Charles Schwab's FERSTT Aid Day in San Francisco

Employees making a difference at Charles Schwab's FERSTT Aid Day

Where will your CSR and employee volunteering program be this time next year? What happens in 2012 is completely up to you, so here are some CSR resolutions to help you plan for your most sustainable, responsible and impactful year yet:

Set Realistic Goals (and Measure!)

Did you measure your CSR program in 2011? If not, challenge yourself in 2012 by setting program goals and identifying metrics for success. These will be unique to your CSR commitments, for example number of hours volunteered, pounds of paper recycled, etc. Start with numbers that will challenge the organization, but ensure they’re also realistic.

If you measured your program in 2011, evaluate your numbers and determine new goals that will help you achieve sustained success. Then set a plan for how to achieve those goals.

Lead by Example

Go beyond a recycling program or volunteer policy and turn those intentions into action! Show your commitment to CSR in 2012 by practicing what you preach – use your recycling receptacles and get out into the community to volunteer.

Senior executives are especially influential in encouraging employees at all levels to get involved in a CSR effort. Imagine how many more volunteer hours your organization will log if your CEO commits to using their full volunteer benefit hours this year. (Not to mention the corporate culture and employee morale benefits that will follow!)

Interview Stakeholders

There’s no better way to get employees, consumers and other stakeholders excited about your CSR program than to ask them what they want to see in the mix. Ask employees what motivates them to volunteer or donate to a nonprofit partner and then determine your program objectives.

If you’re looking to get consumers involved in your efforts, ask which issues or organizations are most important to them as a way of ensuring that you’re aligning your efforts with the passions of the end consumer.

Commit to Transparency

In 2011 we witnessed several revolutions, political and financial, leading to the same conclusion: citizens today demand that companies and governments practice transparency. Take this to heart in 2012, and re-evaluate your program to ensure there is a commitment to sharing your CSR intentions and results in a transparent manner to those who care.

Even if you’re not feeling the pressure now, trends indicate stakeholders will soon be demanding more information, and those who pony up the information early will gain audience trust from the get-go.

Find Trusted Partners

As CSR has become more widespread, many organizations have realized the value of strategic partnerships to achieve their goals. Partners can include nonprofit beneficiaries whose mission aligns with your organization’s CSR goals, vendors that help provide the tools and resources you need to run your program smoothly, or even like-minded companies and associations to collaborate with. The key here is that you don’t have to take on CSR challenges alone, so this year stop and think about others in the community you can engage to make your efforts more impactful.

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