CSR: How to engage your customers in helping you make the world a better place, together!
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a pretty broad business concept that is all about contributing to society and the environment in which companies operate. In our case, it not only refers to participating in different types of external pro-bono events and activities, but also to our own corporate culture and internal initiatives.
At StartLightSoft – apart from being proactive among NGOs, educational organisations and charities – we also foster a culture of openness and transparency, emphasise learning and development, and do our best to be environmentally friendly. We bet on honesty in the relationships that we build with our business partners and candidates.
And the benefits of this attitude are not to be underestimated.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CSR FOR AN ORGANISATION?
First and foremost, CSR is beneficial to society and the environment as a whole. It also provides organisations with opportunities to reap many rewards, including:
- better recognition in the industry and beyond,
- a more positive brand image,
- increased customer loyalty,
- increased employee engagement and motivation,
- lower attrition rate,
- increased media attention.
All of these benefits help a company build trustworthy relationships with their customers and attract top talent from the industry.
And it doesn’t stop there – companies can take CSR even further by engaging their customers in their strategy.
HOW CAN YOU ENGAGE YOUR CLIENTS IN YOUR CSR STRATEGY?
According to our mission statement, we develop technological solutions that allow people and organisations to realise their full potential and have a positive impact on the world. And we have some hard evidence to prove it!
Case #1: CanSat trip to the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency regularly organises competitions for children and youth interested in science and technology. When we heard that a few young scientists from Poland (ages 12 to 15) had decided to participate in one of these competitions and had been working hard on the CanSat mini-satellite project, we decided to support these bright young minds – and we did this together with our customers!
We wrote an email to our clients encouraging them to take part in our NPS survey, where we included a special incentive in our message: “If at least 85% of you answer the questions in the survey, we will fund a trip to send these ambitious young students to the headquarters of the European Space Agency in the Netherlands.” And even though the 85% survey participation level wasn’t reached, we decided to fund the transportation costs for the trip anyway and the kids have a good chance of moving forward in the competition this year.
Case #2: Charity Christmas cards
Last Christmas, we gave our hearts – and gifts – to those who needed them most. And we invited our clients and partners to join us in the gift of giving. We did this by sending out Christmas cards that included a link to a dedicated blockchain voting platform, so that our clients and partners could personally help select the presents for us to give to children in need.
This was done via UNICEF as part of the “Inspired Gifts” project. As a result of our combined forces, we managed to provide the children with various sets of vaccines, medications and antibiotics, school packages and teaching aids for math – gifts that really made a difference in the children’s lives. And to be honest – nothing has ever given us a greater Christmas spirit than this simple act.
Case #3: Byte Night
There’s a big corporate sleep-out event held in the UK each year which aims to raise money to prevent homelessness among children. Hundreds of people from different industries gather at different locations in the UK to sleep on the street for just one night in order to support Action for Children – Youth Homelessness. It is called Byte Night, and, we also participated in this event.
In October 2019, together with a number of other individuals and corporate teams, we raised record funds – £1,187,242 in total – that helped nearly 2000 young people who had been found to be at risk of being homeless. And it’s worth noting that a combined team from North P&I Club and Future Processing alone raised just over £7,500.
We are very proud and grateful for being invited to join this initiative by James Holmes, CIO at The North of England P&I Association. As he explained: “Behind the homelessness, statistics is a real person with his own story to tell. Through the money raised with Byte Night, we can help them be heard and reach the support that they need; by providing accommodation, education and training. Spending one night sleeping on the street is an unforgettable way to help young people so that they won’t have to do it at all someday.”
CSR: IT’S WORTH THE EFFORT!
The benefits of CSR for a company are great, but the feeling that you can really help others, contribute to society and make a difference in the world is even better. That’s why CSR programs and events should be a vital part of your year round strategy – not only during the holidays. And there are a lot of interesting initiatives that you as a company can be a part of. As Future Processing we e.g.:
- We cooperate with a number of NGOs, such as FareShare, TechSoup and Freedom from Torture.
- We’ve helped collect roughly PLN 100,000 for the Noble Gift social scheme.
- Took part in a blood donation – to date, our employees have donated approximately 58 litres of blood in various blood drives.
- For a couple of years now, we’ve been organising the #FitPochytani campaign, which combines physical activity and charity. We collect points in Endomondo and then use them to support seriously ill kids.
- We’ve collected 353 kg of clothes for “Ubrania do oddania”, a nationwide fundraising initiative.
And there are plenty of other opportunities to do something good, whether it’s by yourself or together with your customers.
Getting your business partners and clients to help people in need or make a positive impact on the environment is easier than you may think, since it brings a lot of satisfaction, both in measurable and immeasurable ways. Also… it’s highly addictive! Only this is the kind of addiction that can do no harm, but a lot of good. That is why we strongly encourage you to run a socially responsible business.