College & Career Day at Cole Middle School and (CSR)

On October 18, it was my privilege to give a presentation on my role at Tribu to about one hundred 8th graders at Cole Middle School here in San Antonio. Teaching has always been a huge passion of mine – including two years as an adjunct lecturer at two South Texas universities – so getting to dive in with 8th graders was nothing short of entertaining.

This coincides nicely with Tribu’s general give-back tendencies. If Tribu’s “giving” had a theme, it would be supporting our future generation of brilliant marketers and advertisers. Scholarship chairs, university speakers and mentors walk the halls of our office daily – we call them Tribe members.

Back to Cole Middle School – My big takeaway here is not that you should never ask someone what they make (the 8th graders loved to ask this), but that organizations should always find ways to get involved in the community. This can be done through a broad term called, “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),” used to describe a company’s efforts to improve society in some way. CSR efforts will not only increase office morale and overall community impact but can have long-standing financial and cultural benefits to your business.

Here’s what you need to know:

How Companies Benefit from CSR Efforts

Whether you are fundraising for a local nonprofit, helping pack boxes for the local food bank or educating the kiddos, getting involved in your community should be apart of your business model.

According to Engage for Good, a Unilever Consumer Study showed that 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. In addition, 92% of consumers from a 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study said they have a more positive image of a company when the company supports a social or environmental issue. Benefits include:

  • Boost in public image and awareness
  • Growth in media coverage and storytelling opportunities
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Attraction and retainment of investors

How Employees Benefit from CSR Efforts

Employees need to feel a sense of purpose about the work they do in order to truly be productive and create value. According to a Benevity Engagement Study statistic sourced by Engage for Good, turnover dropped by 57% in employee groups most deeply connected to their companies’ giving and volunteering efforts. A Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study referenced said 74% of employees surveyed had said their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact at work.

Benefits include:

  • Great workplace environment and employee morale
  • Increased creativity and productivity
  • Promotion of individual giving and involvement
  • Jumpstart in personal and professional development

How The Community Benefits from CSR Efforts

One small step can make a huge impact, especially for small nonprofits and local organizations that have little access to the resources utilized by bigger, more recognized groups. The more hands on deck, the bigger the potential Butterfly Effect.

Benefits include:

  • More dollars earned for causes that matter
  • Increase in volunteers
  • Building of future partnerships that are mutually beneficial for the short and long term\
  • Amplified awareness of mission

Even though I only gave about four hours of my time, I’m hoping it makes a larger ripple of impact over time, leading a student to become a future Tribe member or partner or give that time back to another 8th grader who will grow from it.

Read further about how to implement these CSR ideas with an article from Forbes titled, “Six CSR Strategies That Are Good For Business.”

P.S. Did we mention CSR is good for marketing too? 😉

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