Top tips for achieving your corporate social responsibility goals

At Good2Give, helping companies achieve their Corporate Social Responsibility goals (CSR) is one of our top priorities. At our recent Corporate Giving Forum, clients Sarah Collier from KFC, Brooke Murray from Suncorp and Sylvia Maré from Essential Energy share with us how they deliver on their corporate social responsibility goals.

Please watch the full webinar ‘Hear how some of our clients have achieved their corporate social responsibility goals’. Here are the top tips to maximise your company’s social impact.

1. Align corporate social responsibility goals to business objectives

Why? To gain buy-in from key decision-makers and influencers within your company.

In order to gain leadership buy-in, you must create a clear strategy. This strategy should be carefully researched and based on the objectives of the company and your brand, and the needs of the community. The more you involve your company’s values into your corporate social responsibility strategy, the more leadership buy-in you will receive and the more engaged employees will be to deliver on these goals.

Suncorp’s Community Investment Program

Suncorp offers insurance, banking and wealth products and services through some of Australia and New Zealand’s most recognised financial brands. Suncorp’s community strategy – building the financial, social and natural hazard resilience of their communities – aligns with their purpose and business objectives.

At Good2Give, we facilitate Suncorp’s Brighter Futures employee giving program which matches up to $1 million of employee donations, fundraising and volunteering, and their Suncorp Storm Score community grants program. The Suncorp Storm Score is an app that provides tips, advice and guidance on how Queenslanders can best prepare for those disasters most likely to occur in their region. In 2020, participants were able to nominate a community group to go into the draw to receive one of ten $5,000 Community Resilience Grants, or the major prize of one $10,000 Community Resilience Grant.

KFC Youth Foundation

KFC Australia has taken an inside-out approach to their community investment strategy, drawing from their core competency internally to develop their KFC Youth Foundation cause. KFC creates an environment that empowers and supports young people has long been a cause close to KFC’s heart. When people under-25 make up 90 per cent of your team, it’s clearly a no-brainer. They have seen first-hand from their people that when confident, young Australians have the potential to achieve great things. KFC firmly believes confidence helps youth to thrive, not just survive in today’s complex world.

Fundraising for the KFC Youth Foundation is undertaken predominately at their more than 700 restaurants and through franchise partner run events. From May 2021, the KFC Youth Foundation will be relaunching as they move into year four to support mental wellbeing in young Australians.

To date, the KFC Youth Foundation has raised more than $4 million in three years, which Good2Give manages via Foundation and Trust Accounts.

Essential Energy Essential Communities Program

Essential Energy manages the poles and wires that supply electricity to 95% of NSW and parts of southern Queensland. The electricity they deliver powers homes, hospitals, schools and business in their network area. Their Essential Communities Program provides a framework for sponsorships and workplace giving, which supports community groups as well as their charity partners.

Good2Give manages Essential Energy’s Community Choices Program – an initiative under the Essential Communities Program – where Community Grants are distributed based on a nomination and voting system. With Essential Energy placing high value on their employees and the communities in their network, the people’s choice community program aligns with their overall corporate objectives.

2. Clearly communicate your corporate social responsibility strategy

Why? To raise awareness of your corporate social responsibility campaign, you must clearly communicate your strategy.

Educating your teams and leadership on the impact of your corporate social responsibility strategy is vital when increasing buy-in. Create an elevator pitch of your community engagement program, including the key elements of your program and the impact they have. Promote regularly at team meetings and social events, ensuring people walk away with the key takeaways of your company’s CSR program. Make space in your internal communications calendar to promote your social impact strategy. Highlighting your strategy as often as possible throughout your company will help to increase awareness and engagement.

3. Review the progress of your corporate social responsibility goals

Why? To ensure your community program is meeting its deliverables and will continue to be supported by key stakeholders.

The most common timeframe to goal-set is three years, with an annual review to determine if the initiatives are hitting the mark. The review process can often involve a committee. At Suncorp, their Community Investment Committee is made up of senior representatives from key departments across the business. The committee conducts a biennial review of the community investment strategy to ensure this still aligns to the organisational purpose, business strategy and material topics of most significance for their business.

4. Adapt your corporate social responsibility goals to the changing environment

Why? It’s vital your program remains relevant – to communities in need, your people and your business objectives.

Listening to your community partners and realigning your corporate social responsibility goals is essential, never more so than during times of significant upheaval. The Australian Bushfires, COVID-19 and the NSW and QLD Floods are just a few of many challenges Australia has faced during 2020 and 2021. During these periods, Good2Give worked with many companies to pivot their community engagement programs to maximise their social impact.

Suncorp funding Digital Inclusion Packs

COVID-19 strengthened Suncorp’s commitment to working with charity partners to support the social and financial resilience of their communities. Suncorp identified the growing digital divide being faced by vulnerable school students and families as a result of COVID-19 and responded by donating $1 million to The Smith Family. Suncorp Group’s donation to The Smith Family saw the delivery of hundreds of Digital Inclusion Packs to families across the country, giving them access to a digital device, internet connection and technical support to help navigate schooling at home.

KFC’s fundraising challenges

As a direct result of COVID-19, KFC refocused their Foundation to support mental wellbeing in young Australians. They also saw the huge impact that COVID-19 had on their in-restaurant cash and coin donations as society moved to a more cashless society. In response to COVID-19, KFC will be launching a cashless-donations option in restaurants in 2021.

The KFC Youth Foundation had several fundraising initiatives planned for 2020; however, due to COVID-19, many of these were unable to go ahead. KFC pivoted; internally promoting fundraising challenges within their restaurant teams, successfully raising $1.2 million in 2021 for the KFC Youth Foundation. Additionally, KFC found that fundraising for a cause also helped many of their team members positively focus outside of their day-to-day challenges to lean into during what was a very challenging 2020.

Essential Energy helping communities transition to online events

The Essential Energy team worked with their not-for-profit, charity and community group grant recipients who planned on using funding from their support programs for in-person events to transition to online events or find other alternatives. Events such as the Australian National Busking Championships – which is an Australia-wide network of busking festivals, were transitioned from an in-person event to a successful online model.

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