Corporate social investment (CSI) should be implemented by companies with a proper strategy in place. It should go beyond PR spin or the simple enhancement of a brand. It should be something that forms part of the business’ overall strategy. This means that the business should know what it wants to achieve before even developing a strategy.
Before having a strategy in place, it’s important to clarify what your objectives are. This means being clear about what the end goals are, as well as how to achieve those goals. It’s important for these goals to be attainable.
When working out what your objectives are before developing a CSI strategy, keep in mind that you need to align the strategy to the objectives.
So, if the business wants to get positive media attention, the strategy could be aligned to the marketing of the company. If it wants to attract more investors as an objective, it could create CSI programmes that are aligned to specific causes.
Doing this means that it requires active involvement from management. The whole team must be involved in the process of outlining what the objectives are. Keep your stakeholders in mind, as much as you keep shareholders in mind too, so with all objectives, keep the triple bottom line in mind. Organisations need to take notice of issues that are important to the public.
The responsible management of funds is a key component.
Deliverables must be put in place. This way, the team can steadily work towards set goals, while ensuring that everyone is clear about their responsibilities towards making that happen.
Having reviews on an ongoing basis is a good way of keeping objectives in mind throughout the process. Regular measurement of the impact of CSI programmes is key.
Developing good strategies means that companies can devote adequate resources towards CSI initiatives.
Strategies help develop sustainable business practices, so outlining objectives is important.