How to Integrate Cause Marketing for Your Brand

ShoppingGives

Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, has become increasingly popular as consumers start to take notice at how companies interact with and impact society. The use of social media has really helped to launch this movement by allowing consumers to stay up-to-date with the latest practices and what companies are up to. Businesses have the power to enact positive change and do more than just operate for a profit, which consumers today love.

With so many ways to be a socially responsible company, it can be intimidating to start integrating CSR strategies into your day-to-day operations. The list of ideas below are just a handful of many possibilities out there. The most important thing to remember is to just start something, anything, even the little things can make a big difference!

1. Align Your Values

The culture of your company sets the personality tone for both employees and consumers. Company culture is important because it makes employees excited to come to work and instills a sense of pride in their employment. How does company culture fit in with integrating a new CSR strategy? Your company most likely already has an established set of values that you and your employees stand by and are proud to have integrated into your business. By finding a cause that aligns with your current values and correlates with your business, it will be easier to get employees involved and excited about your new CSR strategy. Having a CSR strategy that aligns with your current values can also help explain why your company is socially responsible and what is important to you.

2. Everyone on Board

It is important to get all levels of employees excited about a new CSR strategy. Getting the executive team involved in being socially responsible will show priority and help activate engagement from other employees. The difference between managers and leaders are those that lead the way and set great examples for others. Employees often mimic the attitudes and behaviors of senior leaders and managers so it is important to showcase the positive message of corporate social responsibility. This goes back to the company culture; if senior employees are enthusiastic, lower employees will be as well.

3. Tell Your Story

Telling your story is one of the most important parts of integrating a new CSR strategy. Now that you’ve taken the time to correlate your values and get everyone with your company involved, it’s time to think about how you are going to garner support from your community. Spreading the message of why and how you are getting involved gives a voice to the cause you are supporting and exemplifies a more meaningful message to others. By showing people how important being socially responsible is to you, it can gain momentum and bring in supporters who also want to get involved. This will show others how crucial your cause is and you can reflect on how your company helps to drive positive change in the community. By telling your story, employees and consumers can feel more of an emotional attachment to what you support and you can even utilize video content to help visualize your story and your message.

4. Create a Solid Campaign

Being a socially responsible company is something to be proud of, so show it off! Especially if you are creating a new CSR strategy, it is important to get the message out and let others know what you are doing to make an impactful difference. The campaign should highlight what causes you are supporting and what changes and practices your company is going to engage in. You should outline your goals and your timeline so that employees and consumers can see what progress you plan to make with this new strategy. You can also create an impact page on your website or create a blog that will highlight why you are passionate about your new CSR strategy and what you hope to accomplish with it. Utilizing social media platforms to broadcast this information has never been easier and is the perfect way to create buzz about being socially responsible. With using social media, you can also encourage others to join you to make a positive change and help them get involved!

One of the best things you can do to successfully integrate a thoughtful CSR strategy is to find nonprofits or other organizations with similar values to you that you can create a partnership with. These partners can help to lead the way on how to effectively integrate your CSR strategy and can also provide you with helpful resources to get you started. A partnership would provide you with a network of others who have experience with successful CSR strategies and can allow you to integrate and develop a new strategy quicker than you possibly could on your own. Not only can you learn from others’ experiences with successful CSR strategies, but you can also create friendships and more meaningful relationships with those partners.

Another important factor is to find projects that your company can get involved with that aligns with your new CSR strategy. This will make your employees more engaged and excited to be involved. It is easy to speak of CSR initiatives for good publicity, but by getting out and doing volunteer work, making donations, or even making small changes to the office to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly space is going to create a much more meaningful impact not only for your company, but for employees and consumers as well. By participating and being active in these projects, your company can become a true example of what it means to live responsibly.

5. Build Meaningful Relationships

One of the best things you can do to successfully integrate a thoughtful CSR strategy is to find nonprofits or other organizations with similar values to you that you can create a partnership with. These partners can help to lead the way on how to effectively integrate your CSR strategy and can also provide you with helpful resources to get you started. A partnership would provide you with a network of others who have experience with successful CSR strategies and can allow you to integrate and develop a new strategy quicker than you possibly could on your own. Not only can you learn from others’ experiences with successful CSR strategies, but you can also create friendships and more meaningful relationships with those partners.

Another important factor is to find projects that your company can get involved with that aligns with your new CSR strategy. This will make your employees more engaged and excited to be involved. It is easy to speak of CSR initiatives for good publicity, but by getting out and doing volunteer work, making donations, or even making small changes to the office to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly space is going to create a much more meaningful impact not only for your company, but for employees and consumers as well. By participating and being active in these projects, your company can become a true example of what it means to live responsibly.

6. Make Conscious Business Decisions

Making donations to charity is great, that’s why we created our company! But there’s more that you can do to make a more meaningful, lasting impact. By shifting the way that your business runs, operates, and even produces its products, you can improve your CSR initiatives. You can preach about giving back and making a difference, but what will be more inspiring to others is to see you take action to enact positive change. By using recycled materials in your end product or rethinking packaging and design you’re creating something tangible that consumers can see and appreciate. As your business grows, so can your CSR strategies.

7. Simplify & Personalize

Don’t make it difficult for employees, customers or yourself to get involved. Sometimes it even take simple technology to streamline your CSR strategy. For example, Change Commerce® is a ShoppingGives technology that allows retailers to give customers the power to donate a percentage of their purchase total to a charity of their choice at checkout. Customers have the power to choose which charities they want to donate to, and they can even keep track of their donations over time. We are integrated with the Charity Navigator database so that retailers and customers alike can choose from more than one million approved charities and nonprofits to donate to. These can include organizations such as The American Heart Association, The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Hunger Free America, or even your local school’s PTO or music program! The best part of our Change Commerce technology is that this is free for both customers and charities!

These suggestions may just be starting blocks to get your new CSR strategy in motion, and that’s perfectly okay. As long as your company is passionate and dedicated to integrating a new CSR strategy, you can help to make a difference and also empower others to do the same. If you need help with implementing a CSR strategy or want to learn more about how to activate on a giving initiative, you can download our CSR playbook for the holidays and beyond here.