Your handy guide to Corporate Social Responsibility for businesses
What is CSR?
Corporate Social Responsibility is when a business works to uplift society and make a positive impact by considering ways in which they can give back to their community. They may choose to do this in any number of ways:
- Changing the way they do business
- Taking an active role in addressing social, cultural, and environmental issues
- Dedicating time and/or money to human rights issues, community and social causes, the environment, or uplifting people
Why is CSR important?
In a society where not everyone has access to the same opportunities, it’s vital that those who can help do so. By uplifting the most vulnerable among us, we all grow stronger, and we build a more prosperous and beneficial community for all. But that’s not all. Getting involved in CSR also holds some immediate benefits for everyone involved:
1. It’s good for business
Boost engagement with your customers:
By supporting causes that people care about, you can start conversations and engage your customers. People are proud to share feel-good news. So, don’t be shy to spread the word about the work you’re doing and the projects you’re supporting. Post it on your socials, share photos and videos, put it in your newsletters – tell the world how you’re helping.
Companies get a tax deduction of 10% of taxable income, before deduction of donations. And there’s even more good news for businesses – donations in excess of the 10% threshold may be carried forward to the next tax year. To assist you to access this benefit, we’ll issue you with an official tax certificate upon request.
Increased brand awareness:
It’s a great way to build and boost the public image of your business in a positive and productive manner. Customers want to buy from brands they like and trust. By getting involved in these great initiatives and making use of the PR opportunity, you get to build your reputation as well as shine some light on the cause you’re supporting.
2. It’s good for your team
It’s becoming increasingly important to work for a company that gives back. Having a CSR policy that inspires your team can actually increase employee engagement and loyalty among teams and help make your company a more desirable place to work.
There are added bonuses for your team too, beyond feeling more connected to the business. Finding a programme to support that creates volunteering opportunities for your team, and allowing people to take part in them, encourages personal growth and skills development.
It’s fun and creates a sense of purpose for people – teams are more likely to buy into and feel fulfilled by a corporate culture that includes community development.
3. It’s good for the community
A little help goes a long way:
Ladles of Love is fuelled entirely through the generosity of our donors, partners, and volunteers. There are so many vulnerable people among us that we try to help, but we can’t do it alone. You’d be surprised how much difference your involvement will make in our work.
Uplift the entire community:
You can directly impact your community and make it better for everyone living there. For example, why not sponsor a struggling school in your area and help improve the lives of local children, teachers and parents? Your support can help the youth deliver the leaders of tomorrow.
Lead by example:
Become an inspirational example of corporate citizenship. You’ll inspire other businesses to do the same.
1. Social (people)
- Education is central to the development of individuals and communities. We help keep kids in school and focussed on learning through The Munch Club.
- We provide fresh food to Cape Town’s homeless community through our soup kitchens.
- We facilitate the distribution of food into communities most in need, supporting local NPOs to support struggling families living in poverty.
- We provide education around food and nutrition so that people can make healthier choices for themselves, their families, and the people they support via our support of community kitchens.
2. Environmental (the planet)
- Our new sustainability focus means we’re looking at long-term solutions to food insecurity, reducing reliance on sandwiches, and increasing intake of fresh, healthy, affordable foods through initiatives such as our community kitchens.
- We’d love to switch to 100% recyclable, planet-friendly containers, and reduce waste. Your company partnership might just help us make this happen.
3. Economical (profit)
- Empowered people have more opportunities. Through the creation of community kitchens and supporting urban farming initiatives, people who were previously unable to provide for themselves are gaining access to a whole host of new opportunities.
- Our projects have the potential to create jobs and business opportunities as well as feeding people.
CSR in the time of COVID-19
The global coronavirus pandemic is one of the most widespread and acute social issues facing society right now. The amount of people facing job losses, hunger and poverty is still skyrocketing, inflating the need for basic necessities such as food. Because of this, many businesses are switching their CSR focus to support the local COVID-19 response.
Ladles of Love provides solutions to many of the social issues that COVID-19 is exacerbating. We’re working overtime to help reverse the effects of the pandemic and lockdown, providing food but also creating longer-term sustainable solutions to help people assist themselves out of poverty.
While a sandwich can make the world of difference to a hungry person, it’s ultimately our aim to facilitate hand-ups, not just hand-outs, to make a lasting difference. Your business can be a part of this solution.
- Visiting our soup kitchens to serve food to those in need
- Creating fundraising campaigns
- Making sandwiches from the office or home for our Sandwich Drive – this can even be done as an inter-team competition.
For more ideas or to start arranging a team building event, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We create quarterly general donor reports full of statistics. Download our latest donor report here.
- We share photos and videos of our projects, so you can see exactly what impact your contribution is having. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram, or join our mailing list.
- Visit our programmes yourself, or bring your team with you. Email us to arrange a visit. Opportunities and precautions are subject to COVID-19 restrictions.