CSR is not about giving money says new research
A new study* has revealed that companies do not need to make financial donations to receive the benefits of being a socially responsible business.
Providing support in terms of volunteering and giving time can be just as valuable, suggesting that smaller companies who may not be cash rich can still be socially responsible within their communities – benefitting the neighbourhood and raising awareness of the company.
The research, carried out on behalf of Foresters, the international financial services organisation, wanted to find out just how important corporate social responsibility (CSR) is to the general public. A sample study of people on the street revealed that:
- 80% of respondents thought it was important for companies to donate to local charities and community projects
- 82% of respondents thought that companies could volunteer time / support to local charities and community projects
Steve Dilworth, Managing Director Foresters Member Network UK, says: “Our study shows that volunteering or support in non-financial ways still provides a benefit to both the company and the community”.
Mr. Dilworth points to Foresters, who while they do provide financial support to many charities nationally and internationally, still also get involved in a “hands on” manner at a local level. “Our UK head office staff and our member volunteers do give up time to support charities. For example, in December, over 2,600 members and 100 staff gave up their time to wrap baby gifts for the Cash For Kids Charity. The time they gave to the charity was just as valuable as a cash donation.”
He summarises: “A company's focus on CSR does not necessarily mean financial donations. We would recommend companies thinking about adopting a CSR strategy for 2015 to look beyond the simple donation model, as a volunteering and support based option has wide reaching positive impacts for the company, its staff, and the community.”
*400 Street Interviews carried out in Bromley Town Centre, London, October 2014, by JB Market Research Services Ltd on behalf of Foresters.
Steve Dilworth, MD, Member Network UK, Foresters on: 0208 628 3400 or email: email@example.com
At Foresters we believe in enriching the lives of our members, their families and the communities they live in. We’re member-based, family-focused, and community spirited.
Our products benefit both your family and your community. We champion the well-being of families through quality financial products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities.
We share our financial strength with over one million members across the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Throughout our 140-year history, our purpose has been to enrich the lives of members, their families and communities. The priorities remain today and will guide our future.
As an example, our work with Cash for Kids in their 2014 Mission Christmas Appeal helped around 300,000 children to have a better Christmas. The whole campaign raised over £8m and involved more than 2,600 Foresters volunteers.
Internationally, Foresters has over £14bn* funds under management and has been assigned an 'A' excellent rating by A.M. Best.**
Safeguarding our members' interests is at the heart of what we do. Being financially strong and responsive, with sound governance and continuing professional service have always helped us to protect our members' benefits.
*As at 31st December 2013
**An ‘A’ excellent rating is assigned to companies that have a strong ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders and have, on balance, excellent balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile when compared to the standards established by A.M. Best Company. In assigning Foresters rating A.M. Best stated that Foresters outlook rating is ‘stable’, which means it is unlikely to change in the near future, assuming Foresters financial strength is maintained and operations grow. A.M. Best assigns rating from A to F, A being superior and A and A- being excellent ratings. This rating was assigned on 3rd July 2013. Our International Head Office is located at 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.
DAC Ref No. 2013321 FM/CO 01/15