For some business owners and entrepreneurs, social good is part of their DNA and woven into the fabric, culture and decision-making process from the start. However, that isn’t always the case. When you’re knee-deep in the tactics of getting your business idea off the ground, social good may not even be on your radar.
CSR vs Social Good
While corporate social responsibility (CSR) requires businesses to adhere to obligations that keep their employees and the environment safe, social good initiatives are voluntary commitments to benefit society. Social good is not confined to dollar donations; providing direction or guidance and volunteering can also have great impact.
“Entrepreneurs and stakeholders need to approach any commitment to a social cause as what it is — an investment in the company’s future.” Peter Gasca, Entrepreneur.com.
Social good may be motivated by many factors. Currently, our mentors are working with a client who excelled in the corporate world and is now creating social good through entrepreneurship as a legacy to punctuate a successful career.
Business owners who employ a workforce should be aware that today there is a growing desire to be associated with socially responsible companies. Randstad.ca states, having a robust philanthropic program is attractive to job seekers and clients, and keeps employees happy, fulfilled, engaged and productive.
“There’s hard science that says volunteering makes people feel happy, proud and fulfilled, helps them engage more meaningfully with their coworkers and employer, encourages greater productivity, builds leadership, and provides opportunities to learn new skills and network more effectively. So, while you’re helping make life better for others, your organization is benefitting as well. It’s a win-win for everyone!”
Further, from a recruitment and customer perspective, an Odyssey Online article argues that millennials are even more focussed on positive social change. “Effecting social change is more than a nice idea to millennials, and this generation is demanding to be taken seriously.”
Telling Your Story
Because this generation is known for connecting through social media, it can be important to tell your story on social platforms not only for recruitment but also as a marketing tool. According to research conducted by The Millennial Impact Project, millennials engage in causes that help people, not businesses. However, one in three millennials will boycott or support businesses based on the causes they care about. Therefore, it’s worth considering the impact of having a good story to tell.
Perhaps you’ve already been thinking about how you can invest in social good, or perhaps this blog post has triggered your curiosity. Speak to your mentor, industry expert or Innovation Guelph’s program managers to access guidance and resources.