Corporate social investment, socio-economic, community investment and development strategy development, integration and implementation
Simple philanthropy is what has driven most corporate social and community development in the past. However, the recent years have witnessed significant changes in CSI practice. Complexity has increased, as have demands for accountability. Legislation has had an impact here, including industry charters and codes, BBBEE laws and the JSE-SRI Index.
So the emphasis has moved from the feel-good to demonstrable CSI impact. Companies now need to understand the effects of their CSI and whether this it is having a strategic impact towards positive societal change – especially in places like South Africa and the African continent. The bottom line now is that you have to be able to show impact in order to satisfy stakeholders.
Corporate reputation has always been essential to business success, but today’s evolving social contract makes sustaining public trust through good corporate citizenship practices even more important — and more difficult. As social expectations have expanded, the consequences of not dealing – or dealing with – society’s expectations have expanded significantly as well. If companies ignore social priorities, they can suffer not just declines in market share, but also for example, difficulty in recruiting or retaining employees.
Companies’ investments in new (or existing) geographies can be wasted if they are unable to understand local customs and communities. On the other hand, companies that build strong social contracts and meet or exceed society’s expectations can meaningfully differentiate themselves – with competitors, employees, customers, communities, lawmakers, regulators, or the media.
Corporate philanthropy, grantmaking, socio-economic development, or community relations, investment and development has an essential role to play in meeting these expectations, and it is changing in response to this new environment.
The main changes lie in:
- Understanding social expectations from a broader range of sources and stakeholders
- How companies assess their engagement, development and investment programs
- The types of philanthropy/grantmaking/community development they invest in
- To whom companies choose to give
We specialise in the development of company-specific community investment and development strategies.
We help companies develop strategic national and international community investment, development and engagement programmes that generate positive, measurable benefits for the company and its beneficiary communities.
Our CSI Strategy Development services:
- Our strategic CSI advisory services are comprehensive. We use a framework that covers strategic, operational and programmatic dimensions. We consider strategic objectives and intent, focus areas, operational and strategic alignment, grantmaking and development structures, communication and reporting, monitoring, and evaluation practices to guide the process. Additionally we conduct background research, comparative reviews and industry benchmarking to ensure best practice strategies.
- Once a strategy has been developed and approved, we can assist in the implementation of the strategy in a number of ways, including the identification or development of flagship programmes, the compilation of budgets and exit plans, and the development of tools, including application forms, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
- We also focus on employee volunteer programs. We test expectations of employees, measure employee programs, develop strategies for volunteer programs and assess the impact and contribution of employee volunteer programs to the overall social investment and community development strategies and objectives.