More Mileage Series: Corporate Social Responsibility
Updated: Mar 27
Hey there – it’s Kyle and Graham. Welcome to our “More Mileage” mini-series – a collection of “bonus shorts” as part of The Stream of Conscience Podcast. As co-founders of a business impact and philanthropy consulting firm, we encounter a lot of terms, concepts and tactics that we think could use some demystifying. These episodes will be rapid-fire, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more. Find us on LinkedIn and at www.seachangeltd.com!
Listen to this episode here!
[Kyle] Hey there. It's Kyle and Graham. Welcome to our More Mileage mini-series. This is a collection of bonus shorts that we're doing as part of The Stream of Conscience Podcast. So as co-founders of a business impact and philanthropy consulting firm, we have found that we encounter quite a few terms and practices and just concepts that we think could use some demystifying.
[Graham] That's right, Kyle. So we're diving into these key terms, concepts and tactics surrounding the seemingly all-encompassing term corporate social responsibility. These episodes will be rapid fire. So don't hesitate to reach out. If you want to learn more, you can find us on LinkedIn and at www.SEAchangeLTD.com
In today's episode of the More Mileage Series we will be discussing corporate social responsibility or CSR.
[Kyle] Yeah. CSR and I'm sure a lot of folks have heard this terminology used it. It does again, seem very all encompassing and so figured it would be good to start off our first episode with just a quick dive into this term in general.
And I'll start off with a definition, maybe get a, a shared terminology here. You know, this, this is a process of businesses, really being proactive in taking their own action. You know, some might call it self-regulation in a sense. But ultimately it's, it's in an effort to contribute to societal or environmental goals.
And they do that through charitable giving philanthropy volunteerism. You know, through business practices, suppliers, vendors, you know, all the different sorts of business operations. And essentially what, what businesses that take this approach really believe is that profit and purpose are, are not at odds with each other.
Kyle, I think that that for most organizations out there, they all are engaging in some level or some degree of corporate social responsibility.
[Graham] Or, or CSR, but why, why, why is this becoming a more common occurrence for businesses to be engaged with this.
[Kyle] So I think that there is a market shift, right?
And that's a lot of what we've talk talked about is talent and consumer demands are really expecting a lot more of businesses and there's companies at all levels of the, you know, size spectrum and internationally, and here lo locally in Lincoln, Nebraska and across the us that are understanding that as business leaders, we have to adapt and we have to acknowledge and it's frankly, the right thing to do. Right.
So I, I think there has been this market shift kind of bubbling up, but I think there's also to your point has been kind of this intrinsic activity across a number of businesses that just kind of already have a stakeholder mindset or a, a, a factor of community that they acknowledge they rely on.
[Graham] And, you know, I think that really why SEAchange exists too, right? Is that we see that a lot of organizations engage in some level of CSR. And what we're here to do is try to find ways to really help maximize or get the most mileage out of the good work that's already occurring, already occurring.
[Graham] Because it's, you know, the data's out there and the data suggests, you know, you don't have to look far for it. Gallup just right up the road, it talks a lot about this is businesses that prioritize purpose, tend to outperform their peers who don't. And so, you know, it's not just, you know, the making, helping make the world a better place and, and providing opportunities for your team members to get engaged and be a part of the community.
It's also good business practice.
[Kyle] Yeah, absolutely. So what we find typically is that businesses are, that are engaging in these practices. They have kind of three areas of pain point. And we're gonna talk about some of those in some later episodes, but I'll just kind of define them. Here is operational efficiency.
You know, a lot of companies get asked a lot. They, they have to file all kinds of paperwork to do employee giving matching or payroll deductions, things like that. They don't necessarily see that their employees are engaging. Maybe some of that empowerment and engagement in the community is concentrated at the top.
And then, you know, sometimes community visibility isn't as, as broad and reaching as business might like.
[Graham] So, if you're interested in hearing more about any of those things, definitely tune into the rest of the series, because we're gonna, we're gonna kind of unpack each of those and talk about some potential solutions, some best practices, you know, the organizations that we see doing CSR really well and overcoming those challenges effectively are, you know, taking this as an integrated model.
It's not just a cost line, you know, they're, they're understanding their key stakeholders. It has to be, you know, engaging not only your C-suite or leadership room, you need to be engaging your employees and asking really. Questions around what's important for them and also our community stakeholders as well are important to really be thinking about.
So, you know, as we're thinking about this, unpacking it there's, there is a long spectrum that exists of where, how businesses are doing this. And Kyle, you know, do you wanna touch briefly on the philanthropic learning curve? Cause I think that's an important component here of recognizing that this is a continuation of, of work that needs to happen.
[Kyle] Yeah, absolutely. It's a journey. And, you know, just as in business just as in life rather, you know, we're on a journey to constantly improve ourselves. And I think this, this philanthropic learning curve that I'll, I'll mention kind of goes steps one through six, one being, just becoming a donor, kind of starting out the philanthropic journey and six being really leveraging and seeing the fruits of the labors in powerful ways, you know, along, along spectrum.
There's a, a lot of different milestones to reach. And so we're gonna talk about a few of those in future episodes, but in the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us, you can call me at (402) 430-1328.
[Graham] You can call me (402) 430-6432.
You know, we would love to hear from you. Absolutely. Again, as Kyle mentioned, there's a long journey. You know, self betterment, corporate betterment, and we're here to be your partners in that journey. So tune in, we'll unpack more as as the season and session continues.