Over the last decade or so, businesses large and small have taken to the trend of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In a nutshell, CSR describes a company’s philanthropic actions – what it’s doing to put more good into the world. Consumers probably recognize Corporate-level examples such as Toms Shoes’ “One-for-One” campaign or Starbucks’ “One Tree for Every Bag” campaign.
While these examples are large-scale, medium and small businesses contribute to the general good just as much. Mosquito Joe, for example, just wrapped up its 4th Annual Beat the Bloodsuckers Campaign, which takes place during the last week of June to honor Mosquito Control Awareness Week. The campaign works to raise awareness of mosquito control and mosquito borne illness through community involvement and education as well as partnering with local blood banks in our franchisees’ communities to support the amazing work these organizations do year round. This year, Mosquito Joe franchisees partnered with 27 blood banks in 22 states and donated over $10,300 in just one week! In addition, participants donated 30 pints of blood, which is enough to save over 90 lives.
We love being able to give back, but from an outside point of view, why is Corporate Social Responsibility so important, regardless of size and scale?
Customer Relations and Sales Benefits
While it’s important to give back to the community and world at large, companies that have a philanthropy component tend to attract more customers. Added bonus! A Nielsen study from June 2014 found that 55% of global online customers are willing to pay more for services from a company committed to positive social and environmental impact. Companies involved with CSR appear to customers to have more in mind than the bottom line, which is important and refreshing to many people. And if consumers feel they can help give back, it seems more likely than ever that they will go out of their way to do business with a certain company.
Becoming involved with a cause or creating an original campaign gives a company something to focus on, a vehicle for spreading its message. Mosquito Joe’s Beat the Bloodsuckers campaign, for example, generated local news opportunities for the participating franchisees. In addition to giving back locally, franchisees could use this opportunity to speak directly to their communities, spreading awareness about mosquito control, mosquito-borne illnesses, and the importance of donating blood. By having this annual campaign, Mosquito Joe is able to reach more people than it normally would in a typical week and catch the attention of potential customers, news outlets, and those looking to help.
Millennials are a generation concerned with making a positive social impact. And as they make their way into the workforce, they want their employers to be concerned with it as well. According to a survey of 6,000 Americans from 2015, 82% of Millennials are likely to seek employment at a company recognized for its ethics. The study also found that company ethics and CSR ranked second behind income when it came to evaluating an employer.
Getting employees and leadership involved together in philanthropy can boost employee camaraderie, general work drive, and deepen employees’ roots within the community. Aside from donating money to a cause, companies can organize a partnership with a local non-profit to volunteer a certain number of hours per month, match employee gifts to charities, and provide pro-bono work if possible.
Putting Good into the World
The world can always use more positivity, and philanthropy is an easy way for companies to do something good as a group. To make the most impact, companies should choose a cause or non-profit that aligns with their values and business objectives. Partnering with local blood banks makes sense for Mosquito Joe because we fight mosquitoes (bloodsuckers) every day! It helps consumers find value in your efforts when they align with your business.