Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), eco-friendly business concept with crumpled green paper light bulb and environmental sketch on green background

Corporate Social Responsibility: Event Edition

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According to a Harvard Business School report, approximately 70% of Americans believe that it’s important for companies to “make the world a better place.”

Even more eye-opening is the fact that just under 90% of employees believe it’s not acceptable for businesses to make money at the expense of society. This challenges companies to think about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in a myriad of ways – not least of which is event marketing. 

Events can often come under scrutiny for those who prioritize social responsibility. Criticisms like wasted food, inefficient use of energy and other resources, and production of trash from disposable items are all fair observations which require companies to think about the social cost tied to events and gatherings.

You may remember these tips on how to minimize wastefulness, but CSR is more than that. When done right, an event planned with CSR in mind should generate more positives to the community and its people than any possible negatives associated with the planning and operation of that event.

Here are a few ways to rethink your events for CSR.

Be a Do Gooder

There’s no need to make every event a catered affair, nor do you always need a ballroom and open bar. You’d be surprised how much team building you get out of sharing in a charitable or philanthropic cause like a beach clean-up, visiting patients at a nursing home, planting a community garden, or swinging a hammer with Houses for Humanity.

Look at what’s available in your local area as well as national or regional organizations if your business reaches a broader audience.

Get “Street Cred”

The “creds” in this case would be things like Carbon Offset Credits – which can be purchased in advance of your event depending on the size, expected attendance, and donations made at the event.

These all take the shape of funds which are then routed to organizations working in clean energy and environmental clean-up around the world. Check out Radicle Balance and Terrapass to learn how to get involved.             

Be the Change You Wish to See

Having trouble finding the right cause to support? Create an organization of your own, something that reflects your brand, your team, and what matters to you. (Maybe there aren’t enough no-kill animal shelters in your town?)

Work to raise enough money to build and staff one with every event benefiting that cause. Perhaps you work in an industry that needs more diversity. Consider starting a mentoring program for women, people of color, or other minority groups.

Go to the Source

Trust your employees when they tell you what matters most to them. You may not get everyone to agree on the same single concept, but you should be able to find several causes that you can support in rotation.

This will not only help ensure participation and engagement within your company, it also has been shown to increase job satisfaction and employee retention.

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