Our New CSR Program: “Answering The Call”
5 Things To Know About Our New CSR Program: “Answering The Call” “Answering The Call” (And Why Your Executive Team Should Pay Attention)
A decade ago, having a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy was uncommon, perhaps not a priority, possibly associated solely with the intention of “looking good” or being a marketing ploy to increase sales. Today, having a CSR strategy just makes sense.
With a globally connected world where, since 1987, humans have been taking more than the earth can replenish, there is such opportunity for businesses to alter the trajectory on the social, environmental, and economic wellbeing of our planet. Simply put, our planet that will continue to rapidly erode if we keep doing the same things expecting different results (isn’t that the definition of insanity?).
CSR, as defined by the Canadian Government, is the voluntary activities undertaken by a company to operate in an economic, social and environmentally sustainable manner. Over the past 20 plus years, providing custom software applications and B2B consulting to hundreds of organizations, being of service has always been at the heart of The Answer Company. Now, we’re taking this notion to the next level with the launch of our CSR Program: Answering The Call.
Here’s what you should know about our CSR Program, and why your executive team should take note:
- IMMERSIVE ENGAGEMENT: Often times you will see an organization with a sustainability department or culture team, but are treated as separate and face the challenge of integrating their ideas with company-wide strategies. CSR programs are most effective with executive sponsorship and when every person is inspired to take ownership and action. The Answer Company’s vision for a CSR Strategy stemmed from the top, and now it’s an opportunity where everyone is able to contribute ideas, create and collaborate on initiatives, and be the source of fulfilling on the vision.
- SCALING IMPACT: Many of our people take time out of their personal lives to contribute to various causes they are passionate about. We saw an opportunity to band together and increase the scale of impact by coordinating as team towards a common goal. The Answer Company has now embedded CSR into employees benefits. Four days each year, of paid time off, are dedicated to group community service and CSR initiatives.
- ALIGNING BUSINESS VALUE: When organizations first think of CSR activities, they think “let’s donate some money to charity”. Buy a cup of coffee, 10 cents of each purchase gets donated to planting trees. It’s a noble effort and certainly a big win for the benefitting charity. Nothing wrong with this, but the first place to look is your own backyard. Who could benefit from what we already provide? Who is impacted across our supply chain? Planting trees is great for the environment, but what about the millions of coffee cups that end up in the landfill? Or the communities where the coffee beans are sourced from? The Answer Company is taking what they are best at, custom ERP and CRM applications that is, and providing game-changing software solutions to nonprofits in the community. What this makes possible is better insight into donor relations and fundraising, lower operational costs, and the modernization of their organization.
- “SIMILARS” ATTRACT: Communicating your values to the world is an opportunity to build a like-minded community of customers, partners, suppliers, beneficiaries. The Answer Company will be actively reaching out to its customer base as well as Software provider, Sage, to partner and align on CSR efforts.
- INNOVATION: CSR is a healthy way to challenge the status quo and get creative. Are we doing the best we can? Are there areas that don’t work? How can we make a bigger impact? One of our lead consultants, Ljubomir Gorscak, was tasked to develop a custom application for a game used by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation at their largest fundraisers. This unique application stretched his creativity to design something seamless, intuitive and most of all fun. Working on outside-the-box projects expand our own internal knowledge base which then benefits the customers we serve.
Ok so there’s one more…
- MAKING MONEY: Wait a minute – so this is a marketing ploy? Well, only the people who are taking this endeavor on can authentically answer that, and if it’s solely that, your customers will smell something fishy. For us, it’s about money being a source of workability and contribution. It’s about money being leveraged responsibly as a resource to provide real value to our economy, communities, and planet (rather than depleting them). Happier employees mean happier customers, customers that are clear on our brand values attract more customers with similar values, customers that realize value from what we provide then get to pay it forward to their customers, all of which contribute to a healthy balance sheet. It’s not rocket science, and more and more organizations are shifting their value system to reflect sustainable profits we can be proud of.
Does your organization resonate with The Answer Company? Share your thoughts and ideas on CSR by commenting below, tweeting us @TheAnswerCo #AnsweringTheCall, or dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. More on how we give back here.