CSR Outsourced

November 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think this a pretty good concept – Better The World. In their words, “Better The World helps organizations develop engaging fundraising and corporate social responsibility initiatives“. I would prefer to have an organization that does Socially Responsible activities on behalf of companies. Like, this organization can come up with different oppurtunities to address Poverty, Education, Health, etc and companies can pick the one that interests them most and fund the project. If not the entire budget, a part of it.

On the other hand, It’s getting common for companies, especially multi-nationals to have their own CSR wing, and titles such as
Sustainability officer, Sustainability Coordinator, CSR Manager are easily seen. So, wondering how much a company like Better the world  can add value to an organization’s existing CSR programs. May be all CSR activities could be outsourced. Let’s compare CSR Outsourcing & CSR Wing Within Company

  CSR Outsourcing
CSR Wing within Company
Team         Dedicated One or two dedicated & rest of the team volunteers from organization
Skill set     Very high The dedicated ones would have high skill sets. Rest minimal
Cost         Ideally this should be low  
Social Impact         High (with resource pooling)*    Could be high if enough funds are available
Branding/Identity     Medium (one among many contributors to a campaign)     High as it is individual

*Resource pooling – A single national project can be funded by financial resources supported by many companies to manifest a bigger impact (like Teach For India, which is a national program), which may not be possible for smaller multinationals.

So the value-add from CSR outsourcing would be, Expertise & Low cost. But, companies might lose out on branding and visibility, which could be one of the top-most priority for spending!! Hmm!

– Arun Vallappan

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