Be honest – when you think about Corporate Social Responsibility, what comes to mind? Colleagues taking an afternoon off to build a house or paint a schoolyard? Perhaps, a fundraiser to send money across the world for an emerging environmental concern?
Well, if you haven’t been paying attention, a massive transition has occurred in corporate social responsibility, or CSR.
CSR is now more about hands on, deeply embedded activity that not only delivers direct benefit to the city or country where corporate employees and leaders visit, but also measurable benefit accruing back to the business itself. When done right, CSR has moved from a nice to have – a highlight in the annual report – to a concrete business opportunity generator.
- Why has this transition occurred?
- How does this new approach work?
- And specifically, how do businesses themselves benefit?
One person to ask is a fellow who helps companies do it every day. Paul Benson is Senior Corporate Partnerships Development Manager at Voluntary Service Overseas. VSO works with corporations and volunteers globally to actively support and affect Sustainable Development Goals. Since 1958, VSO has engaged over 43,000 volunteers to work on international development programmes in more than 120 countries.