Over a 15-year period, corporate responsibility (CR) can increase a company’s market value by 6 percent¹. In cases where companies foster strong relationships with external stakeholders, the effect is even stronger: brands that are active with corporate responsibility initiatives see 40-80 percent more market value growth.
Corporate responsibility can be incredibly impactful for business performance and profits, but unfortunately, many CR efforts, especially when it comes to workplace giving, are still broad and poorly measured with little or no direct connection to business performance. Corporate responsibility software is one option businesses have to change that. But not every platform will make an impact.
To find corporate responsibility software that will contribute directly to business performance, profits specifically, you need to find a platform with three key capabilities. Below are the major pieces of functionality and customization techniques businesses should look for to increase profits.
3 Capabilities Corporate Responsibility Software Needs to Increase Profits
1. Donation Tracking and Impact Reporting
If you want to make an impact with corporate giving, it’s important to know how your efforts are affecting brand awareness, sales, customer loyalty, and other key KPIs. Otherwise, your positive impact can’t be tracked back to profits or business improvement.
A quality software provider will help you connect the dots. Custom corporate philanthropy software is particularly useful here because it lets you define your KPIs and processes, integrating business strategy with giving initiatives.
How Donation Tracking and Impact Reporting Affect Profits
One of the biggest benefits of corporate philanthropy is an increase in an increase in sales, which can directly impact profits. Belief-driven buyers are now the majority in every age segment. Knowing whether your business appeals these consumers is key to succeeding at CR and increasing profits.
With donation tracking and impact reporting, businesses can collect and analyze data on their philanthropic impact, projecting their results into the market. Projecting your impact into the market is what connects your products and services to buyers’ beliefs. If you can effectively track and project your impact, you can win the support, and purchasing power, of belief-driven buyers in your market, helping increase your customer base and making your company more profitable.
2. Employee Incentive Programs
Incentive programs motivate employees to participate in corporate responsibility programs, increasing their engagement with your company. Unlike traditional employee incentive programs that simply offer a monetary bonus, gift card, or product rewards, CR incentive programs are connected to positive community impact.
For example, some of the most powerful CR incentive programs are paid volunteering and student loan forgiveness. Both programs provide financial incentives to employees, but with student loan forgiveness you’re helping employees pay off their debts, while paid volunteering grants charitable donations based on how much time employees spend volunteering. Employees get more involved with your company while also furthering your impact on the community.
How Employee Incentive Programs Affect Profits
Employee engagement is directly correlated to profits. For example, a Gallup study of over 200 organizations found that businesses with engaged employees were 22 percent more profitable and 21 percent more productive².
Corporate responsibility software can help companies introduce and manage employee incentive programs, including paid volunteering and student loan forgiveness.
The best corporate responsibility software will also streamline employee participation in each program. A key reason why employees don’t engage with CR programs are the complicated, time-consuming processes they must go through to request funding for matching gifts, student loan contributions, or volunteer hours. By simplifying processes, corporate responsibility encourages participation.
3. Business Strategy Integration
We touched on the benefits of a custom corporate philanthropy platform earlier in this article, but it’s worth reiterating here. The major benefit of a custom platform is that it is tailored for your needs. When discussing tangible business initiatives and results tracking, that means your custom platform should be deeply integrated with your overarching business strategy so you can not only enable programs and track activity, but map that activity back to business goals.
How a Custom Platform Affects Profits
A custom platform will almost always include tracking and reporting tools like the ones described above. More importantly, it will use those tools to realistically connect your CR activities to your bottom line.
The process will likely start before you even make a purchase, with software vendors diving into your business operations and key goals for your CR program. Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Employee engagement? Employee retention? As they learn about your goals, custom platform vendors will help you create a CSR strategy and giving programs that will directly contribute to those goals.
By customizing the software and helping you develop a strategy that maps back to your business goals, such as profits, a custom platform is far more likely to make a tangible impact.
Use Benchmarks to Determine How Effective Your Corporate Responsibility Software Is
Before start tracking results from any corporate responsibility software, take a snapshot of current and historical profits. This will help you understand what (if any) impact your giving efforts are having. This is the benchmark, or starting point, that you’ll compare changes to after you implement new software.
For your benchmarks, you should also include individual metrics like sales, product popularity, employee retention, and other KPIs that may impact business expenses and profits. Changes in these individual metrics (such as an increase in employee retention) could lower your costs, thus increasing profits.
Use individual metrics as well as profit measurements to determine whether your software and corporate philanthropy efforts impact business performance. Just remember to give your software, and your CR initiatives, time to gain momentum before making any conclusions. You’ll likely need to ensure that employees, consumers, and other key stakeholders are regularly involved in your CR efforts before you see a noticeable business impact. Once you reach that level, however, the effects can set your company apart in the market, giving you a major competitive advantage.
Learn how an integrated CR strategy improves overall business performance. Givinga360 is a customized implementation and ongoing assessment program that adjusts as your strategy evolves. Download the Givinga360 overview to learn how to connect corporate responsibility to business strategy and ROI.