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What Do CSR, DEI, and ESG Mean In the Context of a Corporate Giving Program?

If you’re looking to drive change and track progress with your company’s corporate philanthropy, then you most likely have encountered acronyms like CSR, DEI, and ESG during your research. These acronyms are common in the modern business space, and they can get confusing. In this blog, we’ll explain each acronym and how they can relate to corporate philanthropy. 

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Within the world of corporate giving, these three practices are quite common. To further explain, let’s review each definition and how they tie together.

Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR stands for “Corporate Social Responsibility.” By definition, it’s a management concept or form of business self-regulation. But essentially, it’s a way for businesses to be held accountable for how they impact society, and it greatly affects a brand’s mission and culture. 

Although it may seem daunting, implementing CSR practices doesn’t have to be. Consumers want to see genuineness, transparency, and consistent attempts to produce results and stay honest and accountable over the long term. 

Companies can take easy action via giving programs that help them support their communities. While formal corporate social responsibility programs are generally more common among larger companies, smaller businesses still majorly participate with local charity donations and event sponsorships.

Sometimes, due to the perceived pressure to make an outsized impact, some companies feel like they are not big enough or don’t have the resources needed to implement CSR, DEI, or ESG (we’ll explain these acronyms below). However, technology platforms help many smaller companies do the necessary legwork to start, track, and maintain CSR programs. Consistent progress over time is what consumers, employers, and nonprofit organizations want to see and what they find credible. Speaking up and then scaling CSR works well for many companies, and positively impacting society is critical to their bottom lines and successes now.

Environmental, Social, and Governance

ESG is short for “environmental, social, and governance.” It’s an approach for evaluating the extent to which a company is working on behalf of their social goals. For most companies, ESG deeply intertwines with their normal operations and puts policies into practice. Environmental criteria assess how a company uses energy and resources. Social criteria cover the relationship between your company and all of its stakeholders, including local communities and institutions. Governance criteria show how a company uses processes and procedures to govern itself and make decisions. 

If a company is seeking to incorporate ESG into their corporate giving program, they might ask themselves questions like: What are we doing to pursue our goal of reducing carbon emissions? Improve human rights at home and abroad? And then form relationships with charities that are making a direct impact on those causes. Any ESG goals a brand has should be able to be measured with reporting and metrics that show tangible progress.

For example, Grammarly improved human rights at home and abroad when they stood in solidarity with their Ukraine team members. They gave their employees Employee Compassion Funds for relocation and ongoing financial support. Plus, they supported direct ground relief organizations with $5 million in funds.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DEI stands for “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Its values include creating an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable culture and work environment, which should be an essential foundation to set for any workplace. Beyond companies seeking to create corporate philanthropy programs, every company should aspire to establish vital DEI policies to support equal representation and participation, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, and more.

There are a few ways for companies to further promote DEI values through corporate giving programs. Encouraging all of your employees to take action and donate to a range of charities with their employer’s financial backing ensures that a broad, diverse range of charities that further societal equality receive support.

In the charitable giving space, technology is transforming the industry and making it more accessible for smaller companies to give their employees the opportunity to give back. These companies can see themselves as change agents and empower their employees to take action. 

Now, many companies have equalized the ability of employees to give back to their local and global communities, increasing the diversity of impact. Regardless of socioeconomic class or whether an employee is full-time, team members can now use employer funds to give back. Providing equal opportunities for all employees to support causes and charities they believe in with pre-funded matching programs allows more diverse charities, causes, and communities worldwide to receive support.

Establish a Charitable Giving Program That Matches Your Brand’s Social Goals

For companies looking to take the first step or enhance their brand’s program, implementing a charitable giving program is one of the best ways to start. At Givinga, we make them accessible for companies and brands of varying sizes. We’ll help you build brand affinity, cultivate everyday philanthropy, and meet your corporate social responsibility goals. 

To get started, book a demo of our Philantech® platform. We’ll review your unique CSR, DEI, and ESG goals and share how we can help you achieve them.

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