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Thinking Beyond Profits and Turnovers by Sneha Pai

By Volunteer Sneha Pai, FHI Bangalore

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community”- Anthony J. D’Angelo, American author, founder of Collegiate Empowerment, creator of The Inspiration Book Series.

Those businesses that also emphasize on building a better community definitely enjoy a sense of integrity like none other, a sense of accomplishment that cannot be measured or even expressed.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (where companies make a conscious effort in bringing about a positive impact on the society by supporting economic, social, or environmental causes) has been an integral part of some of the most renowned businesses around the globe. Corporates that adopt CSR enjoy a plethora of positives that include contributing towards a better society, building a better brand for themselves, gaining trust and respect from all of their stakeholders, and boosting morale of their employees. It has been observed that 55% of customers are willing to invest more in brands that are socially conscious enabling better customer engagement.

How it works

As per the Companies Act 2013, companies with a net worth of Rs. 500 Crores or more, or a turnover of Rs. 1,000 Crores or more, or earning a net profit of Rs. 5 Crores or more must spend a minimum amount on CSR.  

For a business, to identify the right CSR program, lot of factors must be taken into account some of which include identifying the company’s core values, taking opinions from employees and customers into consideration, setting up a dedicated team to track and execute the CSR programs, and seeing to it that the funds are utilized in the right way.

How NGOs can intervene and simplify it

Not all companies would be willing to undertake the full responsibility of all of the above-mentioned factors to enjoy a smooth and successful CSR setup, or even have the bandwidth to do so. In such scenarios, Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) can emerge into the scene and pitch a streamlined solution to the corporates.

They say good work speaks for itself, and a reputed NGO that holds proof of years of hard work, relevant experience backed with sufficient knowledge about the cause they support should be able to easily gain the trust of the corporates. The NGO would just have to reassure the partner company of its:

  1. Infrastructure (based on the nature of their social cause)

  2. Resources, Influencers, Investors, Consultants, and the Volunteers who are involved

  3. National/global presence they currently hold or a roadmap (if any) towards the same

Other than that, transparency of the work, ownership, and the collective impact created by the NGO on the society are some parameters that can convince the corporates of the NGOs credibility. Additionally, the NGO leadership’s credentials ascertained through testimonials, news coverage, awards, and certificates will make it easier for the corporation to build with them an authentic partnership.

Afterall, an effective and a well-thought-out CSR strategy in the long run helps bridge the huge gaps between the business’s long-term goals and societies’ betterment, making both of them feel gratified. So, if it’s benefiting both, why not make the bond a strong and long-lasting one?

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