If you’re a family business, you’re likely aware of your company’s CSR…or corporate social responsibility. Why? Your community has been part of the fabric of your business’ success.
It because of this relationship that it’s not surprising that family businesses are more likely to give back to their communities, with more than 50 percent reporting “a high commitment to corporate social responsibility [CSR] and sustainability practices,” and more than 80 percent engaged in philanthropy on at least some level, according to a joint study conducted by Ernst & Young Global Limited [EY] and Kennesaw State University.
The report also points out that supporting CSR in a family business is a strong driver of family pride and better company performance overall. “They’re not just a public relations exercise,” the report stated. “They [sustainability and CSR practices] tend to result in increased operational efficiency, reduced waste, and increased product differentiation, which helps to improve business processes and profitability.”
A company’s approach to corporate responsibility is more than just being involved with “fun-runs,” fundraisers, and sponsorships – it’s taking a vested interest in how your business’ operations affect the community both on an individual and environmental level. It’s making the community’s well-being a part of your business strategy and focus.
Paying It Forward
Giving back to the community is also very conducive to the long-term goals of a family business. There is an inherent symbiotic relationship at work in supporting their community: The community, in return, is more likely to support the family business, which encourages more support on behalf of the family business, and so on. It is a perpetual cycle of good that only grows stronger over time as communities not only drive more support for the business, but also as the family and team members of the company feel increasing pride in their charitable deeds.
Giving back to society is one of the greatest things that any family business can do. It is a solution to a situation or community interruption using entrepreneurial spirit that not only gives you a deep sense of fulfillment, but it also results in good blessings from the community around you. It improves your surrounding environment, if even just a little bit, and makes things just that much better.
It is paying forward at its most basic level—if you do a little bit, it encourages the next person to do the same, and so on.
What is your current level of commitment to your CSR? How integrated is it into your business’ overall strategy? Consider your role and relationship within the communities you serve and see how you might improve upon it. Doing so will not only benefit those you serve, but your business’ profitability as well.