Social impact has an indisputable value for corporations. Learning how to implement effective social impact-focused goals and missions can be transformative across your company.
Nearly all Fortune 1000's have created internal CSR departments in order to facilitate initiatives that positively impact their teams, communities and the planet. In order to get the most out of your CSR initiatives, it is important to understand the broadest and perhaps most universal term regarding a corporation's contribution to societal good: social impact.
In this report, we’re defining social impact, its indisputable value for corporations, and how to implement effective social impact focused goals and missions across your company.
Social impact is when a company or individual helps to create a positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge.
The term social impact has been used for decades to support philanthropic endeavors. In 1972 Bill Drayton, started a new movement that gave rise to a new socially conscious approach. The ability of one leader to turn a powerful idea into a reality shaped a model of social change that Drayton would later call “social entrepreneurship. Drayton funded 3,000 change makers in more than 70 countries, impacting issues across human rights, climate change, and global poverty.
Since then, corporations have faced more pressure from consumers, employees, and shareholders alike to contribute to solving societal issues. 90% of Millennials state that they will favor a brand that supports a good cause over competing brands of similar quality and price, and 51% of people worldwide will pay extra for products and services with positive social and environmental impact.
Social impact initiatives may take many different forms depending on the social cause they are aiming to support.
When defining a cause to support, many organizations turn to the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, which are:
GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Today, popular impact initiatives among corporations include up-skilling communities, skills-based volunteering, and long term sustainability commitments. Companies establish definitive goals, budgets and teams to reach these impact goals.
The world's largest brands are facing pressure from an emerging workforce to infuse social impact into their strategy. A survey by DoSomething Strategic found that 76% of Gen Z respondents said they have purchased or would consider purchasing from a brand to show support for the issues that the company supported. According to Glassdoor, 95% of job seekers surveyed said that a company’s reputation impacts their decision to apply.
Here are just a few examples of the world’s leading companies championing exciting social impact focused initiatives:
Social impact has completely transformed since its original inception, and there is still plenty of room for growth in understanding how organizations approach their CSR goals and achieve them. As the term evolves, so do the innovations around CSR strategy and the external programs developed to support those initiatives.
If you want to learn how to develop social impact focused programs by up-skilling and attracting tomorrow's leaders, talk to us.
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