Reaching profitability is a benchmark for every for-profit organization. Businesses are built to make money, so if an organization is failing to achieve that goal long term, the business might not be destined for future successes. Businesses that are struggling in today’s world have historically analyzed the market, broke down consumer trends, monitored competitors and run full-scale business audits. Now, businesses who are struggling to execute and deliver on a strategy that will deliver profits have somewhere else to look: corporate social responsibility.
In mid-October, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) in conjunction with the Conference Board made a discovery that will force business owners everywhere to reevaluate their social strategy: businesses with higher levels of social responsibility and engagement see better financial performance as a whole.
Surveying more than 272 of the world’s largest companies, the most recent edition of Giving in Numbers found that organizations that increased their total giving by at least 10% between 2013 and 2015 also saw increases in pre-tax profits. Those businesses whose level of charitable giving decreased during that same time period saw their profits drop. Similarly, businesses who identified as having a stronger sense of societal purpose had better overall financial metrics.
The reason for this is fairly easily explained: people are more inclined to buy from and otherwise utilize businesses that they perceive to be socially responsible. A survey from Nielsen indicated just that, over half of global online shoppers claimed they were willing to spend more on a product or service if they know it was provided by a company that had socially and environmentally responsible practices. While 55% does represent a majority, it may not seem overwhelming until you consider the fact that that number represents a five percent increase over a similar survey distributed in 2013, and a 10% jump since 2011.
In short, global buyers are becoming more concerned with the social, ethical and environmental impacts that a business can have on the world around them. And as we as humans continue to put a prioritization on social responsibility, it seems only natural that we gravitate towards businesses and organizations that share our beliefs.
Businesses that express high levels of corporate social responsibility can gain footholds in the public eye though the power of consumer loyalty and increased respect. From there, businesses that embrace CSR can see a potential rise in profits, an added benefit to the societal good that comes with a responsibly-run business.