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Overview of Development, Planning & Implementation of CSR Strategy

A company's overall plan to develop, carry out and maximise its social responsibility efforts is known as its CSR Strategy (Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy). A solid strategy ensures that your project stays on track and achieves each KPI by creating a business case how your chosen CSR initiatives may fit into your overall plan for business success. CSR is increasingly being included in corporate business strategies. It has been demonstrated to promote consumer loyalty, keep employees, boost the bottom line, and accomplish amazing things for the world. We will discuss the benefits, requirements and process to further set up an effective strategy. So if you are looking for one, take a step back and read on for a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy before designing a corporate social responsibility policy for your company.

A CSR strategy may help you decide which approach is ideal for your company, how to implement it, and how to measure the success of your initiatives, as almost half of all consumers are turning to brands to set an example for improving the world. Consumers are not the only ones affected; businesses also have many impacts and are subject to many obligations today. There are four different sorts of CSR categories, and the four CSR focus areas are:

  • Environmental responsibility,
  • ethical duty,
  • financial accountability, and
  • philanthropic responsibility.

Benefits of Development, Planning & Implementation of CSR Strategy

Before implementing your CSR plan, internal stakeholders must give their complete support. The best thing you can do is examine the advantages of CSR and identify companies that have benefited from effective CSR policies. Here are a few advantages of working with a CSR:

  • Improved capacity to recruit and retain workers.
  • Increased brand recognition.
  • Excellent brand reputation.
  • Increased consumer loyalty.
  • Improved financial performance.

‍Once you have identified how the business will benefit from CSR, it is time to determine how to use it to your advantage. 

Requirements in CSR Strategy Preparation

  1. Identifying Stakeholders

All organisations that engage with the firm and are impacted by its actions are considered stakeholders in a CSR approach. These are:

  • Internal stakeholders: Consist of managers, workers, and others
  • External stakeholders: NGOs, vendors, the media, investors, vendors, clients, and more.

The CSR manager is responsible for organising the corporate social responsibility initiatives that must be implemented. The tasks of a CSR manager are creating reports based on results, defining success indicators, developing communication actions, implementing, and overseeing new policies, and more.

  1. Linking CSR to Company Value

CSR efforts are now more often seen as an integral part of operational strategy than they once were as a means of enhancing business performance and legitimacy. Therefore, linking your CSR to your business plan is a good corporate practice. Every firm will have a different way of integrating its CSR strategy with its operational plan, brand, and core strengths.

  1. Objective Key Results (OKR)

A goal-setting system called Objective Key Results (OKR) can help you increase influence, forge alliances, and unite those who share the same vision. The OKR is straightforward. Its main mission is to convert goals into quantifiable outcomes. As a result, OKRs increase employee engagement, and studies demonstrate that motivated employees provide better long-term results.

Documents required for the Development, Planning & Implementation of CSR Strategy

  1. Project name and Details of the Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy.
  2. Credentials of the specialised agency (Trust/Society/Company u/s 8 of Companies Act 1956/ others).
  • Registration Certificate.
  • Brief profile of the organisation.
  • Income Tax Exemption Certificates 80G/12A (12AA)/35AC under IT Act 1961/FCRA/Other Applicable
  • Whether empanelled with National CSR Hub or any Government Body.
  • Eligibility to carry out the proposed CSR activity.
  • Whether CSR activity is permitted under Companies Act, 2013 and Rules there under.
  • Similar ongoing proposal with other PSUs (if any).
  • Impact assessment report of similar CSR activity in the recent past, if any.
  • Outstanding achievements, awards and success stories etc.
  • Any other supporting Documents.
  • PAN details.
  • Details of bank account (cancelled cheque).
  • TDS exemption certificate (if available).
  1. Project Objectives.
  2. Project Location (with Google/Wiki mapping).
  3. Need Assessment/ Baseline Survey Report
  4. Expected outcomes and impacts.
  5. Status of regulatory approvals / NOC, if required.
  6. Proposed action plans for visibility to REC – name & logo
  7. Detailed Scope of work of activities to be undertaken for the project.
  8. Expected number of Target beneficiaries (male/female) based on Baseline/need assessment survey.
  9. Implementation Plan with timelines based on milestones (In chronological order)
  10. Evaluation criteria
  11. Details of Project team leader with brief CV and contact details.
  12. Declaration that the organisation has no pending legal dispute and/ or inquiries in connection with offences like cheating, misappropriation of funds, exploitation of beneficiaries, etc.
  13. Declaration that the organisation is not blacklisted by any government agency.

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Procedure of Development, Planning & Implementation of CSR Strategy

We discussed what a corporate social responsibility strategy is above; now, let's look at the actions you should take to make sure your strategy is successful.

  1. Describe the idea

CSR can mean many different things to various people, especially nowadays. The concept and opinion of CSR vary depending on a person's culture and prior encounters with it.

  1. Recognise the advantages for Social

You must obtain project approval before your CSR policy can be implemented, and doing so involves support from internal stakeholders. Investing a lot of time in learning about the advantages of CSR and finding several organisations that have benefited from putting together a fruitful CSR plan is crucial.

  1. Get project approval

Launching a CSR plan does involve a certain amount of funding and human resources from your company, as you may have anticipated. Although you may undoubtedly use tools to improve the CSR experience, you'll still need human resources to get there.

  1. Set project goals

Setting goals is the next step in developing and launching a CSR strategy. These objectives and KPIs demonstrate how well your plan works for your company and how well your CSR project is progressing.

  1. Run a current CSR analysis

A comprehensive evaluation of whatever CSR programme you already have going in your business, formal or not, is part of a current study. Try to determine what might be the issue with your existing remedies and come up with fresh approaches to the issue. Take a look at all of your current CSR initiatives and make a list of what you already have. Organise these components into a cohesive strategy that connects to the interests of your staff members and the overall business strategy, including long-term objectives.

  1. Research your CSR initiatives

It's time to identify your initiative and digital CSR tools now that you understand the advantages that CSR can offer your organisation and have secured company support. Researching social and environmental projects that align with the mission and vision of your business as well as the values of your workforce, is a part of this step. Finally, this stage comprises various resources you could require to support your CSR initiatives. Consider technology that encourages initiative among your staff members and communication solutions that make it easier to keep up with everything.

  1. Launch your CSR campaign

After taking the steps, you should feel confident launching your CSR campaign, which may be the most crucial element of your CSR strategy. Make the most of your first opportunity to establish it as successfully as possible. The appropriate parties need to know about your CSR launch, which includes:

  • Employees
  • Shareholders or investors
  • External stakeholders, partners, and local communities
  • Press
  • Customers
  • Fans and followers

Make sure that each of these groups has a clear communication plan and priority to guarantee that your programme launches with the most feasible impact. For instance, your team needs to know your campaign's specifics before your supporters and followers.

  1. Manage your program to success

The upkeep of your CSR programme or initiatives should be last on your agenda. Which KPIs or objectives have you set? Think about a variety of aims.

  • Gathering insights from stakeholders: Based on the issues that matter most to employees, clients, and community members, you should create a strategic strategy for CSR. In addition, you can be inspired by competing businesses and what made them successful. The most straightforward approach to do it is as follows.
  • Set up a customer poll: It's a good idea to develop a CSR plan to engage with your customers, but first, you need to gather the necessary data: What categories of social issues are most important to your customers? For instance, do buyers prefer to buy your goods or donate it to children in need?
  • Assess community needs: For each business, a community builds things differently. You may create a stronger alliance for your CSR programme that will advance your success by taking the time to investigate and analyse what your community may require. Additionally, consider utilising community tools to learn more about your community's resources, needs, and numerous other things.
  • Train your employees to make sure your CSR approach is adopted: Additionally, to CSR communication, internal training is also essential. Early in 2020, over 40% of employees needed more internal knowledge, and many struggled to describe CSR precisely. What is more crucial to take away from this survey is that workers would love to be more involved in CSR activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

A CSR strategy covers every facet of your corporate social responsibility programme. The plan is essential for connecting CSR to overarching business initiatives and ensuring that your corporate giving programme stays on course.

The office managers, human resources, or the CSR department typically develop a CSR strategy. These teams frequently coordinate strategic planning, CSR activities, sustainability initiatives, and key performance indicators with CSR service providers like Corpbiz.

CSR can be incorporated into corporate strategy in a number of different ways. Depending on the objectives and needs of your business. To assist you in developing your CSR strategy, consider your company's strategic goals, such as if they are to make a difference, engage or retain staff, or engage customers.

Any business that meets one of the following requirements must abide by the CSR requirements outlined in Section 135 of the 2013 Companies Act.

  • Companies with net worth of 500 crores or more
  • Companies with turnover of 1000 crores or more
  • Companies with net profit of 5 crores or more

Some businesses have a CSR division, while others delegate CSR to HR departments or office managers. Marketing or communications departments may also oversee CSR, depending on your objectives.

A CSR framework should be implemented, along with your long-term company priorities and a quarterly breakdown of your CSRs. Above all, make sure you train your staff on CSR. You want every detail of what takes place within your business to be known to your team.

The CSR regulations, which require spending at least 2% of the average net profits produced during the recent financial year(s), apply to a firm that has not yet completed three financial years since incorporation but meets any of the criteria listed in section 135(1).

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