In Today’s article we are going to go over the main aspects on how to measure the performance of your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns, what to look for and how having a well built strategy in place will affect your overall company.
First of all, we would like to say that there is no right way to measure the performance of your CSR strategy. Currently, there is not a “one way fits all approach”, as CSR is very unique and tends to bind and integrate solemnly on your own organization and the way you have been running everything. Therefore, measuring performance on your CSR strategy and campaign is not a standardized practice and it needs to be adapted to your own business particularites, views, goals and business model.
There are some basic-elementary ways of measuring the performance of your CSR strategy, but they represent only a start point and they do not reflect the performance KPIs or include all the aspects in which a campaign can be fully measured. Some of these basic-elementary aspects are: a benchmark against competition, exploring and defining measurable goals, refining tools and practices within the company and more – all depending on what you are trying to accomplish and how do you ultimately want to measure and what matters to you and your business.
Additionally, it is important to mention that the way you will measure your CSR performance for your campaigns and strategy also depends on where your company is in the “CSR Journey” – how far along you are, how everyone is responding to your current efforts or how far are you from accomplishing your goals.
Why you should measure your CSR efforts
There are many reasons why you should measure your Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, but mainly it is because it gives you an accurate representation of where you stand with CSR but also helps you further develop your strategies and plans.
By implementing accurate ways of measuring your CSR performance, you should be able to:
- have a better idea of where you stand with CSR
- have a better understanding of what matters to your customers / employees / your business and all parts involved
- have a better vision of where you are heading
- have more information in order to be able to develop further innovative strategies
- identify areas of improvement in either your current strategy or upcoming initiatives
- further work on sustainable solutions for your business
CSR Tools and Frameworks
As CSR is growing, we are already seeing in the market a lot of tools and frameworks that are being developed. While we like to point out that we learn as much as we can and we are up to date with the latest news in the industry, we also know that at the base of a really good CSR strategy, lies a well built, integrated plan.
In our work, we use a combination of different tools and frameworks in order to identify different areas of improvement, however, at the end, what really makes a difference is the way we implement and always re-strategies our plan.
With CSR, it is not enough to only create an initial plan and work towards implementing it. In our experience, we have learned that we always need to adjust and learn to respond to what is happening in the market, at all times.
And even, in many cases, that is not enough – besides constantly adjusting the strategy and plan, we need to take in consideration both the short term results of the CSR campaigns as well as the long term forecasted results and goals.
By thinking both short term and long term, we ensure that we have better coverage on what we are working towards building – especially as CSR is a significant project that affects many parts and pieces of a company.
The Base for Measuring Performance
The base for measuring your Corporate Social Responsibility performance lies in research.
Research represents the groundwork for all your upcoming plans and ways of measuring performance. This is especially important when you are working on building initiatives that are very social driven and involve many parts.
While it is not mandatory (yet) to have standardized reports, it is especially recommended to make an analysis and create a report in order to measure the impact of your CSR efforts. This will help you better understand all the aspects that come to play when it comes to measuring your CSR performance.
Nowadays, just like with different tools and frameworks, there are many platforms that are developing and creating easy reports in order to underline your CSR campaigns.
But once again, as we hope you learned by now, with CSR everything is very unique, personalized and customizable, and indefinitely, the reporting data will be the same.
Based on this article, we can come up with the following two conclusions:.
- Every CSR strategy is especially unique for each business and the performance of every campaign needs to be measured differently. This requires that all campaigns and all aspects of the business be integrated.
- When creating CSR campaigns and measuring performance, we need to take in consideration both short term results and long term forecasts and results.
- Having a single tool, framework and plan is not enough in order to have a successful, well built, integrated CSR plan.
- An advanced CSR strategy or campaign requires constant adjustments and different frameworks and tools in order to obtain the best possible results.
- Research is the groundwork for everything you plan to do.
If you’re new to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and if you are seeking more, in depth, information on the subject, we have written a few more articles in regards to CSR. Please find them here:
- What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Why Does it Matter in Business?
- The Growth of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Recent Years
- Common Myths and Concerns about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – Explained
- How Business Culture and CSR Strategies Go Hand in Hand (Tables Included)
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Seen From The Customer’s Perspective
- Taking a Stand on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) During a Pandemic – How Should Your Business Adjust